Have you eaten?

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Facetimed my momma this morning and her words reminded me of this post I wrote in 2017. It is love in 3 words.

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Gring gring, Gring gring

Voice groggy as usual

“Hello mummy, good morning”

“How are you today”

“I’m fine”

“Have you eaten?”

Looks at the time, 10:30

“It’s almost 12”

“No, it’s just to 11, I’m going to the kitchen now”

“ok, yes, eat something o, don’t leave it too late, wanted to hear your voice, talk later, bye”

“thank you, bye”

Typical conversation with my mum these critical days. I admit that the me of a year ago would not have appreciated this as much as I do now, many Nigerians can relate.

Have you eaten?

There’s so much love packed into that question so when it hit me some months ago, I almost beat myself for not realising sooner. No, no I don’t expect this question from everyone, in fact it doesn’t occur to some people (like me) to ask this. I’m typically more concerned with someones non-physical state, and unfortunately over the years I expected everyone who loved me to be as concerned with this aspect. Thankfully I’ve been learning how to appreciate everyone’s unique gift.

That said, we were created as multidimensional beings, with a physical nature, a spiritual and moral (metaphysical) nature. It’s nice to know that while one person cannot meet all our needs in those dimensions, God who created us, can! The Bible is not just concerned with the spiritual, it mentions actual physical food over 300 times but it starts off with God providing food for all.

Genesis 1:29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

Some other interesting things to note is how God provided manna and quail for the Israelites, Angel’s food it says! straight from heaven, amazing.

Exodus 16:4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day

The Israelites called the food manna. It was white like coriander seed, and it tasted like honey wafers.

 

Honey wafers! gimme!

Psalm 78:25 Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full.

 

Also, God asked an angel to cook food for Elijah when the man was on the verge of depression and wanted God to take his life, sometimes not therapy, sometimes food and sleep!

I Kings 19:1–9 Then he lay down and slept under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat!” He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot stones and a jar of water! So he ate and drank and lay down again.

 

And then Jesus, feeding thousands with bread and fish and also making breakfast for this disciples, one lovely morning after his resurrection, no he wasn’t just a spirit he had an actual body, I mean if spirit cook food for you, you go chop?

John 21 When they got there, they found breakfast waiting for them — fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread. “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn.

“Now come and have some breakfast!” Jesus said.

 

It’s not just to human beings, God provides food for all creatures. It’s such a lovely lovely thing, and I’m super glad for all those who provide food, from the farmers to the people who give. I have two friends I can name who give me food! I should have married you guys hehe.

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I just realized in reflection on this in 2020 that God in infinite mercy gave me a man who gives me food…I just can’t even….

And yes, I’m going to eat right now! ^_^

10 things for 10 years

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Oh hey! it’s a new decade! As one looks forward we also look back, not to remain in the past but to appreciate and learn, hindsight is 2020 😀

I’m still writing

This blog is 10 years old, yes, my first posts documented something of my life on a Masters of design course and discovering the MBTI which I no longer hold on to as I did then.

I’ve read a few things I wrote over the years and I could pat myself on the back for some, others make me grateful for the opportunity to mature. I’m still very much about design but priorities have changed. Who I am is way more important than what I do, that’s what will reflect in my writing now.

Design is my thing but there’s more

I have been privileged to practice design in the digital sector for 10 years. I’ve been a Service Designer, UX consultant, Illustrator, UX designer, architect, researcher etc then I realized that titles aren’t it, I need to focus on my skill set and how it could be applied in many other areas. So I decided to take a break, focus on my health and apply my skills to an area of passion, caring for other people – person to person.

I’ve gone from wanting to save the world with design to focusing on my neighbourhood – one person at a time. This is where I am finding the greatest needs and fulfilment.

My permanent home is now UK

It feels like 2 years ago when I picked up my red suitcase and got on a British Airways flight straight to London. 10 years gone and there is a relief to no longer being subject to immigration control. I did not know at the time that this would be where I call home but God had plans.

My Family has changed

Papa died and it rocked my world. There is nothing to prepare you for such, that was my first heartbreak and it broke my body too and my mums. Things will never be the same again.

On the upside, I now have 6 nieces and 1 nephew, so awesome, I love them all. I got a new family! with 5 nephews and 2 nieces (in-law) and they all love me, hee hee.

My Body has changed

I used to think I had a masculine figure growing up, sometimes I was glad, sometimes I wasn’t, the main thing was, I didn’t want to be skinny. When the big C came along my weight plummeted to 43kg or so, shocking. When I got on the mend, I appreciated my womanly figure more which is strange for someone who has 1 and a half boob and for the first time in history I’m at a healthy 60.

Marriage actually happened

Can you imagine, I wrote the husband in his notebook at 17 –

“…you have a good heart and someday you will meet a wonderful woman and you would make a wonderful husband lol, sometimes I say it is a pity we are mates”

Such dolts! We found each other again 10 years after leaving university and my stomach just buzzes thinking of what we share. Still, every day I wake up and cannot believe it is my reality, such an awesome out-of-nowhere thang.

Relationships evolve, without me.

I’m grateful for the many who have come alongside me over the years but it continues to be a sore point for me after learning about myself and much prayer. I think my main struggle is with my expectations and learning to let go of them. 10 years later I still don’t feel closer to most people, how the heck did I get married, I didn’t even date, haha, he is special indeed. I look forward to breakthroughs in the next ten.

I’m not rich but I’ve never been broke

Learning how to manage money living in London is no small feat. After the year of grace as a student I was left to fend for myself so it was about survival. I’m grateful that God provided for me whenever I needed it.  But I did some outrageous things in trying to save money like, taking a bus for an hour then walking 20mins from the station home to avoid tube fares and leaving a man behind so I could jump on the train home before peak time. ah.

Now I’m able to provide for others and if I wanted to stop work for 2 years, I can actually do it and to be honest, I deserve that break.

Got to travel the world

While I saved money, travel was my biggest pleasure. I took my passport and went through all the stress of applying for visas. The US even rejected me twice but here I am, got to visit 10+ states and visited 10+ countries. I do love travelling in the USA, Turkey was a surprise, Italy is a fave. Learned I’m no good at solo trips and had the blast of my life in a small town in Florida.

My belief and trust in God is true

When I got on the plane to the UK with that red suitcase, I was super glad I was heading to what I thought was a secular country, I was looking forward to not going to church. But God, in infinite humour, decided to make sure that the family that would pick me up from the airport would invite me to a bible study that I couldn’t say no to.

10 years later, I’ve been through the mill, God has been gracious and patient with me, breaking down the hardness of my heart, gifting me with a Spirit that counsels, comforts and reminds me of God’s great love. I’ve seen it and can testify, Jesus is Saviour and King indeed. There’s really nowhere else to go. If this God isn’t the truth, nothing else is.

G   R  A  T  E  F  U  L  !

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♥♥ Welcome! 2020 ♥♥

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How to become Responsible.

User Experience is about responsibility, I once wrote an article that UX is Responsible design.

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Here is one of my current favorite person’s take on responsibility. Jacques Ellul writes-

In a society such as ours, it is almost impossible for a person to be responsible. A simple example: a dam has been built somewhere, and it bursts. Who is responsible for that? Geologists worked out. They examined the terrain. Engineers drew up the construction plans. Workmen constructed it. And the politicians decided that the dam had to be in that spot. Who is responsible? No one. There is never anyone responsible. Anywhere. In the whole of our technological society the work is so fragmented and broken up into small pieces that no one is responsible. But no one is free either. Everyone has his own, specific task. And that’s all he has to do.

Just consider, for example, that atrocious excuse… It was one of the most horrible things I have ever heard. The director of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was asked at the Nuremburg trials, “But didn’t you find it horrible? All those corpses?” He replied, “What could I do? I couldn’t process all those corpses. The capacity of the ovens was too small. It caused me many problems. I had no time to think about these people. I was too busy with the technical problem of my ovens.” That is the classic example of an irresponsible person. He carries out his technical task and isn’t interested in anything else.

Become interested in people today.

Emotional Sensitivity is a business asset

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Every business wants to achieve flow. A state of high quality productivity that is effective and efficient. However, every business is made up of people, who get things done, this is where emotional sensitivity comes in. Continue reading

The Functional Development of an INFJ

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What or Who is INFJ?

According to Myers-Briggs, the INFJ has a high preference for introverted intuition (Ni), it is the preferred way they perceive information. The inner world of the INFJ is much richer than the outer to them. They trust their intuition. Insights are sought from being able to process and connect ideas, feelings, thoughts in their mind.

The INFJ has a preference for making decisions based on Extraverted Feeling (Fe), the ‘feel’ of the situation, a value system based on the people involved. High on empathy, there’s a need to connect and harmonize surroundings, it’s more ‘we are the world’ rather than ‘I am the world’.

Continue reading

How to increase empathy for users

In User Experience we are fond of talking about empathy, but what does it really mean?

“Empathy is an important aspect of user-centered design (UCD) as it allows people being seen and understood from where they stand, not as test subjects but as persons with feelings” 

Vanhuysse, S & Hall, L. (2004) 

No one asks you to have empathy for your son or lover, we seem to do it anyway. Empathy doesn’t just come out of no where, it is founded on love and requires action, here are some that may help you increase your empathy.

Participate in User research as a User

While I was in University I took part in User research as a user (still do). The most memorable one was a Diary Study for a Scottish University. I had to sign into my specially created online diary and log my sleep habits daily. This ran for a couple of weeks, the incentive was £50 and a copy of the research findings. After the initial week, I got weary and bored. There wasn’t any update from the researchers (until the end ) and I frequently felt neglected, but still got to complete it because I like to finish what someone asks me to do.

As I began to conduct the interviews, research and studies on the job this experience became very useful. Knowing how I felt when I was a user helped me take better care with the people I meet for research, making sure they are comfortable if running an interview or usability study. I have made mistakes, made someone cry once but hopefully never again.

“We must remember that people live beyond our research and approach them with that in mind” 

Antonia A.

With this experience you’d know what it’s like to be interviewed, recorded, prodded, you know where it hurts and where it makes you sing. This is standing in the user’s shoes.

Put up Personas on your wall

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I’ve seen a number of articles which question the need for personas. I have questioned it myself because no one seemed to really ever use it, except as a deliverable. But it struck me one day how necessary it was to have them, empathy. I’m writing this as a reminder to myself as well because I don’t do enough of it.

We invest time in our relationships, we do things daily that affirm to the people we love that we love them, why do we think it will be any different to the one’s we design for?. What if you never had a note, a picture, the reality, of the person you are starting a relationship with, what kind of relationship will that be?

Personas help us connect to those we are designing for. Personas tell us the user’s story and stories engender empathy. Personas should be present when we have our daily or weekly catch up project meetings because like we do in Nigerian weddings sometimes, if the persons getting married cannot be present, they will be there in picture and spirit because the party must go on.

“Absence blots people out. We really have no absent friends ” 

Ambrose Bierce

Some Useful Links on Personas

The Use of Comic Strips to Encourage Empathy in Design

Five approaches to creating lightweight personas

Persona Empathy Mapping

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I’m keen to know what actions you take to help increase and strengthen empathy.
Stay Bright.

8 Things to do after celebrating International Woman’s Day

I celebrate International Women’s Day, (official day was yesterday) When I think of the day, I think of my mum, motherhood, the uniqueness of being woman. Anyone can be a scientist, designer, football player, but that unique ability to be bearer of the world, life, should be most celebrated!

With that in mind, I’ll share some things that have made my celebration much more significant. Things I’ve learned from women who have inspired me like my mother. Things I share with friends, things that any woman should try to incorporate in her daily life, things that take you from merely existing to living a life that’s truly yours.

8 ways to spruce up your life!

Learn from smarter peopleGo after people who are in the place you want to get to, find a way, send them a mail, or read more about them. Find mentors who will not only guide you, but also sponsor you and blow your trumpet.

Practice kindness everyday – It’s a daily struggle, I get, but the more you do something the more it starts to become who you are. Practice kindness by forgiving yourself first for not being  the epitome of perfection. Look to others with eyes of grace, the more you do it, the better you become. I have failed so many times, but today and tomorrow hold opportunities to try again. Make a conscious effort, plan to be kind to everyone you meet.

“Funny thing about change, though. It works a lot better if it comes from a place of kindness than from judgement”

Read smart and Read wide – I just received 14 books at a go from a friend, it made me really happy because the books were some of what I wouldn’t have picked up myself. Try to go beyond what you’d pick up by default, there’s something to be learned in most things. Now if you aren’t connecting with a book, best to drop it and find something else, life is too short to stay reading a book without joy.

Cultivate strong friendships – Think of those you have around you, can you really call them friends? how do you affect their lives, how do they affect yours? make a decision to care a bit more, ask a bit more, share a bit more and grow this garden of love.

Stay curious and Take risks – Wonder, Wander, ask questions, talk to yourself, think by yourself, let your brain work, try to really see things and don’t loose the ability to get excited by life. That business you always wanted to run? That crowd you’ve always wanted to speak to, that job you want to leave? That house you want to build? That career? Do it.

Keep an Idea Bank – I have so many books because I have to grab the nearest thing to write down what I’m thinking but I do have some challenge with it as I described in wearable tech for introverted intuitives Having the bank shows me where my passions lie and also helps keep my brain fresh as I put down ideas, more come to the fore.

Share Your Knowledge – It’s never enough to just keep learning, you must process and give back, thats how any healthy ecosystem works. In teaching or sharing, you will gain even more, just imagine the cogs of your brain turning, care enough to share.

Write! – The reason I write is myriad but one thing it helps me do at the same time is think, organize my thoughts, share knowledge and teach myself. You can do it too.

Happy New Year: 7 Favorite Things in 2014

Another year past, despite the ups and down of the year, I’m really glad to have reached the end of it, thank you God!.

So much happened personally, and worldwide, it is certainly one of the most dramatic years ever. I quit my job midway through the year, read 55 books, down from 101 in 2013, travelled to 15+ cities, travelled long distances on very very short notices, went back to UK North, connected with long lost friends, saved friendships, close friends lost people dear to them, weddings of wonderful people I know and so on.

These are some things I’m grateful for.

Nieces

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I got two new nieces this year and one is my month mate, ooh hooo!! more beautiful girls in the house. I’m very happy about the safe deliveries especially because one was getting complicated. Now I’m the proud Aunty to 5 precious little girls, what a blessing 🙂

The Philosophers

I read a lot of philosophy in 2014 and Soren Kierkegaard is my man of the year, he stands out by miles and miles.  His mind was so clear, sharp and precise. I can’t get enough of his words. He is one of those I will surely love to have a conversation with in the next life. Notable mentions include Blaise Pascal, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

iMac 

Finally got myself an iMac, can’t imagine why I’d been putting it off for so long, and yup I used it to type this post. I’ve become more productive and it looks good in my room.

Hot Water Bottle

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When I first landed in the UK, 2009, a friend back then gave me a care package, a hot water bottle, chocolates etc. I never appreciated just how amazing the thing is, but this year it’s proven to have been one of the best things someone’s ever given me.

Wireless Headphones

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This is the most exciting piece of technology of 2014 for me, I’m so happy to have it. There was a guy at a restaurant who had to ask me where I got it. It makes me ecstatic, the freedom…being able to dance around my house without hindrance, everything should be wirefree!. It is easily my favorite purchase of the year.

UCD14 – UX Conference

“UCD2014 is a unique User-Centred Design conference in London. “It’s the Goldilocks of conferences; not too big, not too small” Jonty Sharples. UCD2014 explores how User Centred Design is applied in a variety of disciplines”

” It was my first time here and was really looking forward to this, aside the posh venue, I had spied some really interesting talks in the line up.

The Best things – The variety of speakers, it didn’t have your regular UX speakers who manage to be everywhere at the same time and the food by caterers to HRH, was yummy. The goodie bag also did not disappoint.

Big Themes and take away – it got me thinking again about Design Ethics, Closure experiences, accessibility and internal company collaboration.

Looking forward to 2015’s version.

New Job

I feel very lucky to be doing the things I love on a day to day basis and getting paid for it. It is hard work, especially having to work with people, but I’m very grateful for the opportunity.

I quit my job not knowing where I was going to end up, but it is exactly what I’ve been looking for in paid employment, and I couldn’t be happier, I look forward to doing more in the new year.

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With these few words of mine, I welcome you to 2015, may the year be filled with joy and laughter, and when the going is tough, remember you are surrounded by love, give it and it will come back to you.

Cheers X!!X!!

Connected Brains: The Internet of Thoughts

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Recap

After writing about wearable technology for introverted intuitives, a lot of interesting discussions came out of that, so in a way this is a part two of that post. The initial idea stems from the experiences and the challenges of the INFJ. This is what it feels like for INFJs I discussed with.

“It happens so many times having valuable insights in my thoughts, and as they usually appear in the middle of a daily task, I don’t always have the time or mood to take notes, and because of this, in the moment I finally write down on paper, those insights will not be the same anymore, it happens the same when verbally communicating those insights to other people”


“I have often thought there should be a device that can capture my thoughts in real time, so I don’t have to write down the jumble of thoughts that go around in my head. I often have creative ideas I would like to store, but when I try to write them down even a few minutes after I have thought them, I cannot seem to recreate the exact same thought. The ‘magic’ is gone”

So that’s what it is about, Braintext will capture thoughts in real time and send them to your designated device, converting it to readable modifiable text.


This is a good post to read when thinking of wearables

Wearable Technology Design Principles


Going further, the discussions morphed into actually connecting brains to each other, of course there is the danger of brain hacking but I’ll focus on the benefits of this.

Connect Our Brains, really?

When I told a friend about this (He is ISTJ) he said that the internet as we know it could be seen as an internet of thoughts, because it is the products of our brains and thoughts that are connected. Fair enough I thought, with a smile, if I didn’t know personality types I may have gone into an argument with him. It is a valid thought, however IOT is specific to situations where the thoughts are connected ‘raw’. Thoughts will connect with thoughts directly.

What I imagine is being able to limit your thought transmission to certain people i.e the device you have (Braintext 2.o) will have to pair with mine, like how Bluetooth technology works. Will it still be hackable? as with all technology there is that possibility, but the mind is more powerful than we give it credit for. I think this might enhance our natural ways of communicating.

Possible Applications: Ability Bridge and Empathy Transfer

This is one of the thoughts that came from the original idea.

“When I initially saw the two persons facing each other wearing the devices, I imagined that the device could be both emitter and receiver, it would be like mind reading, which could be so useful for example in a situation where a person is unable to talk, imagine the benefits for disabled people. Second idea is related with empathy and mirror neurons, imagine if your device could “capture” or “process” somehow the information from those neurons and transmit them to someone who lacks them, for example, autistics.”

The Future

I do think the brain is the final frontier, once we get to understand the workings of it, this world will be something else entirely. For now, as my friend said, “IOT is a nice slogan, I’m waiting for a product that deserves it” We will wait with hope.

Empathy Needs Stories

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“The shortest distance between two people is a story.”

 In April more than 200 girls were kidnapped from their school in the North East of Nigeria. When the media began to carry the news I knew something was wrong. They kept talking about the numbers and even though I am Nigerian, I could not relate. The reports were so sketchy I couldn’t believe this was actually happening. It bothered me for a while and suddenly I was able to put my thoughts together one Saturday in April. I sent messages to my friends one of who’s father grew up in Chibok and hails from Borno state. “Thinking about the kidnapped girls, the story feels unreal, there’s no human face, we don’t have pictures, names, of the girls, of parents, family”.  We then took to twitter and joined the #BringBackOurGirls campaign

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Psychologists Deborah Small and George Loewenstein have shown that our empathy wilts in the face of statistical reasoning. Their research suggests that people can empathize deeply with identified individuals, but wanes when confronted with statistics of mass suffering.

 “In one study, people were more likely to give to charity when told the personal story of a single hungry girl than when confronted with statistics of millions like her. The hungry girl’s story by itself even induced more generosity than when it was combined with those statistics.”

This is important in fields like User Experience, because what makes the difference is empathy. Stories are told using many forms; Personas, Comics, User Journeys, all these things engender empathy and must not be dismissed instead we should seek to do better with these tools. We need to relate with and remember the people whose stories we tell, they aren’t just mere users but actual living and breathing people.

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Related Paper

Sympathy and Callousness: The Impact of Deliberative Thought on Donations to Identifiable and Statistical Victims,” Deborah A. Small, George Loewenstein, Paul Slovic; Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, March 2007.

Current Favorite Things

You Should Know About Them

News Reporting the Way I like it >> Quartz 
This is Orgasmic for me >> Planes & Beaches
Person >> Pope John Paul II ((Birthday 18th May))
Person >> Don Colacho (Birthday 17th May)
Watch >> What The Internet is Doing to Our Brains!
Big Fan of Husband + Wife Run Design Entities >> Underconsideration
Do you love to read, love apps?, this is for you >> Dot Dot Dot
Doing some travelling soon, Check if you require a visa         >> Do I Need A Visa

The Photomaker – Paul Sika

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A lot of people take photographs, and now thanks to great camera specs on phones everyone seems to be a photographer with photos all over the place but I really have never seen any like this.  The photos give me such a delight and much more unexplainable. He studied engineering like I did, before falling in love with this.

Paul Sika is a not a photographer. This is what separates the art from utility. Look at the pictures for yourself.

Paul Sika

http://paulsika.com/

In 2009 he was awarded a Chinua Achebe Center Fellowship. I love that his subjects so far draw a lot from Africa and ‘African-ness’

He has been featured on CNN, the BBC and New York Times

Paul has a book out called ‘At The Heart of Me’ which I think you really should get.

Enjoy!

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Effective Workshop-ing

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How to run an effective workshop and stop people from cursing you out for holding them hostage

I’ve been privileged to attend, co-host and run UX workshops in the past couple of years, and I’ve noticed a number of interesting things. People have stuff to do, and time is a limited resource. The only people who like meetings are usually those who have no work to do any way. Sometimes they spend their whole day setting up and attending meetings to set up meetings. If you have to use someone’s time, don’t make a mockery of it. You can waste your time with no repercussion, but if you waste another’s they might never forgive you.

Most workshops are 1hr + and that is a lot of time. There are a few things you can do, watch out for, while trying to run a workshop.

Prepare Prepare Prepare – Seems like an obvious thing to do, but many have fallen foul of this and then they realize time goes by, fast. Let the space you are going to use be ready and set up one hour before the set time. If that isn’t possible, get ready anyway and get help if alone. You need to be calm, and exude some confidence in what you are going to do. Nobody wants to be at the mercy of a disorientated, bumbling person. At the very least, make the point of the workshop as clear as possible.

Let There Be Food – I assure you, they won’t get distracted. There’s a higher chance of distraction if they are sat attempting to listen to you and wondering about Tikka Masala or Goat Curry. Water, biscuits, try a variety of things, not everyone loves Jaffa cakes or Haribo. Let it convey an atmosphere of concern and care. People will respect you for haven thought of them and it’s more likely they listen to you. Don’t take so much food that it turns into a “Work-Chop!” Chop is a Nigerian-Pidgin word for eat.

Involve Involve Involve – No workshop should be run without including activities for your participants. They can’t spend a whole hour listening to you without  boredom setting in. I have realized that bored is a sign of  two things, 1. You need to sleep  2. You need to be actively Do-ing something. And except it is a sleep workshop, number 2, will be your best bet. Given this is a UX workshop, get people sketching, writing down ideas, sorting cards e.t.c. There should be no thought for a nap.

Finish Well – People usually spend a lot of time doing the above but they forget that the conclusion of the matter is also a big deal. After all, it is the last impression people will take with them as they leave your presence. You don’t want people sighing with relief. You want to leave them excited, upbeat about what comes next. Since we cannot please all the people all the time. Those who haven’t been impressed with the red velvet cupcakes or a bout of card sorting, could still take a golden nugget with them, if you can nail this last bit. Get people’s feedback as part of the workshop. Let them tell you want they have done, and how it makes sense to them, there and in their work/life. Much better when it’s a Value-Added Workshop – VAW

And you are done, now go on and be great.