As designers, we live and breathe empathy for our users, but can struggle to bring that same depth of emotional connection to our stakeholders, clients, or even to our users themselves. Often, we find that emotional responses to our work pop up in unexpected ways, typically because of well-designed functions or valuable outcomes. When this happens, it feels like magic, but what if we could plan and design for those emotional responses? In this workshop, you’ll learn how storytelling and meaningful play can connect with users at an emotional level and elicit those magic moments. We’ll talk about how a well crafted vision ties the “big picture” to actionable designs and incremental releases without losing focus or suffering the death of a thousand compromises. We’ll experience Play Thinking, a design strategy that pursues emotional responses as key outputs of the design process, rather than as byproducts of functional outcomes.