Workshops • The Whitespace Design Process

Phase 1 – Workshops

In larger projects where the target picture is unclear or the design is critical enough that it needs to be clearly defined before the main project begins, workshops (during or after Sprint 0) can be useful.

Examples of projects where workshops are useful:

  • Communication-heavy projects where the design is part of the message. These are usually information websites with great visibility, where the contents need to be presented according to their brand. For example, the main websites for Vänsterpartiet and organisations like Svenska Journalistförbundet.
  • Projects where there are multiple parties on the client side (committees) that need to express their opinion.
  • Projects where the client can't express or explain their goals in well defined terms. Usually these are clients who are technical novices that don't well enough understand what goes into making a digital product. For these clients we need to coax this information out of them through workshop exercises.

Examples

The choice of workshops to hold should always be based on what the actual needs are. Below are some examples of workshops we have held previously; customize or create new ones based on these to fit your project.

1. Content mapping

The purpose of this workshop is to merge the needs of the client with the needs of their users. To look at and analyze data of what their most useful content is and with that create a basic sitemap. This sitemap is then used to define the page types and components that we will later wireframe and design.

Case story: Vänsterpartiet

You can see the results of the workshop here

When designing vansterpartiet.se we held an internal workshop to analyze and process what types of content would be necessary for their new website. The end goal was to figure out what page types and components we would need to design and later develop.

To begin, we looked at the data we had at hand through Google Analytics; what did people visit the most, what did they search for, where did they enter the website and where did they come from. Combining that with information from the client about what content they considered most important, we were able to define the most important entry points, such as "Jonas Sjöstedt", specific political issues and marketing campaigns. Grouping and rearranging those entry points, we ended up with a basic sitemap or sorts.

From this sitemap we could quite easily define a few different page types, such as info page, landing page and so on. We were also able to define what components these pages would consist of and the worked as the base for our later wireframes and mockups.

Case story: Svenska Journalistförbundet (SJF)

With Svenska Journalistförbundet (SJF) we held a similar workshop but together with the client. Working with a committee, a very large amount of old content and little to no analytics data we had little to go on. But together with the client we were able to rank their content needs, further group them by subject and eventually we ended up with the basis for our sitemap.

2. User needs

  • Define target audiences
  • “Se, känna, göra”

3. Client needs

  • “Effektmål och mätpunkter”