Workshop On A Card

Alastair Somerville
4 min readMay 18, 2021
9 images of cards from cover to inside

I am offering 5 new skills workshops using a new hybrid “Workshop On A Card” format.

Each workshop has the same structure:

  • A greetings card with some new ideas and space for notes
  • A 20–30 minute podcast with more detail on those ideas
  • A 60 minute Zoom encounter to explore ideas and actions together

These workshops are designed to cover a few topics that have come up in my UX and Accessibility work over the last few years and to talk about ideas and skills that are relevant to people wanting to create more human-centered products and services.

Emotional Design

emotional design card — from affirm, associate to accommodate

Emotions are too often treated as if they were an error state in both User Experience and Service Design. However, they are an essential part of human sensemaking. Human-centered design that is founded on emotions is not humane.

How we design with emotions is something I find interesting. This workshop uses some work in healthcare to talk about respecting emotions and aligning information and service provision with them.


Wayfinding card: from alignment, boundaries, centered to direction

I do a lot of map-making and wayfinding work for museums and public spaces. How humans think about journeys and how they act during those journeys is hugely important. The ideas behind Wayfinding are important both in physical and digital places. How people plan, move and get lost needs understanding so as to provide the optimal information before and during their journey.

This workhop uses a simple ABCD form to talk about some new ideas from neuroscience and cognitive accessibility.

How people make maps is fundamental to more than journeys: it also helps frame how we learn.

Network Thinking

Network thinking card: from Alignment, loose/diverse, stories/summaries to dense/divergent

How humans take vast amounts of sensory information in and transform it into new ideas and actions matters. New research, by people like Lisa Barrett Feldman, shows how the brain’s use of differing forms of networks compress and abstract information. Aligning our processes with our brains seems a more human-centered approach.

Network Thinking is a model for building learning and project processes that depend upon diversity, storytelling and divergence. It is a response to the normalising bias of Design Thinking which prioritises the needs of a small group.

Network Thinking is used as the framework for all the workshops

Back of all the cards is the workshop instructions using Network Thinking model

Good Dissent

Dissent card both good and bad ideas

Good Dissent comes out of a series of 2020 workshops on developing tools to enable positive change in organisations. Rather than thinking of personal resilience as skill to survive institutional failings, the use of communal dissent to find small ways of creating ripples of both connection and change amongst people.

Using ideas from Charlan Nemeth and others, this workshop looks at positive dissent thru speaking up but also reflects on bad dissent and recognising how dissent and change are stopped by people with power and privilege.

Active Listening

Active Listening card from Hold a place, pause to Check your self

The final workshop is on Active Listening and some ways of creating better opportunities to listen.

This workshop comes out of both usability research work in accessibility and information architecture of conversation workshops. The three part process is a based on elements of Non Violent Communication, structured enquiry and Jungian counselling theories but it is about taking simple actions and recognising your power to listen.

Want to attend?

I have not set dates for these workshops yet but assume they will be in June and July over a 2 week period.

They will be run for UK and European audiences at this time: this is more to do with the reliability of the global postal delivery system than anything else.

Zoom encounters are 9am (London) have proven popular before now with 8pm (London) as an alternative.

The planned cost is £30 per workshop (including card, podcast and Zoom encounter) but with discounts for early booking, group bookings and for attendance of all 5 workshops that drop price to £25.

If you are interested then email me and I will add you to my mailing list.

Originally published at on May 18, 2021.



Alastair Somerville

Sensory Design Consultant, usability researcher and workshop facilitator. Twitter @acuity_design & @visceralUX