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Episode 034

November 13, 2019

034 – All you need to know about Billboard Design Thinking – with Sean McGuire

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    On this episode, I speak with Sean McGuire, UX Architect with Microsoft in Vienna and co-inventor of the Billboard Design Thinking Method. Sean has started his career as a musician and board game designer and still uses the mindset and creativity he has developed back then. 

    Whether you are already a practitioner of Billboard Design Thinking or you have never heard of that method before, you will not miss out of new insights and food for thought on how to prepare your workshops for success. Sean shares with us the key stages in the preparation process and why he never asks participants to prepare anything upfront.  

    Don’t miss the part when Sean explains why and how he prototypes workshops before delivering them and why he tests new designs with a group of colleagues who don’t like Design Thinking!   

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    Feeling inspired by the conversation in this episode? We can have our own – take a seat at my virtual table as part of a Mastermind Group.

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    Questions and Answers

    2:39 How did you get from music to UX? What’s your story?

    4:16 A board game is about winning, what is the equivalent of “winning” in a workshop?

    5:07 What makes a game exciting?

    6:49 At what point do you define the boundaries of what belongs in the workshop and what doesn’t?

    8:19 How do you invite participants to prepare for emotionally difficult workshops? 

    9:52 How do you assure that everyone is aligned on the workshop’s purpose and goal beforehand?

    11:00 Is this predictability the benefit of the Design Thinking method or where would you see the advantage of Design Thinking?

    11:54 How do you know that the information is “correct” and how would “incorrect information” look like? 

    13:05 How much information do you need upfront to design the poster?

    15:39 Can you explain what the Billboard Design Thinking method is in a nutshell?

    18:12 To what extent does the poster restrict the group’s creativity?

    20:06 Do you design each poster from scratch?

    21:11 What makes the difference in preparing the workshop?

    22:44 What’s your favourite way to stimulate creativity and ideas?

    28:24 How much do you need to know about the group of participants?

    30:58 What would be your advice on how to select workshop participants?

    34:38 What are the key stages to prepare a successful workshop?

    36:30 What’s different in starting a workshop depending on whether the group are strangers or a team?

    38:27 Do I understand correctly that you start your workshops with individual thinking time?

    40:24 How do you get the first person to open up?

    44:13 How do you debrief on this intro round?

    45:51 What makes a workshop fail?

    48:26 How do you manage expectations to avoid such misalignment?

    54:22 How do you help people to be heard?

    55:41 Is there anything else you would like to share with the audience?

    56:41 What would be your advice for a facilitator to find their own Design Thinking style?

    59:56 If someone in the audience fell asleep after minute one, what shall they take away from our conversation?


    Connect to Sean

    on LinkedIn