Show + Tell: A Recap

Earlier this month, I kicked off a side project that I’ve been working on with my friend Sam, a freelance designer and former Noise 13 intern. It’s a design critique meetup called Show + Tell, and I’m so excited to see it come to fruition!


First, a little backstory

Sam and I were catching up over beers one night, and we started talking about how much we longed for a space where we could share our work and get feedback from industry peers. Finding that nothing of the sort existed in the San Francisco area, we founded Show + Tell! The premise is simple — show your work, get feedback, give feedback, eat snacks, and drink booze. Sounds fun, right?

After a successful focus group in May, we held our inaugural meetup on August 5th. The turnout was great, and it was rewarding to see everyone excited and engaged, showing their support for fellow designers. We collected feedback at the end of the session, which was overall positive — particularly the fact that the environment was friendly and welcoming. We also came away with some valuable insights on how to improve the next meetup.


01: Make more time for critique

Our format of 15 minutes total per presenter was a little too short and undefined. Presenters ended up spending quite a bit of their allotted time presenting, leaving little time for feedback. We’re going to change it up and give each presenter 20 minutes total — 5 min. to present, and 15 min. for critique.

02: A single, in-process project is better than a whole portfolio

By focusing on a single project, presenters can give attendees more detail and context, which makes for a more informed and relevant critique. Also, unfinished is better — we prefer critiques occur at a point in the process where feedback can be most impactful and influential.

03: Attendee spots filled up waaay faster than presenter spots

Our 50/50 division of the group (6 presenters and 6 non-presenters) didn’t reflect the demand of the community. The first session sign-up roster showed more people were interested in participating than presenting. For the next session, we’re shifting to 4 presenters and 8 non-presenters, and will see if that’s a better ratio for the group.


So just like our presenters, we’ve learned what tweaks we can make to improve our “project.” It’s a learning experience for us, and we’re happy to be surrounded by a supportive and honest community that wants to help us, and each other, succeed.

If you’re interested in attending or just want to keep in touch, you can check out the Show + Tell website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Happy Hump Day!

– Christine


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