Design Jams are one-or-two-day design sessions, during which people team up to tackle engaging User Experience (UX) challenges.

Similar to developer ‘hackdays’ they aim to get designers together to learn and collaborate with each other while working on actual problems. The sessions champion open-source thinking & sharing and are non-profit, run by local volunteers.

On the web

Twitter: @designjams
Facebook: designjams
Email: hello@designjams.org

Photos tagged #designjam: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=designjam
Videos tagged #designjam are here on Youtube

History

Design Jam was founded in 2010 by Desigan Chinniah, Joe Lanman, Franco Papeschi and Johanna Kollmann. The first Design Jam took place on the 20th November 2010.

Originally we aimed to get more designers to come to hackdays by ‘warming them up’ with a design collaboration event. Soon, we realised that many people who are interested in UX lack the time and space to try out new workshop techniques, practice guerilla research, and learn from others in an environment that is not work. That’s why we focused Design Jam on learning and sharing.

Who should attend Design Jams?

Anyone really – Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) & Design Students, Interaction Designers, UX Researchers, Information Architects, UI Designers, Web Designers, Graphic Designers, Developers + more…

The day aims to improve collaboration skills and help attendees learn and practice various UX techniques including but not limited to research, brainstorming, sketching, wireframing and prototyping.

What happens at a Design Jam?

Design Jams usually last between one and three days. Attendees sign up in advance. Upon arrival, they assign themselves to teams based on the skills they could contribute and what they’d like to learn.

All teams works on the same design challenge that is announced at the event. Teams tackle the challenge by doing research, sketching, guerrilla testing and other UX techniques. Halfway-through, we pause to share the teams’ process and learnings so far, to get feedback from other teams and mentors.

Mentors are a key part of Design Jam. Depending on the challenge, there might be talks from mentors who are subject-matter experts to kick the event off. During the Jam, mentors visit each team, to help with techniques, concept, or presentation skills.

The day concludes with final presentations to the entire group. Outcomes could take the form of sketches, storyboards, a video or even a prototype – whatever communicates the idea best.

What happens to the ideas we come up with?

We aim to have at least one blog post summarising the event for each Design Jam that takes place here on our website.

To facilitate the free exchange of ideas, all outputs, visualizations and other contributions made during the day must be contributed under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. This basically means anyone can use ideas generated at the Design Jam, as long as they credit the original authors.

Questions?

If you have any questions about Design Jams, email us: hello@designjams.org