Asynchronous design critiques
We review each other's designs quite often in issues, but in those situations the focus is usually on the feature rather than the designs and processes behind them. I think that analyzing each other's work from time to time would be great for GitLab to become more robust and for us to grow individually as designers.
In the past we have attempted conducting design critiques during the UX Team Call. Those efforts didn't succeed because of different reasons, but I think the main ones were:
- The UX Team Call doesn't offer a lot of time. We have enough stuff to fill up the calls as is
- Setting up separate calls is a burden and doesn't work well with our remote model
- People had to go out of their way to present a design for the next team call, and they may not have time to prepare for that
A more asynchronous approach could work better for us. Here are some ideas on how to make it work:
- When a designer wants to have some work critiqued, they open an issue in the GitLab Design project and add a detailed description, which can include the reasoning behind the decisions they made, the background data or research they used, etc.
- The designer pings the rest of the team and actively seeks their comments. We all have a lot of stuff to do so it's easy for this kind of stuff to be put in the back of our minds. It should be okay to remind other designers to give their opinion because it will be appreciated
- We can aid ourselves with 'interactive' tools:
- We can record screencasts where we go over designs and comment on them. This gives us more freedom than typing out an analysis and it can be done asynchronously
- Tools like InVision can be used to comment on specific points of a design
- Freehand can be used to add annotations on exports