Discussing Design: The Art of Critique - Webvisions Portland 2012

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In this presentation well discuss the importance of critique and a language for discussing design. Its easy to complain about the way things are and theorize on the way things should be. Progress comes from understanding why something is the way it is and then examining how it meets or does not meet the desired goals. This is critique. Critique is not about describing how bad something is, or proposing the ultimate solution. Critique is a dialogue, a conversation that takes place to better understand how we got to where we are, how close we are to getting where we want to go and what we have left to do to get there. The contents of this presentation will focus on: understanding critique best practices for incorporating critiques into a design practice identifying common challenges to critique and ways to improve our ability to deliver, collect and receive critique

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1. What is critique? 2. Critique is about critical thinking. 3. There are two facets to critique: giving and receiving.At their foundation is intent. 4. Giving critique with thewrong intent is selsh. 5. Giving critique with theright intent is seless. 6. Tips for giving critique... 7. Tips for giving critique... Use a lter Gather initial thoughts and reactions. Revisit them in the right context 8. Tips for giving critique... Use a lter Gather initial thoughts and reactions. Revisit them in the right context Dont assume Find out the reason behind thinking, constraints or other variables 9. Tips for giving critique... Use a lter Gather initial thoughts and reactions. Revisit them in the right context Dont assume Find out the reason behind thinking, constraints or other variables Dont invite yourself Get in touch and ask to chat about the design 10. Tips for giving critique... Use a lter Gather initial thoughts and reactions. Revisit them in the right context Dont assume Find out the reason behind thinking, constraints or other variables Dont invite yourself Get in touch and ask to chat about the design Leadwith questions Show an interest in their process 11. Tips for giving critique... Usea lter Gather initial thoughts and reactions. Revisit them in the right context Dont assume Find out the reason behind thinking, constraints or other variables Dont invite yourself Get in touch and ask to chat about the design Leadwith questions Show an interest in their process Talk about strengths Critique isnt just about the things that arent working 12. Receiving critique with the right intenttakes humility and meekness. 13. Tips for receiving critique... 14. Tips for receiving critique... Remember the purpose Critique is about understanding and improvement, not judgement 15. Tips for receiving critique... Remember the purpose Critique is about understanding and improvement, not judgement Listen and think before you talk back Do you understand what the critics are saying? 16. Tips for receiving critique... Rememberthe purpose Critique is about understanding and improvement, not judgement Listen and think before you talk back Do you understand what the critics are saying? Referto the goals Is what youre hearing pertinent to the goals youre trying to achieve? 17. Tips for receiving critique... Rememberthe purpose Critique is about understanding and improvement, not judgement Listen and think before you talk back Do you understand what the critics are saying? Referto the goals Is what youre hearing pertinent to the goals youre trying to achieve? Participate Analyze your proposed solution with everyone else 18. Critique is a life skill... ...not a design skill. 19. Making critique part of your process... 20. A few things to keep in mind... 21. A few things to keep in mind... Critique is a skill. You only get better with practice 22. A few things to keep in mind... Critique is a skill. You only get better with practice Start small 23. A few things to keep in mind... Critique is a skill. You only get better with practice Start small Think before you speak 24. A few things to keep in mind... Critique is a skill. You only get better with practice Start small Think before you speak Choosewho you critique with carefully 25. The Rules of Critique 26. The Rules of Critique Avoidproblem solving and design decisions 27. The Rules of Critique Avoidproblem solving and design decisions Thedesigner is responsible for follow up and decisions 28. The Rules of Critique Avoidproblem solving and design decisions Thedesigner is responsible for follow up and decisions Everyone is equal 29. The Rules of Critique Avoidproblem solving and design decisions Thedesigner is responsible for follow up and decisions Everyone is equal Everyone is a critic 30. Goals are critical for successful critique. 31. Who shouldyou invite? 32. When should you have critiques? 33. All the f***ing time! 34. What should you critique? 35. Every f***ing thing! 36. When and what should you be critiquing?In the beginning of a project... 37. When and what should you be critiquing?In the beginning of a project...What Youre Working OnHigh level user & business goalsUser research, competitive analysisInitial concepts & vision 38. When and what should you be critiquing?In the beginning of a project...What Youre Working OnHigh level user & business goalsUser research, competitive analysisInitial concepts & visionExample GoalsFeedback on different concepts / approachesExplore the design of competing products 39. When and what should you be critiquing?In the beginning of a project...What Youre Working OnHigh level user & business goalsUser research, competitive analysisInitial concepts & visionExample GoalsFeedback on different concepts / approachesExplore the design of competing productsWhat You Might Look AtCompetitors productsConceptual models/sketches/ows 40. When and what should you be critiquing?In the middle of a project... 41. When and what should you be critiquing?In the middle of a project...What Youre Working OnDetailed interactions & product behaviorsIdentifying ow variations & solving for constraints 42. When and what should you be critiquing?In the middle of a project...What Youre Working OnDetailed interactions & product behaviorsIdentifying ow variations & solving for constraintsExample GoalsCompare the design of system componentsIdentify usability issuesGet cross-functional team feedback 43. When and what should you be critiquing?In the middle of a project...What Youre Working OnDetailed interactions & product behaviorsIdentifying ow variations & solving for constraintsExample GoalsCompare the design of system componentsIdentify usability issuesGet cross-functional team feedbackWhat You Might Look AtScreen-ow diagramsWireframes / Prototypes 44. When and what should you be critiquing?At the end of a project... 45. When and what should you be critiquing?At the end of a project...What Youre Working OnFinalizing detailed designSolidify answers or solutions to issues 46. When and what should you be critiquing?At the end of a project...What Youre Working OnFinalizing detailed designSolidify answers or solutions to issuesExample GoalsAnalyze design details and the products full impactIdentify usability issuesGet cross-functional team feedback 47. When and what should you be critiquing?At the end of a project...What Youre Working OnFinalizing detailed designSolidify answers or solutions to issuesExample GoalsAnalyze design details and the products full impactIdentify usability issuesGet cross-functional team feedbackWhat You Might Look AtHigh Fidelity PrototypesBeta/Pilot Systems 48. Preparation and Kickoff 49. Tools & Techniques 50. Tools & Techniques Activelistening, question for clarity 51. Tools & Techniques Activelistening, question for clarity RoundRobin 52. Tools & Techniques Activelistening, question for clarity RoundRobin Direct Inquiry 53. Tools & Techniques Activelistening, question for clarity RoundRobin Direct Inquiry Quotas 54. Tools & Techniques Activelistening, question for clarity RoundRobin Direct Inquiry Quotas Six Thinking Hats 55. Tools & Techniques Activelistening, question for clarity RoundRobin Direct Inquiry Quotas Six Thinking Hats Facilitators 56. Dealing with difcult people... 57. Help with handling difcult people... 58. Help with handling difcult people... Set expectations at the beginning 59. Help with handling difcult people... Set expectations at the beginning Makesure everyone understands critique 60. Help with handling difcult people... Set expectations at the beginning Makesure everyone understands critique Ask quiet people for feedback directly 61. Help with handling difcult people... Set expectations at the beginning Makesure everyone understands critique Ask quiet people for feedback directly Refer back to personas, goals and principles 62. Help with handling difcult people... Set expectations at the beginning Makesure everyone understands critique Ask quiet people for feedback directly Refer back to personas, goals and principles Use laddering (The 5 Whys) 63. Help with handling difcult people... Set expectations at the beginning Makesure everyone understands critique Ask quiet people for feedback directly Refer back to personas, goals and principles Use laddering (The 5 Whys) Critique with people individually ahead of time 64. Following Up 65. In Summary 66. In Summary Critique focuses on what works, what doesnt and why. Its a form of analysis 67. In Summary Critique focuses on what works, what doesnt and why. Its a form of analysis Critique is a life skill. It makes us better communicators and collaborators and only improves with practice 68. In Summary Critique focuses on what works, what doesnt and why. Its a form of analysis Critique is a life skill. It makes us better communicators and collaborators and only improves with practice Intentis critical to the success of a critique on both sides: giving and receiving 69. In Summary Critique focuses on what works, what doesnt and why. Its a form of analysis Critique is a life skill. It makes us better communicators and collaborators and only improves with practice Intentis critical to the success of a critique on both sides: giving and receiving Theright intent is to understand the design and provide information to help the designer make better decisions 70. In Summary 71. In Summary Agreed upon and mutually understood goals are critical both when asking for and giving critique 72. In Summary Agreed upon and mutually understood goals are critical both when asking for and giving critique Thereare basic rules that should be followed to help ensure good critique 73. In Summary Agreed upon and mutually understood goals are critical both when asking for and giving critique Thereare basic rules that should be followed to help ensure good critique Critique can be done both internally and with clients. Use 3-6 people for about 1 hour 74. In Summary Agreed upon and mutually understood goals are critical both when asking for and giving critique Thereare basic rules that should be followed to help ensure good critique Critique can be done both internally and with clients. Use 3-6 people for about 1 hour Be prepared to deal with difcult people 75. Additional Resources The Art of the Design Critique (Aarron Walter - Think Vitamin)http://thinkvitamin.com/design/the-art-of-the-design-critique/ Its Not Working For Me: #crit (Mark Boulton - Mark Boulton Design)http://www.markboulton.co.uk/journal/comments/its-not-working-for-me-crit Design Criticism and the Creative Process (Cassie McDaniel - A List Apart)http://www.alistapart.com/articles/design-criticism-creative-process/ Everything Ive Ever Learned About Giving Design Critiques... (Dan Saffer - Kicker Studio)http://www.kickerstudio.com/blog/2010/11/everything-ive-ever-learned-about-giving-design-critiques-i-learned-from-tim-gunn/ What Goes into a Well-Done Critique (Jared Spool - UIE)http://www.uie.com/articles/critique/ Do you want critique, or a hug? (Jon Kolko - AC4D)http://www.ac4d.com/2012/04/30/do-you-want-critique-or-a-hug/