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Best 10 Design Critique Tips For You | Hapy Guide

Written By Mashia Aftab | Last Modified On April 22, 2024

Design critique is an art. It’s a way of knowing what works and what doesn’t and then articulating it to others so they can improve their work.

The process of design critique is an integral part of the design process. It helps you to refine your ideas and communicate them to others. Design critique tips are a valuable and effective way to share opinions about design concepts. A good critique should focus on improving a design rather than criticizing it.

Design Critique: What Is It?

Design Critique is a process used to evaluate the design of an object, system, or service. It involves identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a design and making suggestions for improvement. Design critique can be done by professionals or non-professionals alike.

To get started with a design critique, you’ll need to take stock of your own design by asking yourself questions like:

  • Is my design effective?
  • Does it solve the problem I set out to solve?
  • Is it easy for users to understand and use?

Why are Design Critiques Important?

Design Critiques are a crucial part of the design process. They ensure that you’re making the best choices for your product and its users, and they help everyone on your team understand each other’s work better.

We summarized the details for the question; why is it essential to have design critique (crit) sessions?

  1. It is a necessary part of the design 
  2. Boosts Team Morale 
  3. Leads to better choices being made 
  4. It is a source of improvement for the team 
  5. It brings together different perspectives 
  6. It helps designers think outside the box 
  7. Leads to innovation 

Some Roles Involved In The Design Critique

In a design critique, all team members are encouraged to participate. The team may include people who have already been working on the project or those who have just joined. Generally, each member has some expertise in different areas and can offer opinions on various aspects of the design.

But in professional terms, these roles are involved in the design critique tips:

Presenter

The presenter is the person who presents the design critique. They are responsible for explaining what they want to do, how they want to do it, and why they are doing it. The presenter should also be prepared to answer questions from the other people involved in the critique so that everyone understands what is going on.

Facilitator

The role of the facilitator is to conduct the design critique. The facilitator will make sure all participants are on track and that everyone has a chance to speak. The facilitator should also take notes of the conversation so that it can be documented.

The facilitator should keep an eye on the time and ensure enough time for each participant to give their comments about the design work.

The facilitator must also ensure that all participants understand what they are discussing and agree on what feedback they are giving.

Notetaker

The notetaker is responsible for taking notes during the meeting. They should be prepared to record all the issues discussed during the critique, as well as any action items that come out of it. If they are writing on a whiteboard, they should make sure to jot down what was said in order to ensure that there is no confusion about what was written down at a later date.

Critiquer

The role of the critiquer is to be the voice of reason. They’re not there to be mean or to make you feel wrong about your work. Instead, they are there to help you improve your design and make it as good as possible. The goal is for all parties involved to walk away from the critique feeling like they know just a little more than before about what makes for good design.

Read More: Accessibility Design at Scale | Best Tips

10 Design Critique Tips That Will Do Wonders For You

Have you ever found yourself in a design critique, but you’re not sure what to say? If you’re like most people, you probably have. We’ve all been there; you come across something that doesn’t seem right, and it’s hard to know what to say or how to fix it.

So, how to run a design critique?

Well, in this guide, we’ll be sharing our best tips for making your next design critique a hit with your team.

Check out the following list of tips for your next design critique:

  • Be specific
  • Don’t be biased
  • Suggest a Solution 
  • Don’t make it personal
  • Be respectful 
  • Don’t come unprepared
  • Stay Positive
  • Don’t get distracted
  • Link feedback to goals 
  • Don’t end on a sour note

1) Be Specific

In our case, this means pointing out specific things about the work that you’re critiquing instead of just saying things like “it’s a good job” or “it needs work”. The more specific your feedback is, the more likely people will be able to use it.

For example: If you don’t know what color scheme to use for your website, don’t just say “I want something that’s not too bright”. Describe what colors appeal to you and why; if nothing specific comes to mind, describe how other websites have recently caught your eye.

2) Don’t Be Biased

When critiquing a design, it’s easy to forget that you are not the person who created the design. Remember that the designer probably spent hours, or even days, working on their design and wants to know what you think about it.

The best way to do this is by being unbiased and honest when giving feedback. Be sure not to focus on one aspect of their work as more important than others because that will skew your critique and not give them an accurate picture of what they can improve upon.

3) Suggest A Solution

Some clients want specific suggestions for changes that will improve their product or service, while others just want general comments about how well they think it works or what stands out positively. If you’re unsure how much detail they expect from you, ask them before starting the critique session so that neither wastes time trying to get what the other wants from this meeting.

4) Don’t Make It Personal

When you give a critique, you need to be as objective as possible. This can be difficult because most people have difficulty being objective when they have an emotional stake in the subject matter. Make sure you are not making your critique personal by taking an honest look at the design and its elements rather than focusing on how the designer might feel about their work.

You want to ensure that the designer knows you are looking at the design for its merits rather than for any flaws within its personality or character.

5) Be Respectful

It’s important to remember that when you give someone a design critique, they are not just looking for your opinion. They are looking for ways to improve their work and become better designers. It is important to remember that this person has worked hard on this piece of work, and you need to be respectful when giving your critiques.

If you are not respectful, it could result in them losing confidence in themselves and other people losing faith in them. You want to ensure that you provide constructive criticism so they can learn from their mistakes and become better designers!

6) Don’t Come Unprepared

Coming in unprepared is always a bad idea, and it’s especially true for design critique sessions. You don’t want to show up without any ideas on improving the design because you might end up just sitting there listening to everyone else talk about how they like it. And that wouldn’t be any fun! So make sure you come prepared with at least one or two suggestions.

7) Stay Positive

When critiquing a design, it’s essential to be specific and constructive. But this doesn’t mean you have to be negative. Remember that your job is to help the designer improve their work, not tear them down. So before you start critiquing anything, ensure you have a positive attitude!

8) Don’t Get Distracted

If you’re critiquing a design, don’t let yourself get sidetracked. You need to stay objective and focus on the work at hand. If you have an opinion on the color scheme of the work or whether it’s a good idea to use drop shadows, keep that to yourself until later. You don’t want to give too much attention to those things when there’s so much more to be said about the overall design!

9) Link Feedback To Goals 

If you give feedback, it’s because you want the recipient to improve. Your feedback isn’t helping them reach their goals if they don’t improve. And if they don’t reach their goals, what’s the point of giving them feedback?

So when you critique, ask yourself: “What does this person need to do for their work to be better?”

Then, answer that question and give them specific guidance on getting there.

10) Don’t End On A Sour Note

This might be the most important tip of all. Don’t end on a sour note if you want to make an impression and leave your audience feeling good about themselves and the conversation.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment’s heat and say something you wish you hadn’t said. When that happens, step back and ask yourself, “Is this true? Will they want to hear this? Would I want someone to say this to me?”.

It’s easy to focus on what’s not working, but try to give some love to the things that do work. It’ll make your critique more constructive and show that you care about the people who made whatever it is you’re critiquing.

Read More: Accessibility Design at Scale | Best Tips

Is It Easy To Critique A Website Design Or Product? How To Do It?

Critiquing a website design or product is not always easy. It is difficult to be able to critique a website design or product if you are not an expert in this field.

But with some patience, you can learn how to critique a website design or product.

First, you need to know what you are looking at. Is it a website or a product? What kind of product? Remember that each one has different criteria for critique. If it’s a website, you need to know what kind of content is on the site and what functionality it offers. If it’s an app, you need to know what features are available and how useful they are for users.

Look for things like:

  • Does the design make sense?
  • Are there any parts that seem out of place or unnecessary?
  • Is there good contrast between the text and background colors?
  • Are any images used too small so that they’re hard to read?
  • How does the site load up when you first visit?
  • Does anything seem broken or buggy? (i.e., if you click on something, nothing happens).

Bottom Line 

Design critique can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You can use these tips to make your critiques more helpful and less intimidating so that everyone involved feels heard and respected.

We hope you found this guide to taking a design critique helpful! We know it can be tough to get your head around, but if you follow these steps, you can hold your own in any design critique.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the guide; what resonated with you? What didn’t? Let us know!

FAQs

How Do You Critique a Good Design?

It’s simple! You just have to be honest and constructive. It’s one of the easiest things to do because you only have to tell the designer what they did well and what they did wrong.

What Is the Difference Between a Design Review and a Design Critique?

Design review and design critique are two different things. A design review is a meeting to gather team members’ feedback about the project’s progress. On the other hand, a design critique is an analysis of a design’s strengths and weaknesses that can be used to make improvements.

What Should You Not Do in a Critique?

Don’t get defensive: If you’re getting feedback, it’s because the other person thinks your actions could be better. This is not about them; it’s about you! So listen and learn.