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Monthly internal design meetup

8 months ago from

Hi everyone

I work in a company where about 10 ux and ui consultants work. I have been given the task of setting up a monthly meeting to give feedback on designs as well as stimulating and motivating colleagues with everything that has to do with design. Does anyone have experience with this? A format or topics that can come back every month? How is information collected?

Thanks in advance for the answers!

16 comments

  • Robin AndersenRobin Andersen, 7 months ago

    At the place where i work, we do a Design Breakfast™️ every month. Most times we talk about process instead of giving design feedback. I often find this more helpful as my colleagues are happy to give design feedback on the fly whenever I need it. Topics tend to circle around challenges we want to get past, tricky stakeholders, presentation techniques, tips on design related books to read, tips on tools to try out, and so on. Sometimes if any of us did something cool/special/new/weird they tell us about the thoughts behind what they did.

    9 points
    • CGR Mattijs, 7 months ago

      Great idea to serve this as breakfast! Do you guys use a fixed template or structure?

      1 point
    • Charlie McCullochCharlie McCulloch, 7 months ago

      I would agree focusing on process is more effective than feedback. Process is more easy to talk about across teams, whereas group feedback on specific work without knowledge of a project's constraints etc can be a bit of a waste of time. Better to focus on the commonalities between teams.

      5 points
    • Julian CJulian C, 7 months ago

      That's interesting, do you take some notes or do you register the meeting?

      0 points
  • Max Quinn, 7 months ago

    We used to do a 'Snowball' project as part of a monthly meeting which was good fun. Basically, one person starts and has to do a small piece of work that enables them to learn something new outside of their day to day work. They then present it and nominate someone else. That someone has to do the same but it must follow on from the person before them in some way. By the end you either have loosely related work where everyone has learnt something new, or you can make a decision to direct it in a more cohesive way so that you end up with an app (for example) where everyone's done a small piece of the work.

    5 points
    • Oz LozanoOz Lozano, 7 months ago

      That sounds super interesting - can you elaborate using an example?

      1 point
      • Max Quinn, 7 months ago

        Sure! We did it in pairs to encourage teamwork and bonding, you try and pick pairs who don't normally work together. The format is essentially that one pair starts and has 2 weeks. They then present back their work in the meeting for feedback/general chat, and then nominate another pair for the next 2 weeks.

        So the one that was most memorable to me was a project called 'Yesterday'. My memory's a bit hazy but I'll try to walk through how it went:

        • The first pair to go was a print designer who wanted to do more iconography/illustration, and a web designer who decided that off the back of that she wanted to learn how to animate. They picked a loose theme of 'time' and made some illustrations around it which were then animated. The one that stood out most to the group was their depiction of 'Yesterday'.

        • The next person to go was a UI designer who wanted to do more visual and brand work, and a UX designer who had an aim to start companies and play a more strategic role. Between them, they came up with an idea for an app called Yesterday, which is essentially 'Social media once the dust settles'. It's a report of yesterday's news, scraped from social media, for people that want to keep in the loop without being glued to their phones. They simplified the illustration of Yesterday into a logo and created the concept and brand.

        • The next group to go was a UX designer who wanted to do more UI, and a UI designer who wanted to do more prototyping. They designed and prototyped the app.

        • The next group to go was a print designer who wanted to code basic websites, and a UX designer who wanted to learn the basics of app code. You can guess what they did: a landing page and the beginnings of a developed app.

        This could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea by this point. The beauty of this particular example was that it all lined up so that we had a very cohesive 'thing' by the end of it that everyone had contributed to. But the reality of that is that it was less fate, and more that the framework forces people to go with the flow and take on things they wouldn't normally, for the good of the project.

        Hope that makes sense!

        1 point
    • Nate VandervisNate Vandervis, 7 months ago

      Sounds pretty cool

      0 points
  • Koen Post, 7 months ago

    I work at one of the major banks in the Netherlands. We have around 45 active designers, excluding copywriters. As one of the lead designers, I hold weekly feedback sessions to talk about design and or proces with the designers in my 'cluster' (8 designers). We have a monthly meet-up with all designers, including copywriters to talk about vision, new stuff, anything design related or for instance legislation (PSD2, GDPR are current hot topics).

    As your team grows monthly probably won't cut it anymore for design feedback, too many opinions. My advice would be, don't count on everyone gathering information for this monthly meeting. We tried trello, e-mail, slack to get subjects or topics. In the end we have 1 person making an agenda and gathering topics that might be interesting for the monthly.

    Good luck

    2 points
    • CGR Mattijs, 7 months ago

      Thanks! That 1 person is always the same person or does it change so anyone could make up a agenda in a structured template?

      0 points
  • Trev MorrisTrev Morris, 7 months ago

    I set up something called 'Design Ingredients' at the agency I used to work at.

    Starter: small introduction to something new, like 'what makes a good icon' (5-15mins) Main course: hands on, getting everyone to do something.. could be linked to the starter such as 'now, make me an icon' (20-40mins) Pudding: I would invite someone to talk about something they've found interesting over the last couple of weeks/month. (5-15mins)

    Worked pretty well, we were flexible with what we spoke about and if there was a project the team would rather speak about, we applied the same structure to that :).

    1 point
  • Wouter RamakerWouter Ramaker, 7 months ago

    For feedback I introduced short design critiques here. And we have an unwritten rule that each project should at least have had one of those sessions. We limit it to 15 minutes, in which it's 5 minutes of explaining the project/design decisions. Than all questions and feedback need to be written down (to prevent group thinking), and after that we go over the points.

    1 point
  • Ollie BarkerOllie Barker, 7 months ago

    Sounds like a great idea. Though I'd consider doing this more frequently. Perhaps once a week. Maybe go around each person where they explain what they're working on and doing a little Q/A with each person?

    0 points
    • CGR Mattijs, 7 months ago

      Thanks for your insights. Problem at our company is that most of my colleagues are working at the client side. So we don't have the opportunity to plan a weekly team meeting.

      0 points
  • Eduardo Tello, 7 months ago

    I wish we had this at my company. Like a mini workshop or “designathon” so people can create something around a selected topic in groups and then present it to the others, who could clarify doubts and get inspired. Would be awesome.

    0 points
    • Robin GoyalRobin Goyal, 7 months ago

      Same here, I wish too in my company but my company has no respect about design. Only my manager knows and care about design.

      0 points