It’s easy for design reviews to go off track sometimes, whether it’s because reviewers aren’t sure of their role in the process, misplaced feedback, unclear deadlines, or misunderstandings around the purpose of the design review.

Understanding expectations before beginning a design review is a crucial step in optimizing your process. Without an understanding of what is set to be accomplished, reviews go off-track or don’t address important questions/decisions. Having a comprehensive list of technical requirements will prevent your design team from wasting significant resources in the design process or missing feedback. Understanding expectations and requirements for both the review and the design are therefore critical to an effective process.

What is this review set to accomplish? Objectives for the review might include:

  • Project Goals
  • Business Goals
  • Timeline
  • Deliverables
  • Regulatory or Legal requirements

Understand what makes an effective meeting, and set an agenda.

  • The New York Times suggests that to run an effective meeting, everyone needs to know why they’re there, and what they’re set to accomplish. Setting an agenda and ensuring everyone has access to it, will make for a more focused, engaging, and ultimately goal-oriented review.

InVision suggests design review participants be notified ahead of time with what they need to be prepared for the review. They suggest a calendar invite that includes:

  • When and where to meet
  • Project goals
  • Any important constraints, like “content can’t be changed”
  • Project timeline
  • Current level of design fidelity
  • Devices to bring, if any
  • Goals of the review (i.e., what we’re trying to learn)

Here’s a comprehensive checklist we’ve designed to help you organize what needs to be prepared before the meeting.

  • Understand your Technical Requirements: What can be changed, and what can’t?
  • These requirements might include size, weight, safety considerations, and should be established at the beginning of the design process. Ensuring accessible data regarding project files, and requirements will make the design process as a whole much more effective.
  • Remind your team of the technical requirements established at the beginning of the design process, and ensure they are upheld in this review process.
  • To make sure your team always has the information they need from customers, or internal decision makers, create standards and guides regarding what information is essential. Dimensions, materials, due date… requirements like these affect decisions throughout the process, so make sure you have this information on hand, before the process begins.  A lack of understanding about the fundamental requirements of the design can lead to expensive, costly, and ultimately avoidable mistakes.

The design review process can often be complicated, time consuming and overwhelming. We’ve created the Ultimate Guide to Design Reviews ebook that goes through the process of planning and executing a design review so you can optimize and streamline the process and use your team’s time more wisely.

Try implementing some of the steps above and see how it affects your design review process. Do you have any policies that have helped your team when it comes to running design reviews? Let us know!

Published on:

Wednesday, January 16, 2019