Improving the Critique and Design Process

Lauren Cramer

October 2nd, 2013

Giving critique is not an easy task. Doing it constructively and effectively without hurting someone’s feelings or coming off as cruel and inflexible is difficult. Being able to successfully critique and create design studios is so important we’ve dedicated many articles and podcasts to the topic, along with a full-day workshop.

In this post, we’ve listed out some great free articles and podcasts on this topic. But you can really dive in deep at this year’s User Interface 18 Conference in Boston, October 21-23, 2013. In Adam Connor and Aaron Irizarry workshop Building Consensus in Critiques and Design Studios, you’ll learn how to organize energizing workshops that rally your teams to explore designs and achieve the best possible results. You’ll discover how to reach consensus, improve the conversations you have around design, and create open feedback loops your teams will actually use.

Here’s some reading about design studios and critique

Listen to what the experts say about design studios and critique

    Adam Connor – Design Studio: Building Consensus Early in Your Design Process
    Getting two people to agree on something is a difficult task in any aspect of life. Getting a whole team to agree on a design, where underlying feelings, ownership, and organizational hierarchy are involved, can be an even greater challenge. That’s not even counting the dreaded “swoop and poop” scenario. The trick is to get everyone involved early in the design process and a design studio is a perfect tool for just that.

    Adam Connor & Aaron Irizarry – Building Consensus in Critiques and Design Studios
    Adam Connor and Aaron Irizarry believe that critique is not just a design-centered skill that exists to make sure you’re doing things “right”. Instead, they see it as a living and breathing process of analysis and adjustment.

    Adam Connor & Aaron Irizarry – Collaboration through Design Studio and Critique
    Adam explains a design studio, and breaks it into three steps: sketch, present, and critique. Both Aaron and Adam believe that critique is often a misunderstood part of the process. Anyone can give feedback, or have a gut reaction, but critique is a more thoughtful and deliberate process. Critique is more analytical and needs to be measured against goals.

    Adam Connor & Aaron Irizarry – Discussing Design: The Art of Critique
    Critique is an integral part of the design process. Contrasting from feedback, critique is more focused and specific. Often, rather than a gut reaction, it is framed within the context of a dialogue. It is centered around arriving at an understanding.


Special Price for the UI18 Conference

By the way, if you decide to join us for the User Interface 18 Conference in Boston, October 21-23, 2013, use the promotion code BLOG and get $200 off the full conference registration.

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