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Give a Crit – 4th Iteration

In continuing work on my capstone design, Give a Crit, I present the fourth iteration.

Expert Review and Critique

After my last iterations, I decided to have other designers look at my work and provide a review and critique. They gave me some great feedback that lead to more whiteboard sketching.

Designing through sketching

After a critique session by fellow designers, I headed up to a fantastic whiteboard room in our design studio. I went to work by sketching larger than life versions of my design. By sketching out my design in a larger-than-life fashion, I was able to notice patterns and details that I might have missed out by sketching in a small notebook. I was then able to pair these sketches, find similar elements, and find interesting deviations. This in turn sparked many new ideas which I promptly sketched as well. Furthermore, I had now read and reviewed multiple literature sources and theories that I was able to use in my designs. This helped inform my decisions and hopefully had lead to a better iteration.

4th Iteration

In this iteration I have pulled some interaction styles from Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop, with which most photographers are familiar. The screen shown below shows a critique in session. On the top right you can see a criticizer recording video and audio of his thoughts. Furthermore, this design allows for a criticizer to ‘edit’ photos in order to show what might work better for a particular photograph. There are selection, drawing, and note taking tools on the bottom right had side that allow criticizers to directly annotate particular features of a photograph in order to better explain their thoughts. A criticizer is also able to pull up two photos for side-by-side comparison or pull up ‘before edit’ and ‘after edit’ versions of the photograph being critiqued. My intention is to allow for easy and powerful critiques that the photographer or other’s can learn from and converse about.

Give A Crit - iteration four


I think some potential weaknesses in this iteration could be non-scannable critiques (critiques take considerable more time to digest here), too little conversation between the criticizer and the photographer, and no real comparison of a set of photographs (besides the strip of thumbnails along the bottom of the screen). Furthermore, the design doesn’t really allow for a photographer’s intention to show through, which I’ve recently found through user research can be very important.

I would love further comments and feedback on this iteration, especially from photographers.

Give A Crit – Iterations

Over the last two days I’ve been iterating a lot on my design for the critique portion of my capstone project Give A Crit. I’ve locked myself in a whiteboard room and sketched and sketched, and sketched some more.

Here is an example of a whiteboard sketch.
whiteboard sketch of give-a-crit

I took this particular sketch and decided to quickly mock it up using Keynote (taking only 30-40 minutes). This was done to help me begin to better understand the design and interactions. This particular concept uses the idea of ‘purposeful progression’ (Dewey) through a three step process for contributing a critique.

keynote sketch of give-a-crit

keynote sketch of give-a-crit

keynote sketch of give-a-crit

However, I wasn’t really happy with these sketches. So, I talked to some colleagues and showed them my work. They gave me some great feedback. So much so that I felt compelled to come back into the studio at 9pm and sketch some more in the whiteboard room (love that room). Here are some sketches I came up with then.

Give A Crit – Sketch

I’ve been sketching and thinking deeply about my capstone project lately. I’ve done close readings of web based critique systems like Flickr, Deviant Art, Dribbble, etc. I’ve also been talking recently about the value of quickly prototyping a design. So tonight, I took a recent sketch of my capstone project, Give A Crit, and created a quick (non-interactive) prototype. This took me about 40 minutes using Keynote templates by Keynotopia, just one of many providers of keynote templates for prototyping. So, I present here, for your critique, a quick prototype sketch of Give a Crit, specifically of the critique functionality.

One main thought behind this sketch is to provide some ambiguity of the design so that photographers giving critique can provide meaning as they see fit. Furthermore, this sketch is totally lacking in the photograph’s technical details, which I believe will add value when giving a critique. These technical details could live below the photograph’s description, but I haven’t put much thought into that feature yet. Click on the image below for a full size version.

sketch prototype of Give A Crit

This project is ongoing and will change by leaps and bounds. I’ve conducted very little primary research at this point. Most of my thoughts have centered around a formal analysis of flickr, facebook, deviant art, smug mug, dribbble, and others. Formalist theories (Bell, Wolfman), Structuralist theories (Hebdish, Polhemus), and Use Quality theories (Lowgren) have also provided some grounding to my work, but will be further expanded upon in the future.