Presenting wireframes to clients is a big milestone in a web design project. Recently some readers asked how to run a wireframe meeting, so here are 5 tips to help you create and deliver a wireframe presentation that gets great results and rave reviews.
As UX designers we lay out the project vision, so proper preparation is critical. After updating your files to include any internal team feedback, make sure your presentation files are as clean and well organized as possible. Run a spell check, proof read and confirm that all pages are clearly labeled, in the correct order and have a logical flow before you distribute them to anyone.
If possible, rehearse your presentation out loud. I find this is very helpful and helps me identify areas for improvement. Most importantly, it helps me relax during the real deal.
2. Confirm The Meeting Time And Deliverables
Confirm the meeting time and place with everyone involved. If you’re working with a project manager, ask them to do it on your behalf. Most importantly, make sure everyone knows what to expect.
Almost all of my clients work in distributed teams, so I usually do my wireframe presentations remotely using join.me. Occasionally I work with agencies that insist on onsite meetings, but even those events usually include one or more people on the phone.
As for deliverables, I prefer to deliver wireframe decks as online PDFs and do not print them out. Other UX designers may disagree, but in my experience people pay more and better attention when everyone’s eyes are directed to the same place, whether it’s their own computer screens or a large conference room projection screen. Besides, wireframe decks can get huge fast and I’m tired of killing so many trees.
3. Presentation Day
On the day of your presentation, distribute your PDF and conference call information at least one hour before the meeting. Your PDF will probably be too big to email as an attachment, so use a secure storage facility like Box.net and email a secure link to your team.
Dial in to the conference call at least 15 minutes early. This will give you a chance to launch your presentation, get settled and catch your breath. Do the same for an onsite meeting.
As soon as everyone is assembled, thank them for coming and ask if they can access the presentation and hear you clearly on the phone. After everyone confirms it’s time to start the show.
Set ground rules for the meeting and give people an overview of your presentation. In other words, tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em.
Start by reminding everyone of the site’s purpose, goals and audience. Then take them through each wireframe as if you were the user. Walk the group through all of your annotations – although they might, don’t expect anyone to read them after the fact.
Be sure to ask for feedback after presenting each individual page. Most people don’t want to wait until the end and may forget their two cents by then. So give everyone a chance to be heard when they want to speak as long as they are polite. Take careful notes or record the meeting so you can review any requested changes later.
5. Next Steps
Clarify all feedback and confirm any agreements for requested changes. Also agree on when the next round of revisions will be completed or if (yay!) the current wireframe deck is approved. If no one has further questions or concerns, thank them again for their time and end the meeting. Summarize any agreed upon changes in writing and get this approved before moving forward on the next round of revisions. This is critical to ensure you clearly understand any changes.
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