Auth0 Design
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Auth0 Design

How to Show & Tell: A recipe to share work async

Share in-progress design work and receive specific feedback quickly

Feature image of the recipe for sharing design work async and getting feedback
Pavi’s garlic dip
The garlic dip

🌽 Ingredients

Purpose

There’s a difference between sharing too much vs. sharing in chunks. Before I share, I take a step back and identify what my purpose of sharing is. If I see I have 3–4 goals, I’m sharing too much. Instead, I’ll keep it focused on one chunk of the work and perhaps cover the rest in a different session.

30–60–90 framework
30–60–90 framework

Audience

If it’s a critique or sharing to a particular slack group, I look at who will be reviewing it. Sometimes, I cc people on slack when I share; that way, I know their roles, context levels, and what I’m looking to get from them.

Screenshot of slack message used for sharing work and prompting feedback.
Know your audience when sharing in slack

Structure

Having structure in your share helps. I discovered over time that people found it easier to follow when I had a light deck to guide them. Once I did it, I could reuse the framework whenever I shared work.

🥒 Method

Use failed experiments to your advantage.

The first time I tried to share my work async, I created a video of my working progress using loom and shared that every week. I’d be doing a real estate tour of all the screens and explorations I did. Then I’ll stop to ask; if you have any feedback, let me know. As a result, no one responded. It didn’t work, and I kept doing it anyway, going through the motions weekly.

Gif of real estate tour of screens
Real estate tour of screens

Show don’t tell.

I start by introducing the project and what I’ll be sharing. In this case, I had two options I wanted to share. I primed folks with the intro by letting them know where I’m at using the 30–60–90 framework. At this point, I’m at 60% and looking for feedback on visuals.

Image of project intro slide
Project introduction
Image of showing current state of flow slide
Current state
Image of list of jobs-to-be-done and user questions
Jobs-to-be-done
Video of Pavi using the Figma mirror app on her phone to mirror the prototype
Mirroring prototype on mobile
Image of listing pros and cons for each prototype
Pros and cons
Image of listing next steps and tech questions to guide feedback
Next steps

🍛 Serving suggestions

A quick disclaimer, I’m not sponsored by Descript; I’m just a fan of their product. Descript made my video editing life more accessible and less time- consuming.

Gif of how to use descript
Using Descript
Slack message structure
Slack message structure

💭 Remember…

There’s no such thing as talent.

When I often shared my work, my colleagues assumed I was a pro, I was never nervous, and had a natural knack for presenting my work. However, it came from a lot of practice, experimentation, and finding a structure that worked.

Practice confidence.

Building confidence when presenting was the most challenging for me at the start. To help me improve, I adopted forced syncs early on, allowing me to practice and gain confidence.

Work with your team.

Rather than setting the goal to be correct, I set the goal to be wrong. Ultimately your team’s working towards the same purpose as you, and we’re here to support each other.

🌶 Spicy tips

  1. Know the Purpose.
  2. Understand your audience.
  3. Use a template.
  4. Be conscious of time.
  5. Set boundaries.
  6. Be scrappy.

Resources

If you’re curious to learn more, check out my talk at Figma’s Config from May 2022 and download a ready-made template you can start using today.

  1. Template
  2. Presenting Design Work by Donna Spencer

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