Ideas for design skills workshop


Ok - well let’s plan on it then! I think if everyone just comes with their designs that we could put up on a project, and some highlights (maybe 10 - 15 minutesish) about the problems they were trying to solve and how they solved them we could cycle through various people. We could use KiCAD to walk through, and show some of the basic components of the toolchains for those interested.

I’d love to get my friend Robert to Skype into that session, he’s absolutely love it.


There is an opportunity here to bridge the hardware and software side of things and work on an actual project. As Greg’s mentioned, it’s a good approach to learning and applying new skills.

My original idea in proposing a design skills workshop was to look at the challenges of UX design for connected/embedded devices (as opposed to designing for a software only context). So things like creating flows and documentation for device discovery and pairing with a mobile phone/application, network and device configurations, device status, syncing data, etc.

To this end, I propose the following:

  1. Self-organise in small groups of 4-5 people. Teams can either be hardware design, or mix of hardware/software design (I’m assuming that there are more hardware than software folks but I could be wrong). Each team chooses what they want to work on. If there are only a few UX folks, we can float between teams and create documentation.

  2. If there are less than 10 people, attending the workshop, then we can work on one project and organize based on specific skills. Personally, I’d love to work on a prototype where we design a wireless open source smart thermostat that measures humidity and room temperature (maybe one that could even be a gateway to a distributed grid :slight_smile:). But I’m totally open to anything.

For the UX stuff, I can go through the steps in a product journey: 1) writing user stories (focusing on empathy); 2) creating wire-frames / flows of features decided by team; and 3) designing basic interface and/or clickable prototype.

Let me know what you all think so that I could formalize this and apply for the design skills share.


I had forgotten that each skills sharing workshop is 1.5 hours. So perhaps I need to scale down my idea.


Here is a scaled down version of my proposal for a design skills workshop:

The workshop will focus on the challenges of UX design for connected/embedded devices.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn basic UX skills and apply them to their own IoT projects during the workshop. Examples of sample projects will be supplied for those who don’t have one and want to learn about UX design. I will be float between individuals and groups to answer questions. I welcome the participation of other UX design folks who want to help out.

Paper and drawing materials will be supplied.

Duration (90 minutes)

Topics covered:
• Writing user stories - What are user stories and how do you write them?
• UX flows - Translate the user stories into user flows / wireframes.
• Low fidelity prototypes - focus on interaction defined in their user flows and create a low-fidelity paper or clickable prototype
• Resources for user testing

I just submitted a proposal with a detailed breakdown of the different tasks. If anyone has any feedback on ways to improve it, let me know.


I think this sounds fantastic, thanks for getting this organized. At Public Lab we’re especially interested in how people progressively build skills with new techniques, and as they do, they begin to hack/modify/adapt/transform a technique or technology. I wonder if this is a tangent, or could be thought of in UI/UX terms as well?


Maria - if you’d like to do a longer workshop, consider preparing something for Saturday. There’s more time for outings and workshops that day, and this may be a good extension of the 1.5 hours you do as a skillshare on Friday.


I think that’s a great idea because it will give participants more time to develop their ideas and apply UX techniques. It will also give me more time to cover the basics of user testing and allow folks to share their projects without feeling rushed.

Do you think 2.5 hours would work in terms of scheduling?


Most things are organized in 1.5 hour sessions, so some factor of 1.5. 3 hours would be good in terms of scheduling, for example.


OK. 3 hours works. How do I go about resubmitting a revised version of the workshop?


When we get to Chile it’ll be fluid enough you’ll be able to post the updated version. I would suggest splitting it into 2 days (1.5 hours on Friday during the skillshare time, and then 1.5 hours on saturday during the more open time). That way it gives other skillshare sessions more space.

There are times for organizing the day at the beginning of each day, and it’s then that we’ll set the exact time for each event. So no worries - just make your workshop and it’ll get figured out :slight_smile:



I’m much interested in design skills workshop


Yes, I am interested. How do I get involved?