The Ultimate Guide to Run Effective Design Meetings

May 22, 2019

Athar Majeed

Earlier we discussed about when to schedule meetings, take breaks, and quit your job and today we will discuss how to run effective design meetings.

The general idea behind all meetings is to seek solutions to problems. Anyone can hold a meeting, but it takes a brilliant mind to hold a great meeting. Boredom and wastage of quality time are some of the things that might cross your mind whenever you hear of an upcoming meeting. That however ought not to be the case if the chairperson to that meeting gets things right from the very beginning. Design meetings are not your typical kind of meetings and for you to hold one and it turns out to be successful, much effort need to be put into arranging it.

Design meetings are not your typical kind of meetings

9 Tips for Successful Design Meeting

If you previously held a design meeting and it wasn't as successful as you'd thought it’d be, below is an ultimate guide with some 9 points that will be of great help and see to it that you hold and run an effective design meeting.

1.   Is the meeting really necessary?

Before you hold any design meeting, it’s always prudent to ask yourself if it’s really necessary as you wouldn’t want to end up wasting quality company time. If at all it’s necessary to hold the meeting, you may proceed and vice versa.

2. Communicate to the attendees prior to the date of the meeting

Whether by email or a memo, communicating to all the attendees of the meeting and putting them on the know about what they ought to expect from the meeting is always key. This will make them familiarise themselves and their participation during the meeting is undeniably evident.

Read Also: How Should You Improve Your Design Communication

3. Get the agenda and goals of the meeting right & straight

As a the chief designer and chair of your meeting, holding a meeting with no clear agendas and goals can really create an entire bad and negative ambience during  the meeting. You wouldn't want this to happen. For you to get the agendas and goals right and straight and have a seamless meeting, this calls for thorough preps and research on your agendas. Wasting time certainly isn’t one of them.

4.   Invite the right and necessary people

Design meetings are held with the sole aim being to kick-off a project. Getting the right and necessary persons to attend the meeting can be a big plus for you and your company at large. The right persons for your design meeting ought to be knowledgeable enough on the topic of discussion. With the right persons, you get learn and acquire priceless insights that you certainly couldn't all on your own. Getting the wrong persons to attend your design meeting could lead to a shambled meeting that would turn out to be an outright epic fail.

The degree of meaningful and relevant interactions in a meeting could see to it being a great success. As a chair to your design meeting, give others the space to air their insights and ideas regardless of how irrelevant they may seem to be.

5. Stick to the topic

Well, a joke here a joke there isn't much of a bad thing. As a matter of fact, it eases tension among the members present. This makes them feel free to chip in and you could get great life-changing ideas and insights. However, never forget to stay on topic as this will go a long way to saving time. Getting your agendas straight is one thing, sticking to them during the meeting is another. Strike the balance.

6. Be time conscious

Time is everything and no one rejoices when theirs is wasted. As the chair of your design meeting, being conscious of time is one good quality. Researching on agendas prior to the day of the meeting could greatly save you and your team a lot of time. During the meeting, make sure that unnecessary talk is avoided at all cost. Moving on swiftly from one agenda to another is another sure way of saving time. Do not stick on to one agenda for too long as it will not only waste time but leave others bored.

7. Let it be an interactive meeting

We hold a meeting to get insights, ideas and solutions to problems affecting users or consumers. As such, meetings are not briefs or announcements for that matter where more often than not questions are not asked. The degree of meaningful and relevant interactions in a meeting could see to it being a great success. As a chair to your design meeting, give others the space to air their insights and ideas regardless of how irrelevant they may seem to be. Another good way to make sure that your design meeting runs smoothly and effectively is by asking questions. When a query is posed, it gives room for brainstorming on the issue at hand. Always ask questions and always let others ask questions on matters that they find difficult to comprehend. Don’t Lord over your meeting. Let others speak their minds.

8. Send a post-meeting summary

When your design meeting comes to an end and everyone gets to resume with their day to day duties, take it upon yourself (as the chair ) to send a post-meeting summary to every member  present in that previous meeting. Although unofficial and less detailed, post-meeting summaries see to it that every member present in that meeting is on the same page.

9. Delegate follow-up tasks

After a design meeting has been held and certain deliberations in regards to the project being initiated have been made, delegating follow-up tasks is almost inevitable as you'd be tied up by lots of other duties. Therefore, assigning or delegating follow-up tasks to an individual conversant with the project can positively impact on it. Delegation duties to your juniors goes a long way to boosting their morale and confidence.

With the complexities that come with design meetings, our minds are nonetheless focused on one thing; success. A successful design meeting will see to it that creative and lasting solutions to problems are realized and even better, implemented with ease. For them to be termed as successful, they ought to be brief and precise and have a crisp understanding of the project goals. A successful design thinker saves time and listens to others for opinions, insights, suggestions and ideas. This way, the success rates of the project at hand are by default high. With this ultimate guide, you will not only get to effectively run your design meetings but also boost your design thinking hitting two birds with one stone.


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