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UX Workshop: Virtual Facilitation Tips Needed

teresaman's profile thumbnail
I'd suggest Miro for virtual collaborative whiteboard! https://miro.com/
RachelD's profile thumbnail
I second Miro! I've been using it since 2016 since it was RealtimeBoard and I actually prefer it over Mural. I have a lot of techniques I've built into my workshops to keep people on track using it.
RachelD's profile thumbnail
Absolutely second the Miro comment. This is absolutely ideal for what you are mentioning. A couple of ti tips ahead of time for your audience:1. Send an email about what to expect for your workshop, including a brief intro to how to use Miro (here's a good one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sm6FwJZ9k5w)2. Include a "Practice board" that people can join to ply around and get to know Miro before your workshop. Make it fun just put a fun question on it and some instructions on how to use post its, text etc. I have a Hints and Tips board I use that's also in my actual workshop so they can see it the entire time. 3. Spend some time making your Miro boards ahead of time, learn how to attach an agenda to them that shows up on the sidebar for your participants. 4. Consider upgrading your Miro account so you can use the video, voting, and timer features.
amiharish's profile thumbnail
Thanks a ton @RachelD, this is super helpful. Definitely including your suggestion of a practice board to get people comfortable with the tool. I'm binging Miro's YT channel to familiarize myself with the features, but if you have any helpful articles/videos for great Miro tips then I'd love the suggestions.
RachelD's profile thumbnail
Sure! Check out Miro's Medium page, a lot of great tips there as well - https://medium.com/@RealtimeBoard (I know it says realtimeBoard, that's who they used to be until Miro bought them ;) - I've been using them since 2016!
amiharish's profile thumbnail
Really appreciate the recommendations!
laylalynn's profile thumbnail
My team and I have used Mural, but I think Miro or any other virtual whiteboard software will do. I've run about 8-10 UX workshops since the pandemic started, both within our product/design team as well as with other teams across the company, so I'll share a couple of learnings that helped the process run super smoothly while virtual:- Have a defined agenda that includes buffer time for reading/sharing answers, answering questions about how to use the virtual whiteboard, accounting for people not paying attention 100% of the time, and for providing examples of what kind of interaction you're looking for (otherwise it's super easy to get off-track when everyone's virtual)- Include all questions/interaction points + examples on your project whiteboard in addition to your actual asks during the workshop (ie both voice + written) so that participants always have a reference point for what they're doing (sometimes they get distracted or off-topic during brainstorms, so it's an easy way to keep them focused)- Have voting happen later on rather than in the workshop; you'll undoubtedly get people who won't stay through to the end, so I've found more success when voting takes place in a follow up email and using something like PollUnit to get people to participate in the voting process freely in their own time. They'll also have more time to think about their vote rather than being rushed, which I think they'll appreciate
amiharish's profile thumbnail
Thanks, this is great! In addition to the poll voting, are there other things you've included in follow-up that have helped progress the design finalization?
laylalynn's profile thumbnail
I'd say communication (and sometimes, even over-communication) is key for getting buy-in from all of the participants. I usually do a follow-up after the voting closes and share all of the results - even ones that didn't get any votes - so that all of the participants can see how the group prioritized. It helps them to realize that something they found super important may not be the most important thing to focus on for the group as a whole, and can help soothe ruffled feathers about why their proposed ideas weren't ultimately selected. When we're all virtual, it's easy for all of us to focus more on our immediate selves and ideas and less about the group since we're not seeing everyone every day -- sharing all of the results helps to bring back that realization of working collectively as a group to make a decision.Lastly, I mention next steps with the design, how it's going to be used, and for anyone with additional questions to reach out. It's a way to keep participants in the loop about how their vote is going to be used rather than a blackhole of mystery surrounding why they needed to participate in the first place :)Hope that helps! Good luck!
amiharish's profile thumbnail
Love the transparency approach, letting the "numbers do the talking" is a great way to stay focused and prevent someone from getting offended. Will def try to use this.
NinaLin's profile thumbnail
A lot of good advice in the thread already so I won’t repeat them! One thing to add is make sure to have frequent breaks and perhaps spread them out over several days (if possible). I have everyone turn their camera on in the beginning for the ice breaker but then I actually recommend the participants to turn off camera to help with Zoom fatigue.
amiharish's profile thumbnail
Thanks for the suggestion! Will def mark some activities as camera optional to mollify Zoom fatigue.