I've worked for a healthcare IT company Edifecs as a UX Designer for two and half years and in this span I have presented many of my designs remotely to different team members of the project. Thanks to the convenient technology of Microsoft Skype for Business (formerly Lync) that I am able to connect different people from different time zones all across the world and receive feedback on my designs. Presenting designs in-person is very different than presenting designs online. In a remote meeting, attendees miss the visual cues of presenter and therefore, have to largely rely on verbal communication. Following these tips will help you present your designs more effectively.
1. Relax, go slow
After sharing your desktop screen give a slow walk-through of the different flows in your design. This gives some time for the meeting attendees to absorb the design. While presenting, make sure that you explicitly call out the UI component you are explaining on screen as the attendees can’t see your eyes/hand movement (sometimes even the mouse cursor). It’s always a good practice to start the meeting with a quick recap of the discussion in previous meeting and share an agenda of the current meeting. This brings everyone on the same page.
Don’t present something that you are not confident about at the beginning of a meeting. Always start on a brighter note. It also helps to talk about the design from a user perspective, thus avoiding jargon.
2. Invite discussion on the designs
After finishing the explanation of design flows, invite the attendees to share their opinions. You can prompt them with “Do you have any questions/comments/suggestions?” statement and then pause for some time. People on the other side usually wait for each other before commenting or are simply gathering their thoughts; it’s important to give attendees a few seconds of time.
3. Take the notes online
From my experience, it’s much easier to take notes on the screen when everyone is looking at it. Not only does it avoid recording the wrong feedback but it also creates a common agreement of the decision. It’s highly recommended to make small changes to the design based on feedback while presenting it to live audience. Always encourage and appreciate your team members for good feedback. Genuinely share what you feel about the design. You can even propose an idea if it works better. Try to maintain the focus of discussion to design.
Talking about the ideas you tried but didn’t pursue will earn you more trust and respect from the stakeholders. It shows the rigour in your process.
4. Summarize the meeting
It’s good practice to end the meeting with a discussion summary. Talk about your next steps and remind everyone of the overall project status. Lastly, Thank everyone for attending the meeting and send a link of the presentation within an hour.
Setting up regular recurring meetings and discussing only small portions of design works better than occasional meetings. Try to build a routine for all the team members to work together in a project.
About the Author
Manali is a UX Designer at Bellevue based Healthcare company Edifecs. She is an organizer of ‘Ladies that UX’ group in Seattle area where she organizes monthly design events. Manali is passionate about solving meaningful problems for people.