October 13th, 2010
Probably more used than any other tool in the toolbox, the critique is the lost orphan of the user experience world. There are books written about usability testing, endless debates on the validity of heuristic evaluations, and hours of lectures on persona development. But, when it comes to developing the essential skills for a good critique, the UX world falls silent.
Yet how often do we hear, “Could you give me some feedback on this design I’ve been working on?” It’s likely to be the most requested activity, but we do little to get better at it. Good critique skills are to be revered, but many of us haven’t learned what it takes, putting our projects at risk and driving walls between team members.
Recently, I’ve been discussing critique skills with some clients and it reminded me of an article we published back in September 2008, What Goes into a Well-Done Critique. It’s an important topic that doesn’t get a lot of attention. So I thought it was worth a second look. After studying the practices of design teams, we noticed that there are specific elements always present in a well-performed critique. Today’s article describes what we’ve seen in our travels.
Read the article: What Goes into a Well-Done Critique.
Improving your critiquing skills is just one of the topics Dan Rubin will cover at the User Interface 15 Conference in November. His full-day workshop, Visual Design Essentials for Non-Designers, will show you techniques for creating an integrated visual design system that will simplify your job, while providing easy tools for selecting the right colors, fonts, and layouts. Learn more about his workshop and the 7 others at the UI15 conference site.
What elements do you think make a great critique? How has your team incorporated them into regular practice? We’d love to hear your stories and thoughts. Leave a comment on our Brain Sparks blog below.
Explore Dan’s workshop at this year’s conference. Register for UI15 by October 22 with promotion code BLOGPOST and get $400 off.Tweet