Our approach to a Design Sketching Studio is an adaptation of the Design Studio/Prototyping Exercise published by the good folks at Good Kickoff Meetings.
- Gather all materials and participants in a large, quiet room.
- Write out the design problem(s) that the group will be ideating around in the session on a whiteboard or flipchart sheet.
- Pass out a few 8-up preformatted sketch sheets to each participant.
- Instruct participants that they are to come up with and express at least 6 design solution ideas for the problem(s) at hand. Remind participants that sketching does not mean photo-real illustrating. There are lots of ways to capture an idea beyond just drawing an interface design.
- Set a timer. We usually do 10-15 minutes depending on the confidence of the participants.
- When time is up, have participants pair up. It’s better if you can cross-pollinate participants. If there are client stakeholders, pair them up with members of the internal team. Even within groups, try to pair people who work in different departments or disciplines.
- Have the pairs take turns presenting their sketches to each other. Timebox this at 10 minutes – 3 minutes to present and 2 minutes for critique for each participant in the pairs.
- Give the participant pairs a few 1-up sketch sheets.
- Now have each team of participants collaborate on a new, single sketch that leverages the best ideas from each other’s original work.
- Set a 10-minute timer.
- At the end of the time limit, have the groups of two combine into groups of four. Repeat steps 7, 8 & 9 until you have consolidated the group to 2-3 teams.
- Have teams present to the whole group for critique.
- At this point, you can collect all of the ideas and save them for a next step such as an Effort/Impact Matrix Exercise.