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Design Beyond Devices: Winter Tour 2021

Design Beyond Devices: Winter Tour 2021

As this chaotic year comes into focus, so does a new series of talks and workshops in support of Cheryl’s new book published through Rosenfeld Media, Design Beyond Devices: Creating Multimodal, Cross-Device Experiences. Whether you’re looking to add a new multimodal skill to your design toolbox or simply looking for some lightweight techniques with which you can expand your user research, there’s something here for you. All Winter 2021 tour dates are virtual and can be viewed from anywhere in the world.

January 20-29: Voice Design Workshop

Giving Voice to Your Voice Designs
in partnership with Rosenfeld Media

4 2.5 hour sessions: Jan 20, 22, 27, 29 – $995
10AM -12:30PM Pacific

Designing for voice interaction can be an intimidating concept for a generation of designers trained primarily in visual principles and patterns. But there’s a greater need for voice designers than there are folks experienced in voice design. Join us and see how the skills you already have can translate to this evolving design specialty. In this workshop, you’ll learn the basics of voice design and apply those skills to plan your own voice app or skill. Updated for 2021 for the remote format and to incorporate new Day 3/4 content from Design Beyond Devices.

Want to learn more about this workshop? The Ideaplatz Medium publication features a new post that dives into the curriculum of the class in its current form: click here to get the full story.

The MURAL template for the online version of Giving Voice to your Voice Designs.
The MURAL template for the upcoming session of Giving Voice to your Voice Designs.

February 2: User Research Workshop

Capturing Customer Context
presented at Interaction 21

2 hour workshop – 8AM Pacific – $150

Now that the world’s turned upside down, the need for a rich and renewed understanding of our customers is greater than ever. And as our devices become more complicated – voice, touch, haptics, gesture – this need will remain with us. Personas don’t capture the whole picture; they focus on the surface and not on the surroundings. Where is your customer? Who is with them? How do they feel? In this workshop, you’ll learn to employ the same framework professional actors do to explore the full complexity of your customers and their context, while laying out a strategy for partner engagement.

Improv actors cope with this infinite canvas every time we walk onstage, and at my theater we use a particular storytelling shorthand called CROW to remind us of the elements needed to tell a full story. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to apply that same framework to ensure you’re getting a complete picture of your customer’s context.

We’ll also explore the all-important kickoff to the process: if you can’t get partner buy-in for your research, what good is the technique? You’ll learn strategies for bringing the team together to explore what you know to jump-start this process, allowing you to focus on answering the open questions of greatest value.

Feb 12: Multimodal Voice Design Workshop

Masterclass: Multimodal Voice Design
Presented at UxLX Masters

90 minutes, 8AM Pacific – conference tickets start at 395€

Are you a practicing voice designer looking to expand to devices like the Echo Show? In this new masterclass, build on your existing voice design expertise with a case study on how to expand a voice interaction to account for visual output.


  • Briefly review techniques for depicting multimodal interaction flows
  • Learn about the Spectrum of Multimodality and how an adaptive voice+screen experience fits in
  • Explore techniques and considerations for transitions BETWEEN modalities
  • Apply these techniques to example scenarios as a class.


  • An understanding about how both voice-only and adaptive systems (that support additional non-voice input simultaneously or sequentially) fit into the wider ecosystem
  • Concrete steps for expanding voice-only experiences to support additional input and output modalities
  • Renewed understanding of techniques for documenting and communicating multimodal flows

March 23 – Design Beyond Devices talk

Design Beyond Devices: Expanding your process
Presented with UXPA New Hampshire
3:00 PM Pacific Time – 1 hour

Go between the book covers and explore the 4 key themes within Cheryl’s new book, Design Beyond Devices. Learn about the frameworks and techniques included and how they’re intended to help complement your existing design skills and processes.

Academic tour dates

The Design Beyond Devices academic tour kicks off on March 5 when Cheryl presents a talk on based on her Capturing Customer Context chapter to the students in the design program at California College of the Arts. Cheryl’s capacity in 2021 for academic lectures is limited but not fully booked, especially in the fall. Reach out at cheryl at with inquiries.

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