How can we create a less frustrating overall experience for our users?
What’s the best way to organize information so our users can find what they are looking for?
Are there ways we can help reduce our support burden?
Do these sound like the questions you’ve been asking yourself recently? Need a second opinion on your upcoming development project? We can help! This free service for UW-associated projects/groups, from the User Experience community at the University of Washington, provides User-Centered Design expertise for all stages of the development process.
Design review sessions are available on Thursdays from 3:00 – 4:00 PM.
During a review session we can provide feedback on everything from high-level workflows and process to page layout, visual design, terminology, and your underlying HTML and CSS. This can be a great way to get the problems you’re facing in front of some skilled and highly analytical eyes and minds. The best part of this deal is it’s absolutely FREE! Although if you decide to bring doughnuts they won’t be turned away…
Prepare for and schedule your review session
Decide on a date
- Start by reflecting on where you are in your process, and where a design review would be most helpful for you. A few things to keep in mind:
- While a design review can be useful at any stage in the development process, in general, the earlier the better. You don’t need to have a product yet; the team can help with concepts, designing data gathering instruments, reviewing data and creating recommendations, and plenty of other early-stage tasks.
- If it’s too late to make any changes to your product before it launches, it’s too late for a review. However, if there will be another iteration, come back to us before that process begins.
- Decide who will represent your team at the design review. No more than four people, please.
- Pick a Thursday that your team will be available to meet with us between 3:00 – 4:00 PM
Schedule the meeting
- Ponder the following questions, which you will need to answer when you schedule the meeting:
- What is the scope of the review? If there are specific pages or interactions that your team is proposing to improve, let us know what those are.
- Who do you see as the target audience for the site or product? What, in your view, are the primary goals your audience has when they visit the site/product?
- What needs/problems is the site or product (or new updates) trying to address?
- What type of feedback are you looking for? (e.g. information architecture, visual design and aesthetics, general usability, ideas for future development?)
- Can you share any sketches, wireframes or mockups, or a link to a dev/eval build, ahead of time?
- Fill out our intake form to sign up for a session.
- This form includes all the questions you’ve been pondering since the previous paragraph.
- Please provide as much detailed information as you can on this form, so that our team can prepare to give you the most efficient and effective feedback possible.
If you have questions or need any assistance in scheduling a design review, please don’t hesitate to email us.
Prepare for the session
- Make sure that the people you expect to represent your team at this meeting know when and where the meeting will take place.
- Gather your preferred note-taking tools and bring them to the meeting.
What to expect at the design review
- 2-4 UX designers will be present
- Depending on what type of feedback you have requested, we may draw on the whiteboard, pull up your screens or other examples on the monitor to review, or simply have in-depth discussions about your questions.
- We’ll make recommendations and provide rationale for them, to help guide you in future similar situations. (Note that these are recommendations only; we do not implement them for you.)
- In the last few minutes of the session, we’ll review the major points for clarity.
- After the meeting, we’ll email you the recommendations and rationale.