Registration for workshops is now closed. All Workshops will be held in downtown Boulder, either at The St. Julien Hotel or at Boulder Digital Works.


Wednesday Morning Workshops 9:30am - 12:30pm

Addressing Challenges Facing the IxDA

Janna DeVylder, Steve Baty & Kendra Shimmel

During this workshop participates will undertake a collaborative design activity aimed at addressing one of the challenges facing the Interaction Design Association. Participants will experience first-hand techniques for brainstorming, conceptualizing, communicating and prototyping services and behavior, whilst simultaneously assisting the IxDA community.

The challenge will be selected by the IxDA Board during their annual pre-conference retreat on the day preceding the workshop.

Take Your Own Advice - Self Ethnography, Collaboration and Play

Sara Summers

We're distracted, over-worked and sanitized in white-washed, data driven offices; how easy it is to forget to practice UX skills for its own sake? Thinking with our hands, real-time problem solving with ink, paper, and our cranium, it's our biggest asset... that were too overbooked to use. And it's affecting our output. We sit at a desk, meet deadlines, answer email, and shuffle to meetings; our hands, passive instruments, clicking and scrolling. If thinking is making and doing, well...maybe we should do that. Let's use the same ideation, games, collaboration and design methodology to get back what the grind takes away. Together we'll sharpen our collective brains, conjure novel thoughts and use our hands to awake the creative mind.

Take aways:

  • We'll learn ways to collaboratively play and ideate within a team.
  • Experience how prototyping methodologies can problem-solve for us in real time.
  • Use our own design thinking, research and discovery to enable a better, less fragmented creation and innovation process.

Stop Thinking, Start Listening: How to Get the Whole Story

Indi Young
Cost: $250

Facing an interview participant takes nerves of steel and iron self-confidence. Not many of us in this industry use such metallic adjectives about ourselves. Why do we need such armor when the goal is empathy? This workshop offers a few different approaches that will put you in the right frame of mind during an interview: relaxed. We will look into how thinking from a generative perspective will open up the interview. We'll find out how to set a reasonable scope perimeter inside of which we allow any sort of conversation to happen. We will practice the skill of listening without an internal dialogue. In-class practice will also help us slow down so we can sense the verbs indicating important information to pursue.

Excerpt from Radio Johnny podcast about interview styles with Jeff Parks:
"You want to have surprises to come out... that's why I say don't write any interview questions down. Just write what your perimeter is... Set up that fence and try and keep the conversation within that fence; but keep your antenna up!"

Quotes from recent workshop participants:

  • "Just wanted to thank you for a great workshop. I found it to be very beneficial." Deanna Novak, Cisco
  • "It was great attending your workshop... feels like interviewing is learning to speak a new language … wanted to tell you how useful it was to hear your presentation." Cynthia Kossayan, Design Researcher, Stuart Karten Design
  • "I conducted my first questionless interview this morning – it was liberating!" J.J. Kercher, Sr. Interaction Designer, AppFolio, Inc.

Interaction History for Interaction Designers

Karen McGrane & Bill DeRouchey
Cost: $250

Graphic designers are exposed to the history of their field during art school. Fashion designers remix the historical trends that seem to recur like clockwork. And it's unthinkable that a practicing architect wouldn't understand the historical foundations of their field.

But interaction designers, sadly, rarely have historical perspective because most people working in the field today didn't have formalized training. As a result, we don't know where the principles of how we interact with computers and technology come from. How often are we reinventing the wheel? How often are we ignoring fundamentals?

In this workshop, we'll try to remedy that. Over the course of three hours, we'll explore how human/machine interaction has evolved from buttons and switches to icons and OK, from punch cards and command line interactions to graphical user interfaces and touch technology. Workshop participants will see videos of early products and systems in action, hear quotes from key thought leaders in the field, and walk away with a better understanding of how our discipline developed before we called it "interaction design."

Mobile UX Essentials

Rachel Hinman
Cost: $250

Until recently, mobile user experiences were crippled due to a host of technical and business constraints. Recent innovations such as touch screen devices, tablets, and application marketplaces are causing an inflection point in the mobile UX landscape, enabling new and exciting opportunities for interaction design. The opportunity for user experience professionals to deliver on the promise of ubiquitous computing and interactions that dissolve into behavior is ours for the taking. But where do designers begin? This workshop is designed to help designers and user experience professionals answer that very question. In this 3-hr workshop, you will:

  • Learn research techniques, design exercises and prototyping methods that will allow you to begin designing and developing mobile experiences with confidence.
  • Identify the portable user experience and interaction design skills you've already got that make you especially well suited for creating great mobile experiences
  • Learn frameworks, design principles and technical shortcuts for creating compelling mobile experiences.
  • Be inspired to hop on the mobile user experience wave

Winning the Work

Jennifer Bove
Cost: $250

Let's face it: the sales process can be daunting. Why can't clients see how awesome we are? In this team-based hands-on workshop you'll learn how to use your designer tool kit to create an effective sales pitch, and then you'll do just that. We've got the (fake) client and project, you've got a proposal to put together. You know you're the best choice for the job, but first you have to win it! In this workshop you will learn how to:

  • Understand the user, identifying the client's motivations and needs
  • Design the right thing,choosing the right tools for the problem at hand
  • Establish task flows, articulating a process and approach
  • Story tell, communicating your pitch and plan effectively

This workshop is for novice and experienced designers alike, looking to learn or freshen up on techniques for effectively selling their services. Glory and prizes for the best sales pitch included.

Wednesday Afternoon Workshops 2:00pm - 5:00pm

IxDA Local Leaders Workshop

IxDA Board and Regional Coordinators
Cost: Free!

Are you already an IxDA Local Leader? Do you want to lead an IxDA Local Group? If so, come join us at the third annual Local Leaders Workshop. Get together with your fellow Local Leaders to discuss the challenges you face in running your local group. You will walk away with new event ideas and a fresh perspective.

The discussion will be structured with a mix of topics on the challenges presented by a variety of Local Leaders. Also, we will spend part of the time discussing the new Regional Coordination system for local groups. This discussion will be led the Local Group's Regional Coordinators. We will talk about the differences between each region, the issues each region faces including interaction design education, market development and also how to deal with language and cultural barriers. Our goal is to make this discussion as virtual as possible so we can include all of the local leaders from around the world!

Better Ideas Faster: Effective Brainstorming for Interaction

David Sherwin
Cost: $250

You're under the gun. Again.

Only a few days to come up with a revolutionary new feature for your Web app. Or you've been tasked by your boss to give your company's new mobile experience a little more oomph. Or you're floating in the space of a nebulous client problem that you just can't seem to pin down.

In these situations, it can be hard to focus on coming up with breakthrough ideas. But don't worry, help is to the rescue. David Sherwin from frog design, a global innovation firm, will share tools and methods that any interaction designer can use--especially those that are relatively new to the profession--to more consistently brainstorm quality ideas for creating and improving products, services and systems.

Over the course of this workshop, through active brainstorming exercises and in-depth group discussion, we'll answer questions such as:

  • How can I best structure my brainstorming processes?
  • What lightweight brainstorming techniques can I use that will inspire new, more innovative design ideas more quickly?
  • How can I be more effective in moving from project discovery to generating targeted design ideas?
  • How can our team collaborate best across disciplines to rapidly iterate any type of interactive experience?
  • How can our team best synthesize a wide range of ideas into a set of compelling client recommendations?

The workshop will also be informed by examples from frog brainstorming and David's book "Creative Workshop: 80 Challenges to Sharpen Your Design Skills" (HOW Design Press, Dec. 2010).

Design Consultantship : The Art of Hearing and Being Heard

Kristian Simsarian
Cost: $250

Have you ever found yourself in a difficult client situation? As design becomes more strategic and as we have more potential impact in the world, we are finding ourselves working with and delivering to increasingly senior leaders. We are finding ourselves needing to be not just good designers but also good consultants; and many of these consulting skills are not part of a standard design education.

Whether you are a new or seasoned project or relationship leader, the skills introduced in the workshop will help you with difficult situations, such as non design-trained clients, multiple stakeholders, challenging situations and misunderstandings. A skilled design consultant can learn to foresee, avoid and navigate these situations.

The workshop will be based on hands-on training using cases from real-world challenging situations from the field. We will end the workshop by asking participants to create a personal plan to bring some of the new skills into a current or future situation.

Designing Advanced Design

Mike Kruzeniski
Cost: $250

Design has become increasingly recognized as a means for businesses to innovate and move ahead of competition. With this recognition comes an increased demand on internal design teams. However, the increase in work leaves a lot less breathing room for designers to give organizations the long view on its products and strategies that they need. Designers too, can easily fall to short term tactics as standard operating procedure.

Enter the "Advanced Design Team", a subset of design resources that is set aside to work on projects that the core team cannot. But while setting aside designers to focus on the future is important, it comes with new sets of challenges and pitfalls. How should the team be resourced? Who should be on the team? How should it be organized? What is the objective? Who is the customer? And possibly most important, how does it impact the company?

This workshop will explore the challenges and opportunities in establishing an "Advanced" team within your design studio. With a focus on illustrating how to achieve impact through your larger company, Mike Kruzeniski will share illustrated examples of advanced design projects from Microsoft, Nokia, and others. The group will look at operational models for advanced design through hands-on exercises, to help participants consider how they would create (or refine) an advanced team in their own studio.

Experience Design through Storyboarding

Sal Cilella, Craighton Berman & Justin Rheinfrank
Cost: $250

This studio will offer participants the opportunity to design compelling experiences from a user/audience perspective, using the storyboarding process as the primary ideation tool.

Studio organizers will present an overview of their methodology, providing examples of their techniques in action and comparing it to other approaches. They will demonstrate how they use storyboarding in their practice, using the same tools and techniques that the studio participants will use. Following the demonstration, participants will form teams and collaboratively design an experience using the storyboarding process. Lastly, studio organizers will facilitate a group critique session and offer closing thoughts on employing this methodology in one's creative practice.

Progressive Prototyping with HTML5, CSS3 and More

Todd Zaki Warfel & Jonathan Knoll
Cost: $250

Spend the day with author and designer, Todd Zaki Warfel and design and prototyping master, Jonathan "Yoni" Knoll in this action-packed half-day workshop. You'll walk away with a digital copy of Todd's latest book, Prototyping: A Practitioner's Guide. Todd and Yoni will present prototyping tips from the book and how to take advantage of the latest technique using HTML5 and CSS3.

You'll work your way through a series of case studies, as Todd and Yoni reveal techniques that will help you craft flexible, bulletproof, effective and adaptable interfaces that make up a solid user experience. They'll show how to use tips from the book, combined with a number of guiding principles, like progressive reveal, predictable interactions and other ways to make your designs more elegant.

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