Collaborative remote sketching workshops – Lessons from the field:
All kind of workshops, not only remote: Neverever facilitate AND co-create at the same time. These are two modes of thinking – at least for me. Furthermore, as a facilitator, you might have inhibitions to use your own idea in the following refinement process: This is on some kind of a meta-level. It could leave the impression as if you just want to do your own thing, as you hold a special role as a facilitator. In addition, when you are the UX Designer and a sketching workshop facilitator at the same time, you might develop inhibitions to use your idea in your concepts because this could also transport a wrong message ( like: „they do what they want to do anyway“; leaves the impression the sketching workshop was a „farce“)
Think about doing the ideation/generating ideas sketching ahead of time a bit before the workshop and scan them. Then share them in your team so people can refer to them during the workshop.
When you have no supporting presentation in your virtual room: Prepare index cards or sheets of papers with largely written clear instructions. Hold them in the camera and make sure everybody can read it. Test-run it.
In remote workshops, it’s absolutely critical to have a super clear agenda and a clear process for how sketches will be shared during the workshop that everyone understands *ahead of time*. To ensure that, prepare a super clear „please-read-upfront“ – agenda with all links needed (eg for shared folders to upload artifacts). Send the agenda ahead at least one day before the meeting. Let co-workers proofread it.
Plan enough time – especially the generating ideas/ refining one idea process: Make sure there is enough time for all these exercises: minimum 15 min. generating ideas; minimum 15 min. agreeing on one solution within the group to refine, minimum 15 min. to actually refine it.