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Share work to build support


Sharing your work with fellow students and mentors is essential for your team to get feedback on what you’ve accomplished so far, suggestions for next steps, and connections to resources in the community. You can also update your friends and family, who might be curious to know what you’re doing and cheer you on.

Effective ways to do this:

  1. Check-in as a team to see what each member has learned about the project and the process in the last 2 weeks.
    • Share what the team’s goals are for the week and make sure each member has a meaningful task to help the team reach that goal.
  2. Figure out 2+ specific questions and/or asks for your mentor and studio leads
    • Help contacting users, review your team's insights and process, feedback on ideas, etc.
  3. Update your team’s progress to your mentor and studio lead
    • Check out “Update your Team’s Progress” for tips on how you can share work regularly to receive the most useful feedback
    • To remind you:
      • Your update should include: what your team learned, your goals for the next few weeks, how you plan to reach those goals, your specific ask(s)
      • It’s ok to show in-progress work. In fact, you may receive more feedback from showing in-progress work since it shows your process.
      • Send pictures and any other visuals as well.
    • Follow your team or studio timeline to update your team’s progress in the next couple weeks.
  4. Share cool findings or stories with the network to showcase your hard work
    • You can use: blog, social media (twitter, facebook), email, video
    • If your studio sends out newsletters or studio update to the network, make sure your work is included in there!
  5. Incorporate to feedback and have 2+ takeaways or changes
    • If the feedback is directly related to your concepts and prototypes, check out “Apply Feedback” for some tips!
  6. If you have a roadblock that you would like more support with or want help with incorporating feedback, set a meeting with your studio lead or mentor
    • Have specific asks and set goals for the meeting. Review the update you have sent your mentor during step 3 before meeting with them.
    • Come prepared to present your work and process.
    • Develop action items for all meeting attendees.
    • Send meeting notes to all afterwards.

Network Best Practices

Create a process blog to share photos and updates like DFA RISD|Brown

At DFA RISD/Brown, the Design Thinking for Youth team created a tumblr blog to document their progress throughout Spring Semester 2015. They uploaded photos of their work sessions, recorded major events such as studio critiques and visits to community partners, and included some personal notes on the importance of ice cream. Check it out here.

Documenting your work with a blog is another great way to share your project with others. Blogs can be very visual, include other links and articles you find interesting, and help you see your progress in chronological order. Some blogging platform you can use are: Tumblr, Wordpress, Medium, Blogspot, SquareSpave, Weebly, etc.

Put your work in a monthly studio newsletter like DFA Virginia Tech

DFA Virginia Tech sends out monthly newsletters to people in the network from studio members to faculty advisors to share any events coming up in their studio and projects updates. They use mailchimp to format the newsletter. Check out their February 2016 newsletter here!

Use social media to share work with lots of supporters like DFA MSU and DFA Barnard|Columbia

Tweeting status updates or posting facebook photos helps give the general public a quick update. People are always curious about what Design for America is all about, so this is a great way to garner publicity as well as document your process. 

Post the updates from your studio’s social media account or tag the social media handles to increase your reach! Want to follow all the DFA twitters? Find them all on our DFA network twitter list.

One of DFA MSU’s teams tackled how can they bring experiential learning about energy to Lansing schools. They did a workshop with students at North Elementary School and tweeted videos of their Mag-Lev prototypes. Check it out here.

DFA Barnard/Columbia’s Food Trucks Team used facebook as a way to share prototypes of their infographic and get feedback. Check it out here.

Set up meetings with mentors to get specific advice like DFA Northwestern

Showing your work to others in person is a great push to document, create and practice storytelling skills. Setting up regular meetings with local mentors will help in more ways than one!

DFA Northwestern team, VERA, continued their Summer Studio project in winter quarter. The team made the project into an independent study which allowed them to meet regularly, spend sufficient time in their project time, and meet with mentors weekly. Before going out to test with users, the team invited their mentor, Bruce Ankenman from Segal Design Institute, to interact with their prototype and receive feedback on their testing plan.