Improvise to Empathise

Doors: 6pm | Workshop start: 6.30pm | Duration: 2.5h

The ability to empathise is one of the most powerful tools in a designer’s toolkit. At its most basic level, empathy is the ability to recognise emotions and thought processes that are being experienced by another person. It’s important for designers because it allows you to genuinely understand the motivations, needs, wants and desires of your target audiences. This in turn will help you to build effective strategies and ultimately design better products.

Where does improvisation come in? Improvisation helps you to listen to others more, to hear what’s actually being said at a much deeper level. It gives you the tools to embody another person and see the world through their point of view. Most importantly, it enables you to practice empathy experientially rather then just thinking about it theoretically.

During this 2.5 hour workshop, Karen Reilly (UX Director, iterate) and Kori Schagunn (drama coach) will create a safe, playful and fun environment to guide you through improvisation techniques and games that will help you in 3 main ways:

Increase your ability to empathise
Increase your confidence to run engaging and insightful workshops with stakeholders
Create more meaningful UX deliverables

Quotes from previous attendees:

“Had a mind-blowing experience @ConveyUX conference this week… the improv workshop by Karen @iterate was honestly the BEST time I’ve ever had a professional event. Left the session feeling connected to fellow attendees like never before. Networking, move over! Improv is in.”

“Learned many valuable techniques for effective learning; listening, observing and getting out of my own head.”

“Felt so lucky to experience the improv for empathy workshop by Karen Reilly @conveyUX. It was truly the best workshop of any UX conference I’ve been to!”

About facilitators
Karen Reilly, @hereiamagain
Karen Reilly is UX Director at iterate, a leading web design agency based in Dublin. She has a BSc in Psychology applied to IT and a MSC in Cyberpsychology. She has been designing products for over 10 years and has created solutions for organisations such as, Alltech, Liberty Insurance, St Luke’s Hospital and University of Limerick. In her spare time, she is a comedy improviser with Dublin based groups; The Good China and Red Diamond. While taking a character building improv course in 2016, she realised how the worlds of improv and UX could merge to form a greater sense of empathy. For the past year, she has been using improv techniques in workshops with stakeholders, end users and her own team. She’s also been travelling the world sharing her ideas at conferences and events.

Kori Schagunn
Kori Schagunn has a BFA in Theatre Studies and a MA in Drama and Performance. She is an improv and drama coach, seasoned performer, improviser, actress, comedian, dancer and ice skater (dare her to do all those things at once!) Kori performs improv with Red Diamond and The Company of Gents. Kori moderates the character building section of the workshop.


  • Ended
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