Interaction 19
4-10 February 2019
Seattle, WA
United States

Improv.e UX: Improving your soft skills with improv

workshop – Half day (4h) | Feb 5 – 9:00

Train your soft skills using improv theatre techniques and games: learn to embrace failure by using mistakes to trigger creativity

As UX practitioners, we need to cultivate a number of soft skills on a daily basis. Amongst others: empathy and deep listening, the ability to work effectively within a group, lateral thinking and storytelling.

In improv theatre, actors need to manage the unexpected, working together to create a show without a script. The techniques they use are very valuable for tackling some of the skills we need to improve. During the workshop we’ll learn by doing, improving while experimenting ourselves through games and practical exercises. Each one will shed a light on one or more aspects of our profession and practice. After each round of exercises we’ll spend some time debriefing, to share our thoughts and feelings about what we just saw and reflect about the possible impact on our work approach.


Every session consists of a number of games and exercises. The entire workshop is hands on (or legs-on!).

For each session we’ll do a short introduction explaining its aim, then we’ll start with the games: we’ll talk about the goal, how to play it, and how participants should distribute in groups and subgroups, if needed, or if there are particular roles in the game to be uphold.

Then we’ll start playing the game, sometimes with facilitators joining the groups, other times observing them and guiding them during the game.

After each game we’ll stop to do some debriefing all together.

Target audience

The workshop is suitable for any UX, IA professionals, developers, product managers and anyone working in the digital and service design field, no matter their level of expertise.

There is no prior knowledge required, yet participants should be aware that this workshop requires a light physical activity where most of the time we’ll be standing up or sitting on the floor.

About the speakers

Raffaella Roviglioni

Raffaella Roviglioni

UX researcher and designer since 2009, I have a scientific background in agriculture and told my story towards UX at EuroIA 2012. I am based in Rome and work as a freelance consultant on national and international projects dealing with user research, usability testing, UX design, co-design and facilitation.

Amongst my clients: WFP, Just Eat, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Banca Credem, Sony, Fastweb, Erg, BNP Paribas and the European Commission.

In the UX/IA community, I have coordinated the Rome UX Book Club and was a board member of the Italian Association for Information Architecture (Architecta). I was also one of the co-chairs of EuroIA, the European Information Architecture Summit for 2017.

In my spare time, I am a passionate fantasy reader, an appreciated cook and a cosplayer and costume maker, exploring the Steampunk movement.

Alessio Ricco

Alessio Ricco

I am currently Head of Mobile Technology at Fourth in London. I am also a ScrumMaster, public speaker and improv actor. I spoke at several international events and conferences about mobile and UX. I played in several improv comedy shows in Italy and at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2013. I am a member of Rome UX Book Club and a workshop facilitator for the Codesign JAM-Roma. I am also one of the founders of Cork UX Book Club, the first Irish UX Book Club.

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