Based on a post by Al Abut on zapier.com, link here.
Goals for a design studio:
- Create divergent ideas and convergent decisions–ie idea generation vs synthesis.
- Balance individual contributions with group insights
- Quickly express visual ideas in a loose conversational manner
- Be multi-threaded–best to work on several idea simultaneously
- Be easily archived–paper rather than whiteboards
- Make it fun!
Aim for three rounds of activity. Each round should be 10 minutes long, with 5 minutes of sketching and 5 minutes of discussion.
Round 1: every person sketches silently by themselves to get out their initial ideas. Try a six-up–divide paper into 6 equal spaces and ask people to fill the spaces with totally different concepts, not variations on a single concept. The focus of this round is divergence: to come up with as many different approaches as possible. Teams quickly discuss ideas in very general terms.
Round 2: Everyone sketches for 5 minutes again, but now they are required to steal at least one idea from the other team members. This approach is convergence: start picking and evolving the best ideas. Then 5 minutes discussion–and keep the team advised as to time left throughout the discussion.
Round 3: Now the team sketches a single set of interfaces as a group, talking their way to consensus.
Now all teams present briefly to each other. This is a fast effective way to forge through a ton of information and reach a broad consensus on next moves.