How To Give Powerful Design Critique

The designer has presented their masterpiece; they anticipate feedback; you were awaiting it; the deadline nears. You look at it with high hopes, and… see something very unexpected.

Unfortunately, you don’t like it and can not accept it that way. It doesn’t align to the product vision, nor to the business goals. You just can’t use this design for your product.  

So how do you express the need for something very different to the designer? How can you give a powerful design critique?

The team comprises one of the most important things in your work: these people surrounding you, and the relationship with them. Through collaboration we can gather the best ideas and a solution, and pull down all the barriers.

This article will give some help on how to discuss design with a designer or team, based on the book by Aaron Irizarry and Adam Connor, Discussing Design.


design critique

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Product Manager’s Guide To UX Research

Want to do UX research for a product without enough time or knowledge?

Proper research does not go quickly, or can it?

This article will show the ideal way to do UX research, and will introduce the cost benefit, low-budget version too.

The internet says everywhere that “everybody can do research”… Well… Everybody can ask questions… Everybody can conduct a usability test… Sure, everybody can do it, with the right methods and the necessary skills.

Making decisions based on research results ensures getting decent ones. Flawed results can push a product in a wrong direction, and thus even the whole company. 

This article will provide a guideline to do UX research the right way. It will also break down some basic concepts related to UX research. 

ux research

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How To Create A Convincing Product Vision To Guide Your Team

Working on a product without a decent product vision resembles going into the street with eyes closed. To advance a product (or life) direction helps keep things going and makes actions meaningful.

On the other hand, a Product Owner has the responsibility for leading and guiding others as well. The PO needs to keep business plans and customer requests in mind while motivating everyone to work towards a common goal. Without direction, a team can’t follow.

This article will show how a product vision should look, how to create it and communicate it to all stakeholders in play.

product vision

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What Is Retention and How To Measure It

Retention rate, classic/rolling retention, churn, how to improve retention, what not to do to improve retention – these terms pop up everywhere.

Google focuses especially on retention rates, but why really?

Time to demystify this little word and start taking advantage of it.

If you work with products, it will become your best friend (OK, maybe just a regular friend whom you keep telling it to).


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UX Maturity Model: A tool to improve collaboration with the UX team

Our UX Maturity Model arose from many questions and issues, such as:

  • How does UX team involvement in product related decisions benefit us?
  • Why test the product/prototype each week and with only five user tests per iteration?
  • For what reason does a developer attend the meetings at even the wireframing phase?
  • Why meet the product team in person when we can do everything remotely?

Many similar questions come up during meetings (especially kick-offs) and answering them all and justifying the process consumes quite some time and energy. This precious resource could go to the product itself.

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3 Feature Prioritization Methods With Your Users In Mind

Whether in the pool or already on the market, a new product or service with plenty of ideas will constantly require recurring feature prioritization. An implementation which might have seemed unnecessary one day can become a basic expectation the next.

This carries great responsibility, as some new functions might impact usability and also affect business related interests. For this reason, do not do feature prioritization as a solo activity; the more diverse a team (from product designers to business people), the better are the results from the feature prioritization session.

feature prioritization

Check the following methods because they approach a product’s functions from various perspectives. Keep combining holistic analytics methods with long and short term product goals in mind, in tandem with models which take available resources into account as well.

This article deliberately didn’t try to become an ultimate list of feature prioritization methods (others have done a pretty good job) but it selects three great examples UX Studio uses effectively.

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Release Notes and Four Great Ways to Communicate Product Updates

We get used to home and neighbourhood just like products we use every day. Sensing a sudden change in the environment frightens us.

Constant updates inconvenience us and mandate relearning.

How could anyone motivate us to update something unknown in our well-inhabited app?

This article covers how to communicate product updates and release notes in an app and the importance of articulating them. 

release notes_product updates

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Multivariate Testing vs A/B Testing: Which Works Better?

Deciding between multivariate testing vs A/B testing without knowing their advantages and limitations can pose extreme challenges.

When optimizing a website’s conversion rate, A/B testing usually comes up first. Create two versions and see which performs better. Sometimes testing more alternatives proves necessary, for which multivariate testing performs well as a method.

So which to choose, multivariate testing or A/B testing? How do they differ? When does one work better? The following case studies will describe the test methods and compare them to answer these questions.

multivariate testing vs a/b testing

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The Best Product Management Tools That Will Save You Time

After our team at UX Studio started using product management tools, the time spent on communication surprisingly decreased.

We all hate email: endless exchanges with our colleagues to reach decisions… We’ve all seen that.

As a product manager, you know the drill. Coordinating designer and developer teams simultaneously while reporting to the boss via email becomes a drag.

But don’t worry, have hope! Using the right applications, everybody can work together flawlessly, in addition you can save enormous time on execution.

We created a list of all the essential platforms a product manager would need, so anyone can revolutionize their team workflow.

the best product management tools

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Product Design Process: Four Steps To Make Sure They Will Love What You Build

Although many people think the aim of a product design process is to create something cool and good-looking, this comprises just the tip of the iceberg.

Product design primarily wants to help us understand people’s pains, and create a product that will help them solve these problems. Thus we can create useful products.

Planning the exact steps which the users go through when they use a product also plays a crucial role. Make products easy to use – because otherwise, people will use them once or twice without becoming at all engaged.

Product Design Process: Four Steps To Make Sure They Will Love What You Build

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Product Psychology: How Users Process Rewards

Every product uses rewards, even if they are not designed for conscious use.

Rewards provide users positive feedback. These small points of happiness encourage people to step forward. If used properly, rewards can boost engagement and create a better product experience.

When misused, they can cause addiction and nervousness, which is why all product people should know how they work. Science has recently made new discoveries how the brain processes rewards.

Poduct Psychology: How users process rewards? Read More »

Please Spend Time With Competitor Analysis

Do like every great coach does, and get to know the tactics of the other team before getting into the match. Adjust tactics and figure out playing field positioning. Also, learn from others’ mistakes. For this reason, competitor analysis represents one of the most easily accessible methods to get a product on the right track.

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Design System in Sketch: Simplify Designer Developer Collaboration

Nowadays designers commonly do not create webpages or app screens, but focus on designing a design system instead. Thanks to Brad Frost, who introduced us to the Atomic Design methodology, we have started to change our workflow in that direction and it is pretty awesome!

A design system does much more than serve as a UI kit or a style guide. It contains all the necessary assets, rules, patterns, structures, flows and even the team values. These make it possible for many designers and developers to collaborate efficiently on the same product and keep the design consistent.

Design system is sketch, simplify designer developer collaboration

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User Journey: Design Flows Instead of Screens

Most designers are obsessed with screens. They have features and screens piled up, but rarely see their apps with their users’ eyes. Familiar? Well, it’s time to start thinking in flows instead of screens. A user journey shows how your people reach their goals in your app. This article introduces the basics of creating a user journey with some tips and specific examples.

User Journey: how to design flows instead of screens?

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How to Measure a Product’s User Experience

Of course, your goal is to get more and more users and engage them with your application. But how can the user experience of your product help? How can you measure if your users are engaged? And how can you find out why they are not?

Measuring design and utilizing data are essential steps towards creating a sustainable product. UX metrics are the solution. Let me show you how to use data to improve your product.

measure design

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How We Conducted User Research in The Arab Market

arab market

“Our product does not need any changes if we want to bring it to new markets because it will be successful anyway, just like at home,” said no smart product owner ever. They know that designing a good product is hard. Designing a good product for a new market is even harder. To know what to design for the target audience (or what to change on the existing design) requires knowing the target audience. Here we have collected some tips and tricks about international usability research. We also share specific examples and experiences gathered during one of our international design projects in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Read More »

Product Design: How to Build a Product People will Love?

Product Design book

When someone standing next to you on the bus shows your app to her friends and explains how amazing it is, you know you have achieved something great.

When you don’t have to explain what you do, but just say the name of your product, well, that’s a good sign, too.

In 2017, you have a better chance of building something extraordinary and helping millions of people than ever before in human history. You have all the tools. It’s out there. And it’s almost completely free.

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The 5-Step Method to Find & Solve the Most Painful Problem of Your Audience

There are several moments during a product design process when a team needs to make decisions because they have hundreds of ideas but no time to test them all. They can be really awkward because debates based on personal preferences and “I am the boss so I decide” can cause unnecessary conflicts within the team. Even with the good old “let’s vote” method, we can easily forget users’ needs. In addition, week-long discussions and decision procrastination can damage the product. So we have to be quick.

In this case study, you can follow a five-step guide to how we simplified complex design problems and made quick decisions to speed up the process.

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