Peer Feedback

Elements of a Critique Group

  • 3–7 people (owner, facilitator, etc)
  • Printed handouts or digital copies for each person
  • Feedback goals

Types of Feedback Goals

  • Get specific kinds of feedback about a set of different design approaches for one feature or area of a website.
  • Compare how several different components of the same product are designed.
  • Discuss the user flow through design (cognitive walkthrough).
  • Explore the designs of competing products that have elements or qualities that you want to achieve.
  • Allow teammates with different job functions to provide feedback from their expertise.

Giving Critique

  1. Understand any constraints & requirements of the project.
  2. Allow silent review time for 5–10 minutes (avoids groupthink).
  • What known usability / design / business issues are these sketches trying to solve?
  • What is the intended style of the design, and is it appropriate for the target audience?
  • Are there similar software products or features that these designs should relate to?
  • Where in the design are the most likely places for users to have trouble? and why?
  • Are there reasonable design changes that might avoid these problem points?
  • Does each design idea take advantage of things the user might already have learned?
  • What are the pros and cons of each design idea, relative to each other?

Receiving Critique

  1. Clarify the feedback goals that you’re looking for.
  2. Don’t give long-winded explanations (the most useful feedback is “I don’t understand this”).
  3. Listen first.
  4. Avoid being defensive.
  5. Ask follow-up questions.
  6. Record the feedback.
  7. Leave with a task list.
  8. Send follow-up for next steps and thank colleagues.

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