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FBTB 2020 becomes FBTB 2021

Ola Nilsson

It is a hard decision to make. But with the help from the FBTB community we have concluded that an online version of FBTB isn’t the best alternative under these extreme circumstances. Instead, we'll push the conference to May 7th, 2021. It'll be the same speakers, the same venue, the same tickets, just another date.

The facts are, as you know, that we can’t have a physical event on the 8th of May. The peak of the number of infected people is expected to be in the month of May in Sweden and in June for the US (where 9 of our speakers live). 

So, we sent out a survey to those with tickets, we listened to our partners, we listened to the authorities, we researched, we had long discussions. And, in conclusion the best alternative was to push the conference to 2021. Postpone to a later date when we will be able to all meet, and make something really good out of the lineup, the theme, and the expectations. 

A whopping 87 percent in our survey thought that moving the conference to a later date was the way to go.

"There are a lot of online seminars. FBTB is a unique possibility to meet.”

"The value is to meet other people, make contacts, and listen to inspiring talks that I can reflect upon with others."

"The magic that gives me energy and happiness at FBTB each year originate in the physical meet up with all participants."

Of course, we have been in close dialogue with our speakers. And they have been understanding and very helpful. Offered different kinds of solutions, inline, offline, travel banned, you name it. And they also support us in the decision to postpone the conference. They assure you that next spring, they will give you all they’ve got. 

We are now working on all the details: the speakers, the facilities, the staff, our selves... So that all of this will be ready for 2021 instead. We’ll keep you up to date every step of the way, just stay tuned.

We would also like to thank you for your patience and understanding. Your heartwarming support and feedback really mean the world to us. We will need it also for the work that lies ahead. So, thank you.

It’s possible to buy tickets to the conference 2021 – same lineup, same place, new date.  If you already bought a ticket: Sit back, relax and we'll see you in May 2021. :)

Do you have any questions? Please contact Project Manager Jane Murray!
 

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

What we’ve learned running a remote workshop

Maria Kougioumoutzi

Corona has suddenly forced us to do things differently. Some are positive, like spending more time with family. And some are less positive, like not seeing or hugging our colleagues. As a UX designer, you have to manage to facilitate efficient remote workshops. And you know what, remote work works!

Recently we held a physical one-day workshop for a client in our office in Stockholm. We managed to keep people engaged and in a good mood throughout the day. The feedback we got was that there was a nice flow. Templates for sketching concepts were highly appreciated along with arranging nice social opportunities.  

I believe that the setup and preparation was one of the reasons for people having a positive experience, but social interactions and sweet chemistry between the participants added a lot to that feeling.
  
So how do you create a successful remote workshop? 

Our colleague Sofia came up with the idea of testing both the setup and the experience of a digital workshop with Miro internally, before facilitating workshops with our clients. The theme for the workshop was “Best tips for working from home”.

Before 

We decided to have two moderators for a 1,5-hour workshop. Preparing a workshop, regardless if it´s digital or physical, requires some amount of preparation and we spent a few hours to prep the scenery.  

We created a board with the free version of Miro. Since it does not include the full functionality, we opted for Google Meets as our video channel along with Miro’s built-in text chat. 

After gathering some inspiration from other designers that had posted tips for working with Miro, we created the meeting agenda inside the board and divided the workshop into tasks. One of us moderators kept track of the timed sessions and the other one kept an eye on the Miro chat room.  

For each task, we created a separate frame to keep things organized, while each participant got a separate frame as a personal working area where they could work with the individual

During

Defining the workshop goals and setting clear workshop rules is important even in physical workshops. And it is a good idea to have that in writing available for everyone, including for people joining in late, with instructions on where to start. 

 

The moderators were always seeing both the participants on video and the board, while the participants mainly focused on the board but could always hear the voices of the video feed. Asking the participants to mute their microphones while doing tasks and using chat for questions was a good setup for us. 

We also used a “curtain” element, a rectangle that covered future exercises. It helped setting focus on the current task, and as we went along we just easily resized it to reveal the next one. 
 

 

The warm-up exercise – “draw what you would bring with you to a deserted island” – was useful for letting people explore the tools. If a brainstorming session is part of the workshop, it’s a good idea to choose a warm-up exercise that includes both brainstorming and clustering so people get used to it. Choose any theme, but a fun one boosts creativity and engagement. 

We wanted to try out brainstorm both in a group and individually, which meant first brainstorming together inside the same frame. For the next task, we generated ideas inside our frames first, and afterward moving them into our common frame. We recommend writing your sticky notes inside the individual frames and coming back to the common frame for clustering since all participants appreciated working separately. 
 
When it comes to clustering it is a good idea to set up some “Lorem ipsum” titles on the board. Participants can edit and move around when finding common themes. Also, unlock and adjust the size of the frame if needed depending on the amount and size of sticky notes or other elements.  

Time for silent voting! We used the free version of Miro, therefore the voting functionality was not available. But we just used dot voting the same way as in a physical workshop, allowing five dots for each participant.  

We realized that voting with dots took some time for people to copy and move dots around. We could have done that in advance in the individual workspaces to save time. But the main thing is that it did the trick of giving us a heatmap in the end. The integrated voting in the paid version is probably more optimal. 

Finally, we opened up for a discussion where all participants could reflect on their experience and whether the workshop had met their initial expectations. 

 

 

After 

The last task was asking the participants for their feedback, any time later during the day with a predefined column for the positive notes as well as the challenges we experienced. 

All in all, this was a fun experience and our participants felt energized and became inspired to continue learning about this tool.  

Of course, a remote workshop experience is different as everyone collaborating in one place. But when you need to get things done with a remote team, this is a great option! And as we try new things, we all learn and become better. The second time you run a digital workshop you will do it better than the first time!  

Tips to make your first remote workshop a success: 

  • Start the workshop with a short introduction to the tool, especially when participants are not designers and might not have used visual tools for drawing before. Show them around the collaboration board and teach them simple ways of working, like Ctrl+D or Alt+drag for duplicating elements.
     
  • Don’t forget to include breaks in your workshop agenda. Decide if participants are allowed to go get coffee or similar after finishing a task, or if everyone is to stay tuned all the time. 
     
  • Lock frames and information related to the tasks on the board to prevent participants from moving things around by mistake. 
     
  • Decide and communicate which channel is used for what so that you can all keep track. (And as a moderator, don’t forget to keep checking text chats during the session.) 
     
  • Save your workshop board as a template, with placeholders for agenda, rules, task frames, individual frames, etc. This way you get a flying start for your next workshop. 
     
  • Optional teambuilding tip: Ask people to personalize their boards with a pic of their favorite animal/food/movie etc. 

 

 

 

5 of the best FBTB moments

Ola Nilsson

There are a lot of great talks over the years at From Business to Buttons. To pick the 5 best is almost impossible. But we gave it a shot. Do you agree?

Jared Spool entered the stage running in 2018, and then he gave a wonderful talk – Beyond The UX Tipping Point.

Kim Goodwin in her talk from 2015 – It’s the journey, not the destination – was really something. 

In 2016, Patricia Moore gave – From day one to none: The Lifespan Design Challenge. Have a look!

And of course, the talk that made us cry. Real feelings, real tears, really important design issues. Eric A. Meyer in his 
Engaging with Compassion.

Last year he held a great talk. But it was more than just a talk, it was a performance. His back this year, but start with a peak at last year´s show, Jake Knapp. The Design Sprint: One Small Change to Create a Culture of Innovation.

 

Not rocket science to have 50 percent women

Ola Nilsson

This Sunday it's March 8th and time for the international women's day. We had a talk about gender equality with the Project Manager for From Business to Buttons, Jane Murray.

It's been a while since the Metoo movement took place – Harvey Weinstein was just now found guilty – is everything equal now, especially within the design and business area?

– Haha! No, everything is not equal, says Jane Murray, Project Manager at FBTB.

– One of the biggest challenges still, is that women who step forward and point out sexism are often not believed. As a woman, you still have more to lose when you share experiences of sexism. It is about more than handling the abuser, it is about deep structures that rather have you being wrong than right. 

– What if companies and leaders' first reaction would be of gratitude that someone has the courage to let you know you have an abusive person or structure in your company? Metoo and Weinstein are only the tips of the iceberg – women still need "safe spaces" to be able to talk about their experiences freely.

What are the most important things to work with equality within our field today?

– To identify and see structures and patterns and to act on them. We all have to react and pitch in if we want to change the future. Also, if you're a manager, always give female applicants €100 more in salary than you were thinking from the start. That's how you break outdated patterns.

How is FBTB working with equality?

– Well, it's not exactly rocket science. We decided that we want to have half of the speakers female and half the speakers male. And that's that. 

How is FBTB doing, what could be even better?

– We are still working daily with diversity. And we also want to think globally and try to find speakers in other parts of the world outside Europe and the US.

Get your tickets for FBTB 2020 here!

We proudly present... the FBTB 2020 hosts

Ola Nilsson

They were a success last year so they'll get renewed confidence – Nathalie Tindsjö and Torin Williams! We had a chat with them!

What is the best thing about being hosts at FBTB?
– Everything from the preparations – starting with a blank sheet of paper, coming up with ideas and building the total experience for the conference day – to actually being there on the stage and to give it all, says Nathalie Tindsjö, Deputy Regional Director, User Experience Designer & Service Designer at inUse.

What is the worst thing about being hosts at FBTB?
– To not be able to sit down in the audience with all other designers taking part in the inspiring speakers’ presentations. On the other hand, being on stage weighs up, says Torin Williams, User Experience Designer at inUse.

You managed well last year – what do you hope to achieve this year?
– I will contribute with tons of joy and energy. Since I’m a designer myself, I will use my experience to get the most out of the talks and to involve the audience, says Nathalie.

– I think the goal for me is always seeing how much more engagement and excitement you can build up in the audience. Giving them that red thread that hopefully ties the day together, says Torin.

Lots of people have already bought tickets. Why do people want to come to FBTB 2020?

There are so much heart and knowledge that goes into the conference. For any designer that wants to broaden their perspective, find inspiration, or just get filled up with hands-on tools that they take back to work – it is the place to be, says Torin.

– To listen to the best lineup of speakers ever! But also to meet 1000 designers, all working with similar challenges and goals. This year’s theme about how we as designers need to grow, both professionally, and as human beings is also a topic that attracts, says Nathalie.

Get tickets for FBTB 2020!


Get you tickets before April 3rd and save €100. There are also group discounts (5 or more), and partnership programs (15 or more), so you can go bring the whole team. If you have any questions about the discount or partnership program, send an e-mail to Jane Murray. Or you could just send your boss to frombusinesstobuttons.com and tell her or him to buy your ticket now!

See you at Cirkus in May!