UX Critique Guide
Critique is something that can be a frightening experience, especially if not properly executed. That said, critique is something that helps us grow as professionals and produce better work. From our experience of running critique sessions at many companies for different teams we’ve discovered some common tips and tactics to ensure your critique experience is constructive, effective, professional, useful, and respectful. Before requesting any critique we suggest reading through these tips and tactics and using them in how you approach your ask. Doing this will likely yield not only more responses but also more useful information that you can apply to your work.
Framing a Critique
Before soliciting a critique write out:
What is the work about?
Briefly tell us a bit about the work (client, platform, scope, etc.).
What are you hoping to achieve?
Tell us about the goals (increase conversions, build trusts, improve accessibility, etc.).
How will you measure success?
Tell us what metrics or criteria you’ll be using (site analytics, survey usability testing, etc.).
What state is the work in?
Tell us how far along you are (just brainstorming, first sketch, final design revisions, etc.).
What is the scope of this critique?
What one aspect are you looking for feedback on? (the navigation, layout, color, etc.).
Soliciting a Critique
Start with something like this:
What I’m trying to figure out is...
The design problem I’m trying to solve is...
What I’m struggling with is...
What I’d specifically like to gain from this session is...
Avoid starting with things like this:
Do you like it?
What do you think?
Which one do you prefer?
Start your responses with:
Why did you decide to...
Have you considered...
I’m wondering about...
I’m concerned about X (and I think it’s because Y)
Is X something you’ve thought about?
I like it because...
Avoid starting a response with:
That’s bad / ugly.
I don’t like it.
I like it.
I like it, but...
Here’s how I would do it...
Please do these things:
Ask clarifying questions
Share feelings if they are blocking your listening
Come back to the design goals
Please don't do these things:
Take it personally
Argue or defend
Design or redesign live as the responses roll in
Critique: The Secret to Growing Your UX Team Skills by Jared Spool (June 28th, 2018)
Art of Design Critique by Priya Saraswat (April 21st, 2018)
Running Effective UX Design Critiques by Puja Parakh (March 11th, 2018)
Don’t take design critique as an insult by Fabricio Teixeira (January 23rd, 2018)
How To Give Powerful Design Critique by Alexandra Kovács (November 21st, 2017)
Design Critique — The Booking way by Richard Rio Omolo (December 19th, 2016)
Design Critiques: Encourage a Positive Culture to Improve Products by Sarah Gibbons (October 23rd, 2016)
How To Run A UI Design Critique by Jason Cranford Teague (August 15th, 2016)
Peek Inside a Facebook Design Critique by Tanner Christensen (July 18th, 2016)
Tips For Facilitating Productive Critiques by Aaron Irizarry (October 8th, 2012)
Setting the Foundation for Meaningful Critiques by Adam Connor (July 31st, 2012)
The Role of Intent in Critique by Aaron Irizarry (July 19th, 2012)
It's Not Working For Me: #crit by Mark Boulton (May 10th, 2012)
The Art of the Design Critique by Aarron Walter (January 26th, 2011)
Design Criticism and the Creative Process by Cassie McDaniel (January 11th, 2011)
How To Run a Design Critique by Scott Berkun (March 12th, 2007)
How to Give and Receive Criticism by Scott Berkun (March 12th, 2007)
Improving Communication and Collaboration through Critique
By Adam Connor & Aaron Irizarry
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: June 2015
Articulating Design Decisions
Communicate with Stakeholders, Keep Your Sanity, and Deliver the Best User Experience
By Tom Greever
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: September 2015