The Communication Studio

Design Workshop

The Workshop is a targeted event designed to identify how you use the site (in this example, an intranet): your goals, your audience, and your “points of pain”. 

A manageable Audience, with several people representing each target constituent group.

Stakeholders represent “Constituents”.  A constituent is any screen-side user of the site, whether public visitor, employee or management.

Stakeholders may also be “Publishers”   A publisher is anyone who is responsible for content or services delivered through the site. 

Agile creativity


A manageable Audience, with several people representing each target constituent group. Some groups may be represented “by proxy” (i.e. Marketing personnel might speak for the external an Employee Constituent group).

Duration: The Event lasts no more than 3 hours

Event Team identifies constituents and corporate stakeholders (and their likely roles).  We must “fill in the blanks” for each target group event beforehand.

Event Leadership


Host introduces the event, provides context, outlines ground rules, keeps the process on schedule, summarizes and closes the event.


Provocateur leads individual exercises, asks the questions, challenges assumptions, keeps the information flowing.


Translator captures & organizes information points, manages the presentation materials, paraphrases participant feedback, acts as advocate and champion for the participant view.

Event Agenda

(15 min) Set agenda and lay groundwork

(15 min) Describe size & scale of intranet site.  Focus on Modem Media’s findings re user personas and employee agendas.

(90-120 min) Capture information from every stakeholder in order to populate the Content Inventory.

(If there’s time) Capture unexpected new ideas (If we run over schedule, this session can be dropped)

(10 min) How to make it all work

(10 min) Summary and assessment

The Event


Time: 20 minutes

Purpose: Lay the Groundwork


Why we’re here

Roles & Rules

Event staff and their Responsibilities


What we want to accomplish at this workshop, What we cover, How much time on each session


Participants:  Name, title, organizational division, intranet area (publish / use), likely constituents, high-level concerns

The Big View

Time: 15 minutes

Purpose: Overview & Context


Describe size & scale of the target site.  Focus on our findings re user personas and employee agendas.  The PowerPoint presentation.


Lay the groundwork and context for rest of the presentation.

Site Stats

How many sections, covering what areas

User research

s.a. Personas, Card Sort, Homepage designs

Segue to Feedback

Introduce the next section

Stakeholder Engagement

Time: 90 -120 minutes (4-5 minutes per attendee)


Capture information to populate the Content Inventory.


“Interview” each of the participants regarding the service areas they are involved in (both as Publishers and Constituent Reps).


Name, title, organizational division, area of responsibility (publish / use), likely constituents, high-level concerns


Have the Content Inventory filled in by end of meeting.

As a Service provider

Understand the “service side” perspective. Identify:

Service Area

 What do we offer?

Service Role

What is the Service publisher looking top accomplish?

Criteria for Success



What’s Good, What’s Bad, What’s Missing

As a Constituent

Understand the “user side” perspective. Identify:

Service Area

What do we want?

User Agenda

What does the Employee user want to accomplish when they come to this service area?

Criteria for Success



What’s Good, What’s Bad, What’s Missing

First Impressions


Capture the “priority” information


The example pages are made up of “post-it” panels are mounted on a presentation board. The participants can comment upon, rearrange, redefine and edit the design elements.


Identify the information that should be “front and center” on the homepage of each area.



Throw the Workshop open to ideas from Stakeholders and participants.


Expect the unexpected.  Wild & wooly. “No Rules.”


Capture spontaneous feedback.

The Value Proposition

Time: 10 minutes

Purpose: Make the sales pitch

Make the value proposition

What’s in it for me?

Bring Stakeholders on board

Establish a personal stake

Stakeholder commitment

Get Stakeholders to invest resources in managing their service area: Budget, resources


Provide Stakeholders with appropriate support:
  • Site Design
  • Implementation
  • Ongoing maintenance


Time: 10 minutes

Purpose: Wrap-up


Review the saved sheets, reorganize info  (if appropriate).  Restate the major themes.  Get participant confirmation.


Did we accomplish our agenda aims?

Thank you


View the case study in my portfolio: Kyocera-Mita