Thoughts on Designer Critiquing

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Thoughts on Designer Critiquing

I thought it might be useful to people involved in the designer challenge if we also had some sort of critiquing/advice/commenting after the fact. I'm not quite sure how this should look, and I'm open to suggestions.

There's a good article here about critiquing, which I could modify for our design purposes.

Should everyone involved in the challenge critique for everyone else? Or should it be more limited? And where should the critiquing happen?

I would like to see the critiques limited to the actual "design" aspects of the submission such as quality control type considerations - jaggies, missing pixels, realistic element sizes within a kit, blurriness etc. The article you provided is great. I think that if you critique you should do so as the article suggests-provide an improvement with a resolution to make it better. If a person just wants to say how wonderful the submission is then perhaps a link should be included so that those comments could be put in the gallery vice the critique area. Lastly, I watch a show called Four Weddings where four brides go to each others weddings and then rate four specifics of each others weddings and nothing frustrates me more than when they give a lower score because let's say they didn't like the bling of the other bride's dress because it is not their style! I don't think a person should base their comments on a personal preference of an item that is created it should be on what was created and the techniques of scrapbooking design. I hope this makes sense? As an example, I love and favor real flower extractions (my preference) but that does not mean that I cannot appreciate a layered paper flower and be able to provide my critique as to the technical aspects of the designed paper flower.

Marisa, that article was good!

I think offering both a commenting area and a more detailed critique section would be ideal. I found out when I was working on a painting last year for my parents 50th...that I needed to ask my son to look at things. I thought when my daughter got home from college that she'd be able someone I could go to for a suggestions or critique because she has scrapbooked in the past. But she just couldn't give me anything that would help. My mom served that role when I was in High School, and my husband just doesn't know what to say. I was SURPRISED that my son would offer suggestion like more lighting or contrast, or my eye is drawn here or there...etc. Something I hadn't realized he had developed...growth that took place in him after making the move from home-schooling into public HS...the last 3 years.

I agree that the critiquing should be done on the technical aspects of the design and not on personal preference. I'm not sure what "standard" will be used when critiquing and perhaps everyone who will be providing their opinion should be aware of the standard used. As an example, I know some designers look to see if their element images are crisp at 100%, some enlarge to 200% and check. Its just and idea I'm throwing out there so we have some consistency and the designers don't get wildly differing opinions.

Thanks for the helpful article!

I think offering the ability to provide critiques would be a wonderful learning experience for both the designers and the judges. The techniques, color schemes, rule of thirds, etc. standards should be listed, and as the article suggested, both positive and "negative" comments should be required in order to make it a positive learning experience. Janet's "standards" are great...would be great to list with any other techniques. Should definitely not include critiques based on personal preferences unless it is only in the "positives" such as, "I love the colors you chose."

In one post, each "judge" could copy and paste "Positives:" and "Suggestions:". At least one recommendation would be a great requirement. Maybe brief, i.e. one-two paragraphs (or longer) or so, tuts could be provided for the different techniques such as the ones Janet listed to enable the judges to have the tools needed to provide helpful recommendations.

I don't think the designers should be involved in the critiqueing (sp?) of other participants.

Thanks for the input. I'm going to give this some thought, as to how to best implement it. Any more thoughts are welcome!

Marisa, I love the idea of having the critiques too. I agree with what has been said in regards to personal preferences should not be a ding. Really looking forward to this. smiley

What is MOST important to me, is that PS members will continue to participate in designer challenges no matter their level of experience - and not be intimidated by public critique. So, no matter how this comes together, please ensure that this is a good teaching/learning experience for everyone involved. It can be very difficult to accept critique when you are a new designer because art is such a personal experience. But, that is part of the learning experience, as well. Gentle and loving feedback to guide an artist to their next level of knowledge is a gift, and hopefully we can express ourselves in this manner - feedback as a gift.

I have mixed feeling abut critiquing other people's work. Art is so personal. I remember going to a gallery and seeing huge canvases with a tiny little square of colour in the corner. The price tag was unbelievable, my point is some art critic thought they were wonderful, I thought they were rubbish! If at all possible I would like to see a kind of classic mistakes tutorial. Where elements such as balance are discussed - what makes a balanced page with examples of good and bad. Good and bad extractions etc

@Angela: I guess the critique wouldn´t be about the artistic part, but about thecnical aspects of the designing stuff: Are there jagged edges? Missing pixels? The contrast is weird? the designer saved the JPEG and didn´t realise that its compression made it go out of gamut? there are blurry spots? The texture isn´t showing up equally in all colors? and so on.

Maybe "quality control suggestions" would be a better word. When I was in a store, we had a person do quality control and let us know if we missed something that would make our product better, such as cleaning up some jagged edges, bluring, gamut, etc.... Now that I am not in a store anymore I miss having someone help me with that. When we are working on designing and are caught up in the art of it, it can be easy to miss the little things, like stray pixels, outside shadows that weren't intended, is always good to have a second fresh eye to help you see where your beautiful art can be even better in quality. I personally hope we can start this, I would LOVE to have a second or third eye! Quality is very important to me, because it doesn't change the art, and I think it really is a great learning experience as well.

Quality Control is important and I agree different to the artistic part

I love the idea of help with quality control as well!

I think it would totally be a good idea. I think as long as no one felt like they were required to submit their work, it would be a really good learning experience. Then as designers we could feel safe, ask for the advice we want, at the pace we want to ask it. I like the layout critique system, with the feel good sandwich. I think that would totally work here. I think people could make suggestions, leave links to tutorials, giving the help we need, while making us feel good about what we did right.

I like the quality control part and would appreciate tutorials on what is expected, how to achieve it, and how to check for it. Critiquing the artistic part would be a very subjective judgement but if done in a positive manner could provide other points of view and perhaps expand the vision of any designer asking for opinions.

I think it is agreat idea! I would love to know what I am doing that could be improved

Yes! This! It could generate some great discussion and save us all a lot of trial-and-error. For example, I didn't really get until the paper-a-day challenge that blowing up "abstract" brushes beyond their starting size (brushes like grunge, paint stroke, etc.) would look blurry and bad. I figured, they're blurry already, right? But switching to large, high-res brushes made a huge difference. Anyways, I imagine that this is the kind of thing we could point out to each other and offer solutions to, and learn from each others' mistakes.