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Tactical design critique

How Medium handles design critiques

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About this Template

Done properly, design critiques can serve to turn decent design solutions into great ones. When other team members lend their constructive opinions - often, a better solution will take form.

This template takes the design critique framework used by the team responsible for Medium and adapts it for use within Workflowy.

The first column of the template is the ℹ️ Context column. This is where you'll lay out the key details regarding the design problem that's being addressed. It serves to set the stage and give context to the other participants of the critique.

The next section is the 🧠 Proposal column, this is where you'll describe the solution and add screenshots, mockups, wireframes, etc.

Next we have the Tensions column. This is where you'll list all the 'tensions' any team member brings up about the design solution. Tensions are basically issues that the other people participating in the critique think should be addressed.

Finally, the ⚡️ Actionables column is where you'll list what actions, if any, should be taken with regards to the tensions raised by the participants.

How does the actual critique proceed?

Essentially, the facilitator - the person presenting the proposed solution goes through the Context and Proposal column, giving context and explaining their proposal.

Next, each person that's participating in the critique takes a turn and shares a maximum of one tension they have with the design. Team members can repeat the same tension or elaborate on those shared by other members. Team members can also skip their turn if they can't think of any tension at the moment.

After a maximum of 20 minutos or after everyone has skipped their turn, the facilitator then takes control and starts a discussion about the tensions raised.

The point of the discussion is to provide more context about why certain decisions were taken, etc. And if there are any redesigns of tweaks necessary - then those would be added to the Actionables column.

This template is based on an article by Medium's Marcin Wichary.

How to use the template

The bullet journal template has two main sections, the calendar, and the monthly '⏳ Future' sections.

The calendar - A long list of months with each month containing the days for that month. You'll add your tasks, notes and events under each day.

The future logs - Each month has a '⏳ Future' section that serves as a placeholder for activities that should be completed during that month but do not yet have a specific date.

The monthly log allows you to view all the events for a given month. You create this view by clicking on the bullet for the current month and then clicking on the star ⭐️ to save that view in the left hand sidebar.

The daily log allows you to quickly jump to today and work on the day's tasks and events, and add notes. You create this view by searching for 'Today' in the menu bar and then clicking on the star ⭐️ to save that view in the left hand sidebar.

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