Tips for presenting designs remotely

I work for a healthcare IT company Edifecs as a UX Designer since 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 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 tips will help you present your designs more effectively.

  1. Relax, go slow

After sharing your desktop screen give a slow walk-through of different flows in your design. This gives some time for the meeting attendees to absorb the design. While presenting, make sure that you give reference of the UI component you are explaining on screen as the attendees can’t see your eyes/hand movement (sometimes even the mouse cursor). Its 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. So, its important to give them few seconds of time.

3. Take the notes online

From my experience, its much easier to take notes on the screen when everyone is looking at it. Not only it avoids recording the wrong feedback but also brings everyone in the meeting into common agreement of the decision. Its 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 rigor in your process.

4. Summarize the meeting

It’s again a 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 in next hour.

Setting up recurring meetings and discussing only a small portion of design works better than occasional meetings. Try to build a routine for all the team members to work together in a project.