ImprovUX is a series of fun and INTERACTIVE talks and workshops that apply the skills of Improvisation (listening, acceptance and a lack of judgment) to UX. It positively affects the relational, working and exploratory connections within UX teams and their Users, creating a more empathetic, collaborative, creative, agile, and innovative environment.

Workshop Outline:


Generally consists of:

  • User
  • Company/client
  • UX/design group
  • Project team

In improvisation our intention is to accept whatever the other person on stage is offering. To do this we must listen without ego and agenda.


In Improvisation we must give specific ideas, confident that they will contribute to the scene/project. Even if the idea is ultimately not a part of the final product, it still helped us get to the final product.


The most important factor in improvisation is acceptance (not agreement). Acceptance indicates that we are willing to move forward with an idea even if we have some reservations that the idea may not work.

No judgment

In an environment free of judgment, ideas are given that would normally not be available to our precautionary minds.


How the relationships within the team and the users are formed and strengthened:


To move from acquaintance into a relationship we must find alignment with both the business and human needs of our counterparts. Empathy is the key to relationships


When we build upon empathy, our natural response is to trust.


Once we have empathy and trust we've created a connection that allows us to work without agenda and ego.


An idea is out there, but it isn't a complete idea until it has been accepted and built upon by the group to make it even greater.


Working is what we refer to as the point where a team is actively trying to solve a problem:


If we support each other while problem solving, new and interesting creative ideas will emerge.


In the UX design cycle, we get feedback all the time. Being able to pivot and examine feedback and update designs requires teams to be agile.


Start with simple ideas to create rich and informed designs that solve user problems.


Authenticity helps build trust between products and the users. Improvisation teaches us how to bring that aspect out in each person.


This is the design and implementation phase, when we want to drive solutions to new and interesting heights:


Improvisation teaches you how to become more comfortable with not knowing and taking a risk by just putting yourself out there.


Improvisation helps people deal with changes that happen in an instant and to justify and work with them.


Interesting solutions to a problem can come from a group of people working together and supporting each other. Improvisation thrives on new ideas that come from perspectives you wouldn’t expect.


Disruption can be a force for change and innovation. Improvisation teaches how to disrupt ideas by adding new information to something already established.

Buy Your Ticket

Mike Gorgone is a UX Consultant for Cox Automotive, where he works in the company’s Enterprise Operation Center. Currently, he’s helping redesign an IT scorecard website, but his role varies depending on project needs. He’s worked on everything from interaction design and information architecture to user development and prototyping. In 1999, Mike discovered improv when he lived in Chicago and started classes at Second City. Improv taught him how to be more aware of the moment and listen instead of just responding. He also learned that a group working together in a non-judgmental and supportive manner can create much greater things than any of those individuals alone. You can keep up with Mike at or