What is a design critique?

Design critiques analyze and provide feedback on a design to identify whether its reaching its objectives. Critiques are usually group conversations that are intended to support the designer(s) in improving the design.

What is not a critique?

  • Judging or approving a design
  • An insult on a designers work
  • Telling people what to do
  • Sharing personal likes and dislikes

Why give a critique in MURAL?

Advantages of doing a remote design critique in MURAL:

  • Designers can make their team more involved
  • Teams can see the entire design flow (not just one page or screen)
  • Teams can give feedback asynchronously in one place
  • Anyone can add comments which will remain after the critique
  • Become a better communicator
  • Encourage a positive feedback culture
  • Build on each others’ ideas and improve the design of a product or service

Access the Design Critique Template here.

For more info, visit here.

Rules for Online Design Critiquess

Everyone is equal: nobody's opinion matters more than anyone else's.
Be visual: try drawing your ideas as a story or a sketch.
Be mindful: think before you speak - the designer put a lot of time and thought into the work

Be specific: Explain your thoughts clearly and avoid vague phrases and comparisons

Build on feedback: Improve initial ideas and see how far you can go
Don't take it personally: Designers learn to receive feedback and make decisions later.

Prepare

  • Choose 3-6 people with different roles to obtain different perspectives. Rotate people every few weeks.
  • Create a mural from the Design Critique Template to display the research and the designer’s work.
  • If the design critique will be done asynchronously, make sure you give enough context to the people who will give feedback.

Run a Design Critique Online

When to Do Critiques?

  • Design critiques can be done at different phases of a project
  • Plan them regularly (try once a week) but do them when the designer has done enough work and is ready to iterate on it with the team.

Here are suggestions of what can be done in each phase

Beginning of a Project

Middle of a Project

End of a Project

Give & Receive Feedback

  • Before you start, share the design critique rules and ensure everyone understands them.
  • Ask your team to give feedback using the comments. Show that they can right click anywhere in the mural to add a comment.
  • Reserve the sticky notes for notes, descriptions and instructions.

    Example color coding:

Giving Feedback

Take time to understand the design process

Review the design before adding your feedback

Be positive and constructive in your criticism

Ask questions if you don't understand the designers reasoning

Don’t share personal likes or dislikes that are not related to the project’s goals

Don’t invite yourself to a critique

Receiving feedback

Specify the kind of feedback you’re looking for

Actively listen to other people’s feedback

Take notes and dig deeper by asking questions

Thank everyone for their feedback, even if it was negative

Don’t take criticisms personally

Don’t react immediately

Follow up & next steps

DESIGNER: Send a follow up message to thank the participants for their feedback and time, then decide which feedback is valuable.

PARTICIPANTS: Respect the designer’s decision after the critique. Designers may not use all the feedback if they’re out of scope

TEAM: Fix a date for the next design critique. Agree on what needs to happen before and what the next critique will be about.

Learn more:


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