Workshop Exercises: Frame, Ideate


Expand an idea with context to better understand, communicate, and agree on it

Illustration of Storyboarding
Run a Storyboarding play

Alternative plays: Journey Mapping, Service Blueprint, User Story Mapping

Follow-up plays: How Might We

Timing: Planning

Prep time
5 minutes

Run time
45-60 minutes

Group size

Why: Clarify complex concepts and promote a shared understanding on direction

When: Useful to communicate an idea, process, or user journey clearly and cohesively

This workshop exercise is part of the Workshop Patterns printed card deck.

A collection of workshop exercises that will help you ditch dull meetings and facilitate with confidence. It will help you master the design process and have more productive time with your team. The card deck will be ready for purchase in the end of 2023 and is now undergoing rigorous testing.

Reserve your deck!

Instructions for running this play

  1. Prepare a topic before the meeting around which participants will craft their “ideal” story.
  2. Break large groups into smaller groups of three to four people.
  3. Explain the purpose of the exercise: to tell the other participants a feel-good story. The topic is “The ideal future for [blank]” for a team, product, company, or whatever you decide before the meeting. Participants are to visually describe the topic and narrate it to the group.
  4. Give participants a Timebox of 20-25 minutes to:
    1. Agree on an ideal state
    2. Determine what steps they would take to get there
    3. Draw each step as a chronological sequence of large images or scenes mapping the main events.
  5. Give participants a two minute warning before the time ends to finish up.
  6. Let each group Playback their story
  7. Ask the full group what’s inspiring in what they heard. Summarize recurring themes and ask for observations, insights and Aha moments

Tips to perfect this play

Master and adapt the play to fit your context and needs.

Tip: One image per sheet

Draw one image per sheet of flip-chart paper, large sticky note, or painted frame on paper.

Tip: Numerous characters

Introduce different characters in the storyboard to explore diverse perspectives

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Ice Breakers

Relieve initial group awkwardness and establish a safe space

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