Notes from UXLX Gamestorming workshop taught by Dave Gray
Gamestorming is about keeping energy levels up during meetings to get great results. Can be used with teams, clients, users (participatory design), and more. See related book and iPhone app.
The workshop was a mix of theory and interactive examples that taught us several Gamestorming methods in a hands-on way.
Icebreaker: introducing ourselves by making our “trading cards”
Improv: Get into partners. Partner 1 describes her dream house. As she describes each detail, Partner 2 says “yes but…” to everything Partner 1 said. After 5 minutes, Partner 2 now has to say “yes and…” to everything Partner 1 says.
Notice the difference? Need to help people get to the “yes and…” and listen before judging. You dont need to necessarily agree. You just need to understand where the other person is coming from
Elements of gamestorming:
- Sparks: exciting things that get people going. Ex: asking "what is a project that you’re really excited about right now?“ can ignite the initial energy of the team
- Boards: the space. Can think of the room as a game board, where people are pieces in the game. 90% of things you can do to make a meeting better is stuff you can do before (prep right materials, right room). You’re setting the space and stage in which things happen
- Pieces: The things that are moved around (ex: post its) These help people focus on the important things because they no longer have to hold everything in their head. Consider: chess masters can play chess without a board because they can hold everything in their head, but most people can’t. So provide the board and the pieces!
- Time: Think about what is going on. People will get involved but unless you can keep things moving you might not get everything out that you want
- Choices: Decisions need to be made, so you need to facilitate decision making
- Chance: Creating serendipity and random chance can help people to get to know each other (ex: trading card game, world cafe game)
- Making: creating, sketching, drawing, ideas
Everyone can draw!
People are more engaged and have better ideas when they’re drawing themselves.
Can educate people how to draw using the "visual alphabet” - 12 simple symbols that you can use to draw anything. It’s not about teaching people to draw. It’s about giving them permission to draw!
Empathy Map Exercise
More techniques to try:
You can learn more about Gamestorming on the Gamestorming website.