Upping Your X-Factor (Or: making workshops exciting again)

UX has become the biggest business buzzword of the past five years.

Simple concepts like ‘customer services’, or ‘sales process’, are now called ‘UX’.

Content strategy is UX. Sales training is UX. Operations is UX. Visual designers are ‘UX Professionals’.

Confused.com? Likewise.

At Noggin we’ve taken matters into our own hands, to transform this newfangled cognitive dissonance into some good old-fashioned cognitive fusion.


To us, UX is known as ‘Upping Your X-Factor’.

It’s all about maximizing the experience with which your clients receive your products.

At Noggin, our clients want it straight up. They want to know just enough about human behavior to make a difference in their lives, their relationships and their organisations. They want just enough psychology, just enough neuroscience and just enough data to support their shift into new paradigms.  They don’t want a couch, and they certainly don’t want to lie down. They want to be met where they are, and for the work to happen in real time. They are busy. They shoulder big responsibilities. They don’t want theory. So any more than just enough… and they start tuning out.

With those needs in mind, we’ve been upping our own x-factor.

Our biggest learning so far:

Our 15 years in corporate behavioural psychology have taught us a few things.

And first among insights, is the following:

For learning to happen, you have to fire up the nervous system, not just the grey matter.

This means that in addition to making each of our learning experiences personal and habit forming, they also need to be visceral.

It’s not enough to learn vicariously. We have to learn viscerally.

This is our single biggest take-home to date, and it’s what sets Noggin aside from the competition.

You cannot learn to ride a bike from PowerPoint

A blended solution:

With a focus on this all-important visceral infusion, we asked how we could to optimize our face time with clients.

We broke down the idea of a ‘workshop’.

We took a look at what our clients want in an ideal world (online delivery with minimal fuss), and what actually works in the real world (online prep combined with face to face learning experiences). We took what people think it’s about (emotional intelligence – EQ) and what it’s actually about (emotional competence – EQ3). We asked what technology could replace in our learning experiences, to help make our workshops more visceral and less formulaic. We realized that essential aspects of the learning process were also known as ‘the boring bits’ in workshops. We automated these parts, leaving our time with clients free for visceral, interactive, lifelong learning.

Then, metaphorically adopting one of the great domestic UX revolutions of recent times, we put it all in a neurological Nutri-Bullet (aka in-house brainstorm), and created something incredibly cool: the Noggin Blended Solution.


We reduced the non-visceral learning from our workshops by 80%.

Which we think is an all-round, you might even say blended, result.

It’s our latest piece of UX design. Darling.

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