5 ways internal design reviews elevate user experiences

As businesses strive to provide seamless interactions and user interfaces, the significance of internal design reviews in the UX landscape cannot be overstated. These sessions serve as compasses, guiding teams toward innovation and refinement.

In this blog, we’ll delve into five pivotal ways internal design reviews shape products and elevate the overall user experience.

What is a design review?

A design review is an inspection method that helps us evaluate a design to identify potential usability problems. This structured evaluation process is conducted within an organisation or project team to assess and refine the design of a product, application, or system before it is developed and released to users or external stakeholders. It examines design elements, usability, consistency, and alignment with user needs and project goals, with the primary aim of creating a more user-friendly and effective experience.

The goal here is not to replace the usability test, but to gather insights and feedback from the multi-functional team and stakeholders to iterate and refine the design, improving the interactions before testing it with the user.

So today, I would like to go deeper into the five main reasons why internal design reviews are a key asset when creating better user experiences.

1. Identifying potential usability issues early

Imagine catching a leak in your boat while it’s still docked, rather than in the middle of a storm at sea. Internal design reviews allow us to identify and address usability issues, design weak points, and potential problems long before the product sets sail, saving not only time but also resources, and preventing costly rework and late-stage adjustments.

At the same time, this early detection helps ensure a smoother user experience and minimises frustration for customers. You might be able to pick up on terms in the copy that don’t make sense, or usability issues in the layout of the page. These insights allow you to iterate on the design to offer a clearer and more streamlined interface for the users.

2. User-centric decision-making

At Tyk, the design review table brings together an array of stakeholders, designers, researchers, engineers, project managers, customer-facing teams, and beyond. This diverse group ensures that the design decisions are scrutinised through a user-centric lens.

The collected feedback enables us to align design choices with the internal knowledge of user needs, JTBD, use cases, preferences, and feedback, to craft the best-in-class products.

3. Cross-functional collaboration

Team members and stakeholders collaborate during design reviews, providing feedback, insights, and suggestions for design improvements. Collaboration fosters a collective understanding of the design and encourages brainstorming for innovative solutions.

One example is the collaboration with the marketing team to ensure consistency in design elements and branding. Internal design reviews ensure that our product adheres to Tyk’s brand guidelines and maintains visual and interactive harmony.

4. Alignment with goals

Teams use design reviews to ensure that the design aligns with the project’s goals, objectives, and user requirements, minimising the risk of developing a product that is not relevant to the customer’s needs and/or business goals.

5. Continuous improvement

Internal design reviews are often part of an iterative design process. Teams go through multiple review cycles, making design improvements based on feedback and insights gained during each round. By embracing this iterative approach, the product constantly evolves to meet the continuously changing user expectations and needs, driving product maturity.

Embracing the power of internal design reviews

Internal design reviews are like a compass, they help the team to navigate the user’s journeys, identify issues early, mitigate risk, and maintain consistency to refine and improve the design before moving on to usability testing with users.

They’re also a tool that brings different teams and stakeholders to the table, providing many of you the opportunity to have a significant impact on crafting a better user experience. It brings us one step closer to the ultimate goal: achieving customer satisfaction. If you’d like to learn more from our discussions on UX, check out our blog on the rise of the UX specialists, here.