EDIT: October 2015 –
Alisan now has a short video that explains this concept.
One of the tricks he told us about is what he calls “the critique cross” – a very simple tool for inviting and managing design critique in a structured way. Since he hasn’t written about it yet (as far as I know!), and since I frequently refer to it and tell colleagues about it, I thought I’d take it upon myself to share the detail.
If you need to provide or receive useful critique on something – sketches, a prototype, an interface, physical or digital – it is useful to do that in a structured way.
What Alisan suggests is that we consider four main aspects for the critique. These four aspects are associated with each quadrant around the cross you see in the image above, read clockwise from the top-left.
- “Dwell time” – how much time do we have to talk about this (5 minutes or an hour… it makes a difference)
- “User context, goals, needs” – what problem are we trying to solve here? what are the user needs?
- “Logic” – what design decisions have been made, and why? What are the suggested solutions?
- “Design principles” or “Business goals” – what else has guided our decision-making, in terms of what we’re trying to achieve.
In his original talk, I think Alisan actually suggested “Emotion” as the fourth quadrant. What emotion are we trying to produce in the user; what experience are we aiming for? I think this is a fine option but in practice, I’ve found it equally useful to reiterate any design principles that we have generated from research within a project.
So there you have it, a straightforward way to manage design critique.