Let’s take a little trip back to 2016, during Blend Web Mix conference in Lyon, France: I am on stage to give the talk I had pitched to the conference’s editorial team: “Design of the self: define who you are and embrace evolution”.
At this point, I had been helping people and organisations to define who they are and how they speak it out to the world for more than 15 years, mainly through graphic and digital design.
The starting point is always more or less the same: it can take the shape of a need to rework the design of a communications tool, or there might be a big organisational change, like someone leaving or joining the team. The usual process asks for putting a quick brief together, describing what the problem is and what is needed. A designer, be it graphic or UX, will then take it from there.
As the saying goes, the journey is as important as the goal, if not even more important. These questions (who are we? what do we have to offer? why do we do what we do? what makes us different from the competition?) must not be ignored. They always sprout at the right time.
Through my time as a graphic designer, then a UX designer and strategist, I managed to sum this process up into my own modest recipe. The Fundamental Workshop aims at guiding the call for introspection and will turn into concrete words and tools what had so far remained implied and in the realm of intuition. It will offer strong strategic foundations to any future initiative.
How does it work?
This workshop can happen anytime, at any stage of the life of a team, organisation or process.
Based on the principles of design thinking (divergence, convergence), the method relies on semi-directive discussion. I will naturally guide you through interrogations and put words on what had remained vague or unsaid until now.
I will capture significative details, events, verbatims and such to build a comprehensive picture of your organisation today.
The data captured will allow me to converge towards the written expression of a set of values, a purpose, and objectives aiming at resolving said purpose. Naturally, a tone of voice will emerge too.
The first step will require us to be together in a (virtual or physical) room. Through the detailed history of individuals and the organisation itself, we will unwind significative and critical moments which all testify of the organisation’s values and purpose.
Then follows a second step where we will work together back and forth: I will formalise my insights and hypothesis and submit them to you, following the Fundamental Framework.
Finally, we will pick an artifact to test the framework together: it could take the shape of writing a manifesto or redesigning the homepage of your current website.
The workshop will be complete when you and your team will feel satisfied and comfortable with the way your values, purpose, objectives and tone of voice are expressed.
The framework that I developed over the years is the main asset that will be delivered to you. It will serve as a reference in the near future, as well as on a longer term when you will plan a readjustment of your purpose. Some people even had it printed out and displayed in their office space!
The other deliverables will be decided together, according to your most pressing needs.
Notes & credits
My dear friend and fellow designer Marie Guillaumet has coined the term “design of the self” and started a useful conversation in 2015 about how, as individuals, everything we do online as web professionals shapes us.