What does design critiques wants you to build?

Are you a designer who does not love critiques, then it’s time for you to think again do you want to be designer?

Designer who don’t like critique are not able to produce good design. I believe designer himself should be the to criticize his own design.

Designer get best out of them when they follow some good and interesting process critiques techniques. It also help you to build the product which is meaningful.

Designer need to understand what critiques want them to build. Critiques want them to build the best possible solution for the problem they are trying to solve. But most of the designer ignore critiques and believe that what they have designed is the best possible solution, which lead their design to mediocrity and make them one of many solution or designer available.

What designer also need to understand is critiques (feedback) should the part of the process.

Critiques helps you to push your boundaries, make you think beyond the obvious solution for a particular problem, it helps you to build and experience which works as pain killer for user and not just vitamin.

Critiques also need to follow some process, way the critiques are communicated, it should have consistencies in structure. Timing is also very important, which stage of design you are giving feedback, what is the objective behind criticism, what is the expected output after feedback etc..

Feedback should start with positive note like “Good Work”, it makes designer feel good and prepares him take the feedback in constructive way, overall it will build trust in mind of designer and also some specific about output will help him to focus on right direction. It also helps him to learn something new from feedback, give him a vision from a different angle and help him stay constructive.

Easy is big virus

Making things easy is one of the moto of any UX designer’s life.

UX designers are always told in brief that, “Try to make things easy”, this “easy” word is now acting as big virus for any designers.

Actually UX designers always get kind of common brief when they start with any project, irrespective of the kind of project that is, for e.g. a e commerce website or a content driven website or a SaaS project or a complex platform to be build.

For above all the project what brief we get is very common, few common lines are

We want to make this product very simple

We want this product to be very easy to use

We want this product to be X (Uber) of the Y (manufacturing) industry.

We want this product to be intuitive.

We want to follow minimalism in our project. And many more such lines.

And when are ask few question about what they mean by words like, simple, easy, intuitive etc. either they don’t have answer or they give answer are not relevant to the project itself or they will give some kind of example of some other industry which makes no sense to designer to understand what they are looking for.

In fact, what they should so is give the over view of their current project and let the designer as they some relevant question and prepare his own brief.

As sometime some project does not require just UX design, but need to design new process for origination which is part of UX but yet people don’t believe it.

If UX designer are given the liberty of design something from end to end which including redesigning of current process, they might design wonders for that product. As sometimes constraint of following some process block them by building something new and they end up building X for Y industy.

So bottom line is UX designer should not be given any common brief, in fact they should not be given any brief, the best way is let them ask question about everything in the product and prepare their own brief.

Like what is current process?

What are the pain point all are facing using the current system, not just user but also all the stack holder of the project?

This kind of research help them to think better and come out with something which not just copy of some X experience

So build your own brief, don’t follow any standard practice, create your own process. All what matters is the out and not what process you followed to build this “GREAT EXPERIENCE”

Start building

Average users – as Dataset

Average user spend about x minutes on our app / website what does this metrics tell you.

This metrics tell you nothing.

what are the possibilities that average users are spending time on your app / website?

On good side content on your app / website is too good to people are spending x minutes


Experience of your app / website so good that user like to stick with app / website for long time


Your app / website is solving some of the core problem of human life so your time spend is more on your app / website


On the other side all above reason are your assumption looking are your analytics data, you can’t trust your analytics data till time they don’t have intelligence to prove the exact reason why users are spending much time at your app / website

The other reason that users must have spend more time can be


Your web experience is too bad, so users are not able to locate the activity that want to perform very easily, hence they spend more time to figure way to perform that activity


Some users just open your app / website and left it open in background for some reason. So the time that analytics show is quite high on average than its actual.

And their can be many more scenarios like these, where user are spending time without intension.


What does when we look at some average?

It hides the facts about why user are spending time on your app / website instead of exposing what is not working for you.


What the question that need to ask before looking average?


What it is the difference between one normal user time spend and average?

If the difference is small that means all user are spending time in same pattern, which can be good for you. If the difference is big that means that some data is wrong somewhere


So the conclusion is that we can’t just have a look at average of any data, we need to validate by deep diving into it by asking some logical question to get better answer. Are analytics being good, but still need to smart enough that they can prepare some question themselves and create some data set for us with validation. It would be great is we can have someone like Travis from Iron Man who give full insights of data by just asking on question

Getting ahead vs. doing well

In a product company we always find 2 department fighting always,

That two departments are, product and design, the argument is always product department want more features vs. designer want one feature to be done right and till date there is no clear answer to this argument.

In fact, we are still not very clear what should be the right approach to our product strategy. We have seen in past that both the strategy is working fine with many product company, for e.g. Uber does your travel easy, it does only one thing but does it very beautiful way always try to build the best ever experience that a user can get in booking the cab for travel. Other e.g. is Yahoo or Google, I don’t know if this is right comparison. But both companies provide you with lost of options, or features to consume information, mail, etc. and both company are successful.

There are two challenges here. The first challenges with doing one thing right is that, after certain point things go monotonous for user, you have reached to level in experience which is best possible and you have nothing to do in your product, so then you look for diversity in your product. And the other challenge with multiple product offering is that your users gets divided all over, so it might happen that some of your product have very thin user base and make it difficult to maintain

Learning from the history

Learning from the history, how user experience with your product is the base to start working on redesigning your user experience of your product.

After having look at the current experience, prepare the list of all the processes in your product with the problem user faces while performing that process.

Then do some research that how is your competitors, other products are trying to solve these problems. This will not only help you to get list of solution but also help you to develop new ways of thinking. Make a list of the solution that you find after doing the research. Short the list in order in which best suits your requirement. Try to implement the solution in one process and see how it works for your user.

Every solution will help you to learn new lessons about user and their behavior’s which lead you to design better experience for all your current and future products.

The number one thing to learn is user behavior’s, it can be from user itself or can be from competitor’s or from some other products

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