Instilling the Practice of Critique

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It’s easy to complain about the way things are and theorize on the way things should be. Progress comes from understanding why something is the way it is and then examining how it meets or does not meet the desired goals. This is critique. Critique is not about describing how bad something is, or proposing the ultimate solution. Critique is a dialogue, a conversation that takes place to better understand how we got to where we are, how close we are to getting where we want to go and what we have left to do to get there.

This talk by Vincent Matyi focuses on best practices for incorporating critiques into a design practice as well as getting external help

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Instilling the Practice of Critique

  1. 1. The Practice of CritiqueVincent MatyiUser Experience Consulting, Knowledge Management Competency Center
  2. 2. Introduction
  3. 3. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 3PublicMerrill ZavodSr. Human Factors EngineerBenjie FalkeSr. Information DesignerCommunication Design3 yrs. experienceMilan GuentherSr. Information DesignerDiploma-Designer, MBA12 yrs. experienceSean McGinnisSr. Information DesignerVisual Communication, AAS13 yrs. experienceCaroleigh DeneenSr. Information DesignerManagement of Tech, MSEPsychology, BS15 yrs. experienceJohann W. SarmientoSr. Human Factors Engineer• Human-Computer Interaction, PhD• Computer Science, MS• Systems Engineering, BE14 yrs. experienceMarian GunkelSr. Human Factors Engineer• Psychology/Engineering• Psychology, German Diploma13 yrs. experienceMelissa A. VisintinStrategist, User Experience• Mass Communication/Multimedia, MS• Medical Illustration, BFA16 yrs. experienceUser Experience Consulting TeamKnowledge Management Competency Center @ SAPKirsten GayDirector, User Experience• Architecture, MA• Landscape Architecture, BS17 yrs. experienceVincent MatyiSr. Information DesignerMultimedia- BFA11 yrs. experienceKathrin BortUser Research InternAyman AlalaoInformation DesignerInteractive Design and Media, MSVisual Communication, BSKyle RomainInformation DesignerDigital Communications, BS12 yrs. experience• Human Factors Psych., PhD• Experimental Psych., MS• Psychology, BSThomas ThomeInformation DesignerDiploma-Media SystemDesignDavis HermannUser Experience InternStudio Art, BAFrench, BA
  4. 4. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 4PublicWhy critique as a tool in your set?
  5. 5. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 5Public Encourage greater participation in teams Promote mutual understanding Fosters inclusive solutions Cultivate shared responsibility Improve collaboration and spontaneitybetween siloed departments
  6. 6. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 6Public Encourage greater participation in teams Promote mutual understanding Fosters inclusive solutions Cultivate shared responsibility Improve collaboration and spontaneitybetween siloed departments• Everyone is equal when everyone is a critic.• Reveals thoughts and approaches from others• Results in a concentration of many differentways to improve a design• Creates an environment that fosters healthydisagreement while maintaining a level ofharmony to grow together
  7. 7. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 7PublicCritiqueSee it through a different view
  8. 8. So, what is critique?
  9. 9. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 9PublicCritique is a structuredconversation that happenswhen a group of peopleconvene to review design work…
  10. 10. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 10PublicCritique is a structuredconversation that happenswhen a group of peopleconvene to review design work… with a common purpose toexplore, examine and improvethe qualities of a work, designor an experience.
  11. 11. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 11PublicCritique does not cost muchand is good for everyoneinvolved in a project.
  12. 12. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 12PublicCritique requires a few key rolesPresenter /facilitatorCritics /audienceRecorder /note taker
  13. 13. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 13PublicCritique is planned andstructured at a place and time1 hour StudiosettingThe rightpeopleNot too earlyor too late ina project
  14. 14. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 14PublicCritique is participatoryContribute orgo homePresenterengages allGive a quotato all
  15. 15. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 15PublicCritique is objectiveKeep youropinionMutualpurposeGoal focus
  16. 16. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 16PublicCritique is impersonalLeave yourego at homeFocus on thedesign notthe personDirect allconversationto the design
  17. 17. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 17PublicCritique is a safe and sacredplace to let your darlings dieDon’t fall inloveDon’t expectvalidationNo shortageof ideasReincarnateideas forfutureTrust &respectImprove or itdies here
  18. 18. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 18PublicCritique is the opportunity tolisten and learnNot a test See throughthe eyes ofothersBe quiet!
  19. 19. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 19PublicCritique is a skill that shouldbe practicedRepetition =improvement
  20. 20. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 20PublicCritique is most effective insmall groups
  21. 21. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 21PublicCritique covers both theweakness and strength of adesignNot a testStart with thegood
  22. 22. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 22PublicCritique is planned and facilitated within a group oftrusted people to focus on design with purpose.
  23. 23. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 23PublicCritique is planned and facilitated within a group oftrusted people to focus on design with purpose.Facilitation
  24. 24. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 24PublicCritique is planned and facilitated within a group oftrusted people to focus on design with purpose.Facilitation Trust
  25. 25. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 25PublicCritique is planned and facilitated within a group oftrusted people to focus on design with purpose.Facilitation Trust Design
  26. 26. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 26PublicCritique is planned and facilitated within a group oftrusted people to focus on design with purpose.http://www.adaptivepath.com/ideas/the-design-plan-official-versus-how-it-feelsDesign
  27. 27. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 27PublicCritique is planned and facilitated within a group oftrusted people to focus on design with purpose.http://www.adaptivepath.com/ideas/the-design-plan-official-versus-how-it-feelsDesign
  28. 28. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 28PublicCritique is planned and facilitated within a group oftrusted people to focus on design with purpose.Facilitation Trust Design
  29. 29. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 29PublicCritique is planned and facilitated within a group oftrusted people to focus on design with purpose.Facilitation Trust Design Purpose
  30. 30. GuidelineFor Presenters and Critics
  31. 31. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 31PublicPresenter
  32. 32. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 32Public1. Determine in advance what you want or need from the critiquePresenter
  33. 33. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 33Public1. Determine in advance what you want or need from the critique.2. Send out designs ahead of timePresenter
  34. 34. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 34Public1. Determine in advance what you want or need from the critique.2. Send out designs ahead of time3. Share logistics and your personal objectives for the critique session.Presenter
  35. 35. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 35Public1. Determine in advance what you want or need from the critique2. Send out designs ahead of time3. Share logistics and your personal objectives for the critique session4. Start the critique by reviewing the objectives of the critique, groundrules and purpose of your designPresenter
  36. 36. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 36Public1. Determine in advance what you want or need from the critique.2. Send out designs ahead of time3. Share logistics and your personal objectives for the critique session.4. Start the critique by reviewing the objectives of the critique, groundrules and purpose of your design5. Present the design work by referencing the criteria for judging theworks value and effectiveness. Do not assume your colleagues sharethis point of viewPresenter
  37. 37. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 37Public1. Determine in advance what you want or need from the critique.2. Send out designs ahead of time3. Share logistics and your personal objectives for the critique session.4. Start the critique by reviewing the objectives of the critique, groundrules and purpose of your design5. Present the design work by referencing the criteria for judging theworks value and effectiveness. Do not assume your colleagues sharethis point of view.6. Once finished with your presentation: Actively listen and think beforeyou speak. Ask questions for clarity in a neutral, open-minded fashionPresenter
  38. 38. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 38Public1. Determine in advance what you want or need from the critique.2. Send out designs ahead of time3. Share logistics and your personal objectives for the critique session4. Start the critique by reviewing the objectives of the critique, groundrules and purpose of your design5. Present the design work by referencing the criteria for judging theworks value and effectiveness. Do not assume your colleagues sharethis point of view6. Once finished with your presentation: Actively listen and think beforeyou speak. Ask questions for clarity in a neutral, open-minded fashion7. Do not rationalize design decisions or get defensivePresenter
  39. 39. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 39Public1. Determine in advance what you want or need from the critique.2. Send out designs ahead of time3. Share logistics and your personal objectives for the critique session4. Start the critique by reviewing the objectives of the critique, groundrules and purpose of your design5. Present the design work by referencing the criteria for judging theworks value and effectiveness. Do not assume your colleagues sharethis point of view6. Once finished with your presentation: Actively listen and think beforeyou speak. Ask questions for clarity in a neutral, open-minded fashion7. Do not rationalize design decisions or get defensive8. Remain in control of the flow of the meetingPresenter
  40. 40. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 40Public1. Determine in advance what you want or need from the critique2. Send out designs ahead of time3. Share logistics and your personal objectives for the critique session4. Start the critique by reviewing the objectives of the critique, groundrules and purpose of your design5. Present the design work by referencing the criteria for judging theworks value and effectiveness. Do not assume your colleagues sharethis point of view6. Once finished with your presentation: Actively listen and think beforeyou speak. Ask questions for clarity in a neutral, open-minded fashion7. Do not rationalize design decisions or get defensive8. Remain in control of the flow of the meeting9. Have a recorder write down everything for later referencePresenter
  41. 41. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 41Public1. Determine in advance what you want or need from the critique2. Send out designs ahead of time3. Share logistics and your personal objectives for the critique session4. Start the critique by reviewing the objectives of the critique, groundrules and purpose of your design5. Present the design work by referencing the criteria for judging theworks value and effectiveness. Do not assume your colleagues sharethis point of view6. Once finished with your presentation: Actively listen and think beforeyou speak. Ask questions for clarity in a neutral, open-minded fashion7. Do not rationalize design decisions or get defensive8. Remain in control of the flow of the meeting9. Have a recorder write down everything for later reference10. Thank your participants by ending with a brief summaryPresenter
  42. 42. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 42PublicCritic
  43. 43. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 43PublicCritic1. Empathize and understand What problem is the design trying to solve? How effective does the design solve the problem? Are they there yet, or do they have further to go? If they’re not there yet, what are the parts that aren’t working? Why or why not was the design effective? Is there more to this design that should have been solved?
  44. 44. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 44PublicCritic1. Empathize and understand What problem is the design trying to solve? How effective does the design solve the problem? Are they there yet, or do they have further to go? If they’re not there yet, what are the parts that aren’t working? Why or why not was the design effective? Is there more to this design that should have been solved?2. Begin by suggesting what works well or helps to accomplish goal.Follow with ways it does not accomplish a goal
  45. 45. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 45PublicCritic1. Empathize and understand What problem is the design trying to solve? How effective does the design solve the problem? Are they there yet, or do they have further to go? If they’re not there yet, what are the parts that aren’t working? Why or why not was the design effective? Is there more to this design that should have been solved?2. Begin by suggesting what works well or helps to accomplish goal.Follow with ways it does not accomplish a goal3. Avoid opinions and phrases such as “I like” or “dont like” or love orhate. Use concrete words and industry language. Avoid general termssuch as “nice,” “good,” "bad," and “pretty”
  46. 46. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 46PublicCritic1. Empathize and understand What problem is the design trying to solve? How effective does the design solve the problem? Are they there yet, or do they have further to go? If they’re not there yet, what are the parts that aren’t working? Why or why not was the design effective? Is there more to this design that should have been solved?2. Begin by suggesting what works well or helps to accomplish goal.Follow with ways it does not accomplish a goal3. Avoid opinions and phrases such as “I like” or “dont like” or love orhate. Use concrete words and industry language. Avoid general termssuch as “nice,” “good,” "bad," and “pretty”4. Discuss the work and never the person. Comment on the work shouldbe based on the needs and parameters of the design problem
  47. 47. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 47PublicCritic1. Empathize and understand What problem is the design trying to solve? How effective does the design solve the problem? Are they there yet, or do they have further to go? If they’re not there yet, what are the parts that aren’t working? Why or why not was the design effective? Is there more to this design that should have been solved?2. Begin by suggesting what works well or helps to accomplish goal.Follow with ways it does not accomplish a goal3. Avoid opinions and phrases such as “I like” or “dont like” or love orhate. Use concrete words and industry language. Avoid general termssuch as “nice,” “good,” "bad," and “pretty”4. Discuss the work and never the person. Comment on the work shouldbe based on the needs and parameters of the design problem5. Offer direction and explanation but not a prescription
  48. 48. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 48PublicCritic1. Empathize and understand What problem is the design trying to solve? How effective does the design solve the problem? Are they there yet, or do they have further to go? If they’re not there yet, what are the parts that aren’t working? Why or why not was the design effective? Is there more to this design that should have been solved?2. Begin by suggesting what works well or helps to accomplish goal.Follow with ways it does not accomplish a goal3. Avoid opinions and phrases such as “I like” or “dont like” or love orhate. Use concrete words and industry language. Avoid general termssuch as “nice,” “good,” "bad," and “pretty”4. Discuss the work and never the person. Comment on the work shouldbe based on the needs and parameters of the design problem5. Offer direction and explanation but not a prescription6. Provide strategies to move the design forward
  49. 49. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 49PublicCritic1. Empathize and understand What problem is the design trying to solve? How effective does the design solve the problem? Are they there yet, or do they have further to go? If they’re not there yet, what are the parts that aren’t working? Why or why not was the design effective? Is there more to this design that should have been solved?2. Begin by suggesting what works well or helps to accomplish goal.Follow with ways it does not accomplish a goal3. Avoid opinions and phrases such as “I like” or “dont like” or love orhate. Use concrete words and industry language. Avoid general termssuch as “nice,” “good,” "bad," and “pretty”4. Discuss the work and never the person. Comment on the work shouldbe based on the needs and parameters of the design problem5. Offer direction and explanation but not a prescription6. Provide strategies to move the design forward7. Feel free to lead and provide your feedback with clarifying questions toget the bigger picture or the smaller details
  50. 50. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 50PublicBe prepared
  51. 51. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 51Public1. Decision makers, managers, executivesBe prepared
  52. 52. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 52Public1. Decision makers, managers, executives2. Difficult peopleBe prepared
  53. 53. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 53Public1. Decision makers, managers, executives2. Difficult people3. Design by committeeBe prepared
  54. 54. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 54Public1. Decision makers, managers, executives2. Difficult people3. Design by committee4. User ResearchBe prepared
  55. 55. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 55Public1. Decision makers, managers, executives2. Difficult people3. Design by committee4. User Research5. All get divided over an issue during critiqueBe prepared
  56. 56. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 56Public1. Decision makers, managers, executives2. Difficult people3. Design by committee4. User Research5. All get divided over an issue during critique6. Problem solving and design decisions during critiqueBe prepared
  57. 57. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 57Public1. Decision makers, managers, executives2. Difficult people3. Design by committee4. User Research5. All get divided over an issue during critique6. Problem solving and design decisions during critique7. Hurt feelings and flattened energyBe prepared
  58. 58. User Experience ConsultingMy Team @ SAP
  59. 59. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 59PublicSome critique methodschampioned by the UserExperience Consulting Teamto help SAP meet itsobjectives:1. Design Charrette2. Design Studios3. Design Thinking Workshops and Coaching4. Weekly Team Design Review
  60. 60. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 60PublicExternal ReferencesFacilitators Guide to Participatory Decision MakingSam KanerGamestormingDave Gray, Sunni Brown, James MacanufoCritique HandbookKendall Buster, Paula Crawfordhttp://scottberkun.com/essays/23-how-to-run-a-design-critique/http://www.cooper.com/journal/2009/01/a_good_design_critique.htmlhttp://alistapart.com/article/design-criticism-creative-processhttp://www.uxbooth.com/articles/the-importance-of-design-critique/http://www.discussingdesign.com/http://www.uie.com/articles/critique/http://www.uie.com/articles/great_critiques/http://blog.teamtreehouse.com/the-art-of-the-design-critiquehttp://www.kickerstudio.com/2010/11/everything-ive-ever-learned-about-giving-design-critiquesi-learned-from-tim-gunn/http://www.ac4d.com/2012/04/30/do-you-want-critique-or-a-hug/
  61. 61. Thank You!

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