Adam PolanskyPrincipal Experience Architect at Bottle Rocket Studios
Adam Polansky works in Dallas, Texas at Bottle Rocket Studios. The office walls are 80% whiteboard and on those walls the concepts for major hotel chains, international airlines, fast-food giants and large healthcare providers were born. As a Lead Experience Design Strategist, Adam connects business objectives with the things real humans want and need to do and defining great outcomes to satisfy both.
Adam is a long-time member of the worldwide UX community, and his background in design and business for both internal and public facing efforts gives him a broad perspective when it comes to solving problems and creating understanding. He is often interviewed and quoted in books as well as being a contributing author to Usability Success Stories: How Organizations Improve by Making Easier-to-Use Software and Websites, 2006.
For more info, you can follow Adam on on Twitter @adamtheia
Photo by Jennifer Huang
The Hardest Part is Standing-UpWhiteboards, Working Publicly, and Facilitation
Whiteboards are everywhere! But do people really know how to take advantage of them? Everyone has used a whiteboard to gesture their way through an idea or take a quick note. But is that really the extent of their use? Whiteboards are a medium like paper or canvas with their own unique properties. You can conceptualize, organize, facilitate, verify and so much more. The fact that they’re usually in a public place opens up a whole world of collaboration. It requires technique and practice just like any tool but those skills are within easy reach. In this workshop Adam Polansky will show you how to develop a set of basic skills unique to whiteboards that you can use all across a project to communicate clearly, quickly, and successfully. You don’t need to know how to draw to get the most out of this workshop. Just bring yourself and a willingness to try. What we’ll cover:
- A set of guidelines to characterize the uniqueness of whiteboards
- A technique toolbox that everyone can use
- The importance and benefits of working publicly
- Changing the way you facilitate meetings
You won’t just be watching either. This is an active workshop. Since we’ll be remote, everyone will need at least some paper and a black marker, medium point is best. That way you can draw along with the examples and join-in the fun.
Remote DiscoveryCreating Understanding Together Separately
Discovery is one of the most critical points at the beginning of any project especially when the stakeholders and the project team don’t know each other. Discovery not only yields the information that will inform the rest of a project, it’s a time to start building relationships and trust among team members. We relied on exercises that invited collaboration using low-tech, face to face methods. Discovery could include meals or drinks together later. The success of discovery was due in-part to the human interactions that take place in person.
For me, everything changed in a day. On the first day my company made the decision to have everyone work from home, I was told that we had a new client; a big one. I was also told we would have to run a discovery session within days and it would be entirely remote. I was panicked. My experience relied on proximity! It relied on the intangibles of reading people and being able to pivot if an unforeseen dynamic presented itself. How the hell do you do discovery remotely?! That was only the first question.
- How do you translate the physical exercises to digital? Do you?
- What software do you use?
- How do you mirror the effects of working together in the same room? Do you?
- Can you retain anything that still feels “hand-made”? Should you?
- Who can I reach-out to for help in planning and preparing?