Showing posts tagged critique

Discussing Design: New all natural, super nutritious, concentrated blog formula.

About a year and a half ago, after ranting to Whitney Hess for probably the 12th time about the state of “feedback” in the design community and the lack of critique. She finally told me to STFU and that I should get in touch with this dude Aaron Irizarry on the west coast who had been ranting to her about the same stuff.

But before I could, Aaron got in touch with me. That conversation lead to a talk we gave in Denver, CO at the 2011 IA Summit. Which has since lead to many more presentations at conferences, webinars for various organizations, training workshops and an upcoming talk and workshop at the UI17 conference.

And now, it’s lead to a blog. Aaron and I are very happy to recently have launched our new blog: Discussing Design. Those of you that have seen or heard us speak know that in our presentation we cover a lot of aspects of critique in about 40 minutes. And believe me, if we were able to, we could cover a lot more. Just about every aspect and detail can be further explored. It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but haven’t found a good vehicle to do so, until now.

Discussing Design will dig deeper into the details of critique, how we talk about designs and ideas and collaborate with our teammates. We’re looking forward to finally having the chance to put this material out there, and hope you’ll enjoy it too.

And like anything we do, we invite you to share your thoughts and stories with us. There is always more to learn, and who better to learn from than you and all the other awesome people out there.

Join me this Thursday for a Virtual Seminar with UIE

This Thursday I’ll be presenting an extended version of Discussing Design: The Art of Critique as part of UIE’s Virtual Seminar series.

I’m outrageously honored to be doing this. Those of you familiar with Jared and his team know that they consistently deliver high quality content on super relevant and timely topics. I only hope I don’t break their streak and ruin their reputation :)

If you haven’t seen Aaron and I talk about the topic, now is your chance. And if you have, well, there will be more and new material in this updated version. So what are you waiting for? Go sign up! Get on it!

You can check out the 3 minute preview below:

IA Summit 2012 Video: Discussing Design - The Art of Critique

At this year’s IA Summit my fellow Mad*Powian, Jamie Thomson, was kind enough to record the talk that I gave with Aaron Irizarry. If you were at IAS but didn’t see us, now’s your chance. If you weren’t there, well, why the heck weren’t you? It was awesome!

Have a look!

Want to learn about Design Studio in Vegas? Sure you do!

I’m very excited to be hosting a pre-conference tutorial on Design Studio as part of this year’s annual UPA conference in Las Vegas.

Those that know me, know that two of my biggest areas of interest in design are collaboration and critique. And for me, Design Studio is the perfect blending of those two aspects.

Here’s the tutorial description:

The generation and exploration of ideas is a critical early step when designing products and services. The work done in this stage of the product’s lifecycle will help set a path for its future. It will also begin to solidify the problems and challenges the new product will and will not address.

But trouble often arises at this early stage for a number of reasons:

  • teams may lack an effective structure or process for generating ideas, falling back on the non-descript “brainstorm” session
  • various members of the team, beyond just the design team, may have their own ideas for the product.
  • there isn’t an efficient structure in place for capturing, evaluating, and eliminating ideas.
  • and more…

The Design Studio is a method for idea generation, evaluation, refinement and even elimination. It takes place in a collaborative, fast paced, interactive environment that leads to a shared understanding of the product, the problems it will address and how it will address them.

Participants in this tutorial will be presented with an idea for a potential product and a partial scenario describing how a user intends to use the product. They will then be split into teams and, through the Design Studio process, generate, evaluate, and refine their ideas for the product’s design.

Participants will be required to sketch their ideas, however no real drawing ability is necessary. If you can draw a rectangle, triangle, circle and wavy line, you have all the skills needed to illustrate your ideas.

Additionally participants will be required to provide feedback on other’s ideas and receive feedback on their own. Experience in a critique setting is a plus, but again, not at all required.

I look forward to sharing this method with you. It’s been a major component in the process I and my teammates use to approach new projects and can have long lasting benefits not just on quality of work, but on relationships and other collaborative opportunities.

If your going to be attending the conference, I hope you’ll consider attending my session. It should be a lot of fun.

And if you haven’t been thinking about attending the conference, you should. The line up looks pretty kick-ass.

See you in Vegas!

Vote for Aaron and I to speak at SXSW 2012

Voting has opened up on SXSW’s PanelPicker. This time around my cohort, Aaron Irizarry, and I have thrown our talk, Discussing Design: The Art of Critique, into the fray.

We’ve given this talk at a few design-centric conferences, but with our upcoming appearance at Web 2.0 Expo and hopefully SXSW we’re hoping to get the topic and it’s importance out in front of a broader audience.

Aaron and I feel critique is a critical skill for anyone involved in creating new products or services. Wether you call yourself a designer, entrepreneur, business analyst, marketer, developer, it doen’t matter. Critique is about understanding and helping to improve a solution, and that’s something we are all involved in (or at least, we should be.)

So please, take a minute and head over to and vote for us. And as always if you have any questions or comments on the talk or topic of critique, feel free to leave them there, here, or hit Aaron (@aaroni268) or I (@adamconnor) up on Twitter.

View more presentations from Adam Connor