Creating space for sharing expert advice, historical knowledge, and diverse perspectives in a team-wide critique session.
Before any critique session, new participants are informed about the world they are about to enter.
A set of pop-up rules are posted in the invite as a reminder to all, along with the upcoming presenters name, link to their design brief.
Work to be presented must be at least 25% to 75% baked
When the work is less than 25% completed, it’s too early and most decisions haven’t been made yet. The session is too likely to turn into group brainstorming and design-by-committee, which everyone wants to avoid.
When the work is too close to completion, it’s hard to take in the criticism and feedback. At that point, there’s just not enough wiggle room for changes.
Presenter Sets Objectives
Write down questions you would like answered. What decisions are you stuck on? What revelations have you had as you’ve iterated on the solution?
All designs are available as a collection in Abstract
This will ensure everyone has an opportunity to leave comments in one place, or if we don’t get through all screens, designers can asynchronously provide feedback. Please link to the design brief in the collection for context.
Having presenters (two maximum) verbally welcome everyone in the Zoom room, grants each presenter automatic authority and by default and indicates who will begin.
A short-and-simple opener is perfect for time-constrained, regularly scheduled sessions.
Timing is strictly enforced in critiques.
Each presenter has up to 15 minutes to share their work.
1. Recap your design brief.
2. Present solutions using Abstract.
3. End with questions and/or assumptions.
Before Critique starts, ensure a notetaker is assigned (if one is requested from presenter).
To kick-off discussion, we start with a randomizer. The selected participant opens the discussion in any way they choose. They can attempt to answer presenters objective or they can simply ask a clarifying question or pose "I was confused about the page-level "Save," can you tell me why you opted for that?"
Randomly choosing the person to start the discussion prevents the same persons from running the crit, I like it because it invites new or more junior participants to contribute from the start, even if they have limited working knowledge.
- Erica Mauser, Product Designer
The second-half of critique allows me as a facilitator to practice stacking, tracking, linking, summarizing, drawing out, and balancing the group with a limited amount of time.
Participants can motion to bring in a colleague that has expertise with the product, domain, design system, to share their work.
Participant can call on someone and ask them directly, If you were me, what would you do...
Participant can motion for a debate between two highly contentious solutions. If majority vote for this, volunteers take sides and prepare arguments why one solution is best.
The session ends when the timer runs out. Remind presenter in the last two minutes: What are your next steps?
Presenter always leaves with a path forward!