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Organize Remote (UX) Workshops

7 October 2020

Remote work environments can be difficult for employees and managers who are used to working in office places. The current COVID-19 pandemic has led many offices to work from home. Although some offices already have experiences of remote working, many others are struggling, especially the clients. For many clients, it is an unusual situation to attend workshops done regarding the research and design for their projects. 

As the current situation demands people to stay at home, more remote workshops are going to happen in the coming days. So, here are a few tips that you can follow to make a remote workshop successful-

Focus on your objectives first

The first thing you should consider while running a workshop, whether it is remote or face-to-face is to focus on the objective of the workshop. If you focus on the outputs of the workshop, you will be able to narrow the exercises that you are planning to do during the workshop. 

Keep the audience small to ensure engagement

While conducting a workshop, you need every participant to be vocal. Having a large number of attendees can create confusion among all the participants. They may not know what their inputs should be. But a small number of audiences can ensure that they all have active engagement during the exercises. 

Choose the right audience for the right exercise

Pick your audiences carefully while selecting them for the exercise. For an exercise that needs more user insight, you need people from Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service. But when it comes to the future of the project or technical points, people from Sales and Marketing will not be able to help. You can break down your agendas into parts, and have different sets of people attend the different agendas. 

Share the agenda in advance

Share your agendas with the task names, time allowance, and a brief description of each agenda with the attendees in advance. It will ensure that the participants have prior knowledge of what is going to happen during the workshop. 

Test your video call technology

It is extremely important that you check the video call and other technological elements before starting the workshop. Testing the technology beforehand can save you a lot of trouble which you may face during the workshop sessions. Test the video and audio quality of your calls, and make sure that the internal firewalls do not block the platforms you are planning to use. 

Use a digital canvas to create your workshop sheets

While you do not have a wall or board to stick your notes in, you can use a digital canvas where you create and put all your workshop sheets. 

Stick to your agenda timing

Timing is very important when you want everything to go perfectly. Always stick to the timeline you set for each agenda. You can add a timer while starting each exercise, so participants know how much time is left to complete.  

Create a ‘parking lot’ for irrelevant conversations

During the conversations, you will find topics pop up which are not relevant to your agenda or something you are not willing to discuss at the time. When those arise, you can always put the subject on the ‘parking lot’ board, so you can move on with the actual agenda. 

Take quick refresher breaks

The workshop can often be long and tiring. Always remember to allow quick refreshment breaks so your audience can recharge themselves. 

Don’t panic, just try your best in these new circumstances

Workshops can be long and can take a huge amount of time. There are always things that can go wrong during a workshop. Do not panic during those situations. Rather have fun and make the workshop as interesting as possible. If any problem offers, remain calm, apologize, and work on finding a solution.