Project 2 Critique

Instructions

When designing, it's almost inevitable that at some point you will end up in a creative "rut" where you start to repeat the same design patterns and begin to lose track of the potential downsides of choices you make. Much like you should always have someone else proofread an essay because you tend to overlook your own typoes, in design you should engage in critique in order to understand your own design blindspots and overcome them. Critique is not "criticism" per se, in the sense that it is intended purely to criticize something. I like to think of critique as "criticism + action". When you engage in design critique you do identify successes and flaws in a designs, but you also need to offer productive ideas or suggestions in light of the things you find. Critique should be productive. When done right, it should give the person who was critiqued some ready ideas to apply in this design or in future ones.

As you critique, please follow these ground rules:

Please follow this procedure:

  1. There are about 100 different project groups in the class. We'll break out into groups of 6-8 students so that discussion is more manageable.
  2. Breakout rooms will take turns introducing their projects and receiving group critique.
  3. First, allow the designer to introduce their design for 2 minutes. Share your screen and show what your group made. Talk about your design concept and identify a few decisions you made when making it.
  4. Then, as a group, critique the visualization for 3-5 minutes. As this is an interactive visualization, think about how the design of the tool helps you to flexibly explore data through visual and interactive elements.
  5. For the next 40 or so minutes, rotate between groupmembers. If you end up with extra time, discuss any memorable projects you've already critiqued or any questions you have about your write-up prior to the final deadline on Monday.

Critique Guide
Design critique can take any number of forms. Some outline pros and cons, or identify particular visual elements and break them down. Others start with the data and discuss the construction of the visualization from the ground up. In your group, feel free to set up whatever norms you prefer for design criticism.

Here are some questions to help guide your critique: