Building a session at WWJ was driven by curiosity, questioning and the element of play. It was a quick faced session where the participants were given context and related design activities for execution, persona making and role-playing. Breakout rooms were made for the participants to carry out the tasks while a casual discussion took place in the main zoom room. We were all quite chatty! The aim was to co-build as a group and explore what is important to us in this world of shifts and new normals.
Do we always know what kind of experience we are aiming to build for our facilitation group?
Some say it should be pre proposed, indicative or predictive while others think the experience should be immersive and intuitive. I believe in a combination of both. There should be perspective, and yet it should be free-flowing, it should be fun yet relatable and enjoyable. I have never before designed such shortly timed activities. It was challenging, but it did add up to a new experience. I loved the fact that people from remote locations were present! The WWJ was very encouraging.
What was my takeaway?
Be ambitious with a cause
Designing a fast-paced workshop requires more planning and precision than longer ones. There is no room for wonder. Be thorough with your ambitions, purpose and outcome. You might want to serve them the main course and entree. But be aware! How will it work? What are your participants achieving out of the experience? Will they understand? Giving the users enough time to understand the exercise; being transparent and descriptive is very important. It allows immersion to follow easily.
Essence vs practicality
We have to take clarity, time and feasibility into account! I said it's quality over quantity! You should have one idea that works well and is easily performed. It has to be about the method. Furthermore, the experience, the participant's ability to connect to the task and your outcome are essential focuses. If you have a series of tasks in one session, it has to be correlated with continuity.
It is not a guessing game. Users should not be wondering " what am I supposed to do?" It should be like - how can I contribute? Participants should have to spend time figuring out the exercise. This way, it gives the participants more time to appreciate their input and value for the exercise. Value and self-worth is a critical component in organising group activities. We all need to be heard. Building importance for voices that are there to solve your question or help you gain insight, should be a priority.
Play more than presume
What you feel, they might not feel. What you think they might not believe. However, what you see, if your vision is clear, they will see it also. This will automatically allow the participants to think it, feel it and be immersive enough to see your experience. There always has to be an element of play. Can we be young at heart while being serious? I wanted people to have fun and enjoy the session. I wanted them to feel comfortable and yet ensure they leave with something memorable.