How to run a design review: 10 rules we follow

Some rules are made to be broken.

Some rules make our design reviews go smoothly and must never, ever be broken.

A design review is basically a meeting where designers get together to show their work and get feedback from their peers.

A well-run design review ultimately leads to better design, but how do you ensure these sessions are as effective as possible?

We have 10 essential rules we follow, based on a retro we held which specifically looked at improving design reviews.

The design review rules in full:

1. Cut to the chase (So everyone gets to speak)
2. Be specific (Sweeping generalisations are unhelpful)
3. Show Work In Progress (It’s easier to alter course before you’ve reached a destination)
4. Follow up (Show how feedback has helped)
5. Use screens (Show work as it will be seen by users)
6. Call out chatter (It’s annoying)
7. Remember the roses (It’s always nice to tell people they’re doing well – we use the Rose/Bud/Thorn system)
8. Be concise (Don’t wang on)
9. Ask questions (They lead to learning)
10. Build on what others say (Adding to feedback is better than creating more)

Got any design review commandments of your own? Tweet us @Computerlovers – we’re always curious about how other people approach this stuff!


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