Interaction Design Studio

Half Day Workshop, presented by Shane Morris.

Half your skills as an interaction designer come from books, the other half from practice. In established design disciplines, the ‘studio’ is where designers hone their skills, rationale and intuition. Most people working in Interaction Design haven’t had the benefit of being able to explore design outside of ‘real’ work projects. Hence this mini ”Interaction Design Studio”.

Interaction Design Studio provides a dynamic, fun and most importantly safe environment for practicing user interface designers, interaction designers and information architects to explore and build their design intuition, hone their ability to generate design solutions and critique and defend their own work, and the work of others - away from the demands of clients, colleagues and production deadlines.

There are no formal lectures, no formal content - just the chance to develop new and existing skills through fun, fast-paced design exercises, active dialogue and the sharing of ideas in a safe environment. This is the place where experienced designers can take risks and make mistakes all in the name of building their skills, knowing that no project deadlines will be harmed in the creation of their designs.

Workshop outline

  • Design Studio - How It Works
  • Warm-up
  • Main Exercise - The Brief
  • Activity One - Free Brainstorm
  • Activity Two - Activity Scenarios
  • Getting your first solution, and getting over it
  • Blank Page Syndrome
  • Activity Three - Cull and Refine
  • Branching Out and Narrowing Down
  • Evaluating Design Options
  • Individual work and team work
  • Activity Four - Critique
  • Criticism - Your New Best Friend
  • Critique Culture
  • Activity Five - Communicate
  • Getting your Message Across
  • Wrap Up

Learning objectives

This course is based on the premise that you can only learn so much from books - the rest is learnt by practice.

Through practical exercises and critical discussion, participants will:

  • build their intuitive knowledge of good and bad design,
  • explore interaction design skills away from the glare of clients, colleagues and looming deadlines,
  • gain confidence in their abilities to solve tough design problems within tight timeframes, and
  • learn to critique and defend their own design work and to discriminate between design options.


Interaction Design Studio is all about active learning. There are no didactic lectures. Skills are fostered through fun, fast paced design exercises, constant dialogue and the sharing of ideas. Small group and class discussion follow, with individuals being required to defend their work and to face analysis from their fellow participants.

The facilitator takes an active role in leading group and class discussions and will encourage participants to share and defend their ideas by setting up and ensuring a safe environment for the exploration of new ideas, active dialogue and critical thinking.


This course is for experienced interaction designers, user interface designers and information architects. Beginners may find it difficult to be productive and gain the most benefit from this course, given the fast pace and lack of formal materials.

Shane Morris

Shane Morris

As a User Experience Evangelist at Microsoft, Shane Morris inspires, trains and collaborates with organisations to create great experiences for their products and services.

Shane has worked as a user experience designer since 1991 and is a recognised leader in the field. He has taught user-centred design techniques around the world and regularly presents and blogs on user experience, interaction design, usability, and of course what Microsoft is up to in user experience. He works with both creative and technical professionals – helping them collaborate to create services that empower, inspire and reward.

Shane’s passion is transforming the complex and constrained into the simple and powerful. Not just because it’s a valuable endeavour that empowers individuals, but because it’s hard - and therefore immensely rewarding.

Program Schedule is online

The program schedule is now online. Don’t worry, we have a couple suprises planned to de-stress the packed schedule.

Student rates!

We’re offering special rates for full time students, for the conference and for the workshops.


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