Our team is becoming too big for design reviews and breaking them into smaller groups doesn't bring the proper transparency to our team. I start to think we should just pick out certain projects that are in later phases for gathering feedback but not sure how to determine who should be sharing when. How does your team determine who should or needs to share in design reviews so they aren't too long and on what type of week rotation?
You'll have to give us more than just the fact that you're designing something. An app? A brand guideline? Product packaging? A car? For yourself? For a client? For the company you work for? How big is the team? Do you build it yourself? What's your design pipeline like? Are there wireframes? Prototypes? Design documents? Who comes up with the features? Are designers involved in other parts of the project?
This is for a design team doing brand and product design for a SASS tool. The projects vary but we want to hold weekly/bi-weekly design reviews to create stronger transparency and consistency of work. They will share mainly in pre-validation stages. Any insight into how your team works is helpful :)
Pardon the late response!
It's still a bit scarce with the details. Do you have 5 designers that all work in isolation? Do you have groups of 1 UX, 1 UI, 2 developers? Do you have 3 front-end devs working for one of 6 groups of UI designers? Etc.
Regardless, it sounds like you were on the right track in dividing into groups. Seems like communication between groups is the bigger issue, or perhaps the structure of these groups, or the way they came to be.
The way I've always preferred to work, is by making 1 person "responsible" for a "product". Whether that product is a fully featured app or a single feature, they are in charge of keeping people on board with the project. They don't necessarily always have the same people working with them on that project, and don't work on one project exclusively.
The trick is to get to work on a good mix of projects - otherwise your team will lose track of the whole.
Besides that, an early morning meeting where everyone states what they're working on (in 1 or 2 brief sentences) can help create more awareness. After (or during) said meeting, there should be space for people to reach out to eachother if they think there's overlap in features, or other shared concerns.
Again, this is how I've enjoyed working the most. By being up-to-date what projects/clients/features teams were working on, and allowing everyone to provide input. Assigning people projects (whether the project is big or small) creates a sense of responsibility, which (again, in my experience thus far) leads to more motivated teams!
Not sure if that helped, but there ya go :)
There are a couple different types of "design reviews", each requiring a slightly different setting and tone.
"Here's what I did, does it look okay? Did I miss anything obvious?"
"I've encountered a new problem, so here's what I invented to handle it. Can you see any problems with it before I try to get it validated? Are there components elsewhere similar enough to this one that maybe I should go back and see if it fits?"
"Here's what I did, I've validated that it works and looks good - I'm just showing it to you and explaining the reasoning so you can take this solution and incorporate it into your future designs."
Number 1 is something I'll usually just drop in Hipchat followed by "thoughts?" Number 2 would be like a 30 minute impromptu meeting with the other senior designers and/or art director(s). Number 3 would be more of a formal weekly or every other weekly meeting just to make sure everyone on the team knows what new stuff is getting added to the style guide and how existing components are being utilized across the company.
All this is just my $0.02, and I'm not claiming it's the best way to run a team. But it's worked for me well enough for years.
All great! Thank you Matt. Our current issue is that we have too large of team to all share in the same time set aside for design reviews. Our schedules are busy so we have one 2 hour meeting slotted each week for reviews. My biggest issue is understanding who should share and when. Also, how to get people who don't share too often to share.