Two and a half years ago I attended my first day at design university. When I first started out at the design university I did a commitment to go there for three years to get my bachelor. I came from a background where I worked as a web editor, during the last year at work I felt that my personal development slowly degraded, so it was time to develop a new skill. So I decided to apply to a design university program focused on User Experience Design and Interaction Design.

The first day at school, I did enter the huge lecture room with over 200 students the feeling in the room was scared and amazed at the same time. After a while, we split into classes and I finally got to meet my class for the first time. Meeting the class was quite an awkward moment for everyone, but that feeling would disappear very soon. Our lecturer did start a presentation describing the program, who he was, where he had worked and what kind of titles he had. As relation to the titles, he discussed the UX/UI/IxD terms, as you might know the term UX/UI/IxD is still confusing people a lot, so it was a good fresh start to get the definitions updated. After the short introduction, it was time to do our first design assignment. Which would, later on, lead to a perfect icebreaker method.

Blank papers and pencils were handed out to all student. We were told by the lecturer that it was time to start our first “mini” design project! (This is where things get interesting!) The assignment was done in pairs. One person it the pair got the role as an interviewer and the second one as a respondent. In short, the mini design process looks like this from the interviewers perspective:

- Let the responder set a topic.
- Let the interviewer prepare some questions (2 min)
- Do a quick interview (4 min) (TAKE NOTES!)
- Think about a design solution + draw some quick sketches (YES, we do work with paper and pencil here!)( 2+4 min)
- Present your idea and discuss it with the responder!
- Switch interviewer/responder and repeat!

According to me this is a great way to break the ice between people, and do it quick and easy while getting to know something about the person sitting next to you. I encourage you all to try this exercise in a design related context with new people.

This is a great way to break the ice between people quick and easy while getting to know something about the person sitting next to you. I encourage you all to try this exercise in a design related context with new people.

Thank you for reading, hope you got some new ideas with breaking the ice with design.