Collaborative Design Workbook

David Hendee ·

This year a handfull of folks from Carbon Five went to South by Southwest. Christian, Mike and Rudy were scheduled to present, but a couple of us newbies were worried we wouldn’t have anything constructive to do at the conference. We’ve all been inspired recently by design thinking and how the activities can provide insights into agile product development. It was probably Alon who originally suggested we put on some sort of informal workshop about agile design techniques at SXSW. Courtney and I took that idea and iterated on it a few times, eventually coming up with a collaborative design workbook:

Carbon Five's Collaborative Design Workbook

Download the Collaborative Design Workbook (385 kB PDF).

The workbook was designed to be printed out in color onto tabloid/ledger (11″ x 17″) size paper, but works on letter or A4 in a pinch. After printing, fold the paper in half lengthwise, trim the edges and fold into an accordion booklet.

Fold the booklet like an accordion.

The workbook walks two people through a user-centered design process to conceive of an innovative product for each other. It can be unfolded and played head-to-head and takes around 20 minutes to complete. The workbook has generated some cool product ideas, including such gems as The Cable Gnome, The Memory Pebble and The Flycycle. These and other designs can be found on the workbook’s microblog:

Feel free to print out the workbook, grab a friend and see what you come up with. Share your designs by emailing a photo to

David Hendee
David Hendee

David is the Director of Design at Carbon Five. He joined the company in 2004. Before that he was a freelance illustrator and a co-founder of the web development firm Fire Engine Red. David lives in Alameda with his wife Jenny, their dog Daisy, and a tiny dinosaur named Dorothy.