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CN05: Leading Innovation Workshops

Quick Facts

Time: Monday, 12 April 2010, 11:30 to 18:00
Units: 3
Organizers: Jim Nieters, Gesche Joost, Eric Bollman
Twitter: #LDIW


Having a great design idea does not mean it will be implemented. Our goal as researchers and designers is to envision and deliver products that delight users. This course gives you the tools and methods to identify great ideas and designs, and align multi-disciplinary teams around the best ideas. Attendees learn how to lead workshops that foster collaboration, trust, and free expression. These workshops enable intensive brainstorming and filtering, purposeful play, collaborative design, co-creation and participatory design, and rapid prototyping. More than this, when implemented strategically, innovation workshops increase the overall level and quality of design thinking across disciplines within organizations. Learn how innovative companies, such as Deutsche Telekom Laboratories and Yahoo Inc. identify, design, and bring great products to market.


This course enables designers, researchers, managers, product managers, engineers, students, and educators to solve business and design challenges, and rapidly gain alignment across organizations. It requires no prerequisite background. It is designed for anyone who wants to work collaboratively and creatively, for those who want to identify, design, and deliver ideas that change the way people interact in a domain.


This course was delivered at CHI2009 in Boston. It had more than 60 attendees, and a satisfaction score of 6.54 out of 7. It has also been delivered throughout Yahoo! and at Cisco Systems. Innovation workshops at Yahoo–titled Yahoo Design Labs–or YoDeLs–enable UX professionals to solve fundamental business challenges. Elements of this course have also been delivered as a keynote address at Human Factors in Telecom 2008. Such workshops are also regularly delivered at the Design Research Lab of Deutsche Telekom in Berlin, which is the Innovation Center for Deutsche Telekom AG (including T-Mobile).


Through engaging in an innovation workshop as part of this course, learn how to:

  • Brainstorm using creative ideation techniques
  • Effectively filter ideas after brainstorming
  • Collaboratively sketch and prototype in interdisciplinary teams
  • Validate your ideas and direction leveraging user insights during the workshop
  • Engage in participatory design, and move from co-creation and co-design
  • Lead an interdisciplinary team and generate alignment around big ideas
  • Promote team cohesion, fun, and trust
Plus, receive an “Innovation Principles” booklet, which highlights the instructor’s practices for stimulating innovation, including tools and methods for conducting innovation workshops.


  • Jim Nieters is Director of User Experience Design for online advertiser products at Yahoo! In this role, his goal is to make the user experience a strategic differentiator for the business. Jim conducts innovation workshops regularly at Yahoo and has taught the principles of this course in many companies. He has been a UX design practitioner for more than 15 years and a UX leader for nine of those years. He writes a regular column on User Experience management, and is invited regularly to speak at companies, universities, and conferences on innovation and leadership of UX. Jim enjoys being part of teams that think big and deliver innovations that change market dynamics.
  • Dr. Gesche Joost is the head of the Design Research Lab at Deutsche Telekom Laboratories in Berlin and professor at the Technical University of Berlin. As senior design researcher, she is in charge of all design-driven innovation R&D at Deutsche Telekom. Her current research topics are Interface and Interaction Design, Gender and Design, and design-driven innovation. She holds a PhD in Rhetoric and a Masters in Design. She has published books on the “Image-Language” of A/V media and “Design as Rhetoric.”
  • Eric Bollman is Director of User Experience within Yahoo!’s Advertiser Customer Experience organization. In this position he is responsible for driving user experience innovation and continuity across advertising platforms. Eric firmly believes that effective user experience design strategies can materially transform markets and industries. Eric specialties include product visioning, ideation techniques, interaction design, data visualization and visual design. Outside of design, Eric is a passionate avant-garde composer with compositions published internationally.