During COVID, Useagility created new blueprints for entirely digital UX services, remote workshops, and work techniques. Here's a bit of what we've learned.
Kyle B. Dennis
Kyle is an experience designer who specializes in UX Research and strategy. Primarily using mixed-method, qualitative research and alignment techniques, Kyle builds strong project foundations for business-led IT improvement projects that include foundational project planning documents and mobile-first, early-stage concepts or prototypes.
Posts by Kyle
Remote Work: What to Stop, Start, and Continue
Saving big design reveals for working sessions
Provide content in advance so attendees can have time to absorb it and think through feedback rather than asking them to react in the moment. When the group gets together, hit the ground running.
Worrying about minor disruptions
Once in a while, a cat will walk across a keyboard, a dog will bark, or a child will overshare before an attendee can mute. We’ve all seen it happen, and it’s okay. Just smile and move on.
Check your connection
Don’t be caught with a weak signal while facilitating a 20-person working session. Ensure that you have enough bandwidth and router points for all the devices running on your network (especially if you have other internet-hogs in your home). Also, test your sound (microphone and speakers). You don’t want your brilliant insight to get missed because no one could hear it.
Listen for cues
We rely on our eyes for feedback. If working session attendees are unwilling to share a video stream of their face or are limited by network strength we have to rely on audio cues to work together. There may be some ‘No, you go ahead’ back and forth before a session finds the right pace of conversation.
Remote sessions do not move at the same pace as in-person working sessions. Allow enough time in your agenda to complete the work on the agenda and then some, especially as you account for new conversation patterns.
Practice new technology
Working remotely often means new technologies for teams and participating clients. Share any tools you will be using in advance with a few tips and tricks, including encouraging participants to log in and test the tool in advance so you don’t have to delay the start of the conversation while someone gets set up. When the session starts, use the new tool for an icebreaker question to get everyone contributing before the working session really begins.
At the beginning of the remote session review overall project goals and working session goals to make sure everyone is grounded in why they’re there and what you’re trying to accomplish.
At the end of any working session, establish next steps, responsibilities and timelines. Send them out in written form, then set reminders to follow up.
What other tips and tricks do you use to maintain and facilitate meaningful remote conversations?