Guide for Critique Visitors
- Welcome! We're super excited you are interested in joining one of our weekly Design Critiques. Critiques happen every Wednesday at 9:30am, and every Friday at 2pm. This guide should provide everything you need to know to visit a critique. Missing something? Anything unclear? Feel free to send Noah a note on slack, or leave a comment here.
Why Visit Critiques?
Figma's mission is to Make design accessible to all. To realize that mission, we want to practice what we preach and do the best we can be sure Figma employees feel comfortable with basic design methods and terminologies.
One great way to do that is to attend one of our design team's weekly critiques — it's a great opportunity to hear how designers share ideas and offer feedback on projects. We'd suggest every employee attend at least one critique per year, regardless of their position in the company. If you're on the product or engineering teams, it's likely you'll attend multiple critiques throughout the year that relate to the project you work on.
What is Critique?
The goal of Critique to elevate the quality of design work at Figma by receiving feedback and ideas from peer designers. The best way to understand how it works is to we published in September 2019. It's about a 10-15m read and gives a pretty thorough rundown of the why and the how behind this process.
How do I join? Anything I need to know?
We'd like to welcome you to our meeting, but we have a few rules first to keep things efficient:
- Identify which type of visitor you are based on the descriptions below. The sections explain how to join, and how to participate.
- Join the #design-crit channel on Slack. We'll use this channel to share links during the meeting, and you'll also be able to follow along with any discussion that happen offline afterward.
- Feel free to scan notes from past critiques to get a general sense of the type of work that's shared there.
- . It goes over the basic set up of the meeting and what to expect.
- Join when you're on the calendar invite (Noah will invite you, just send him a slack)
- Have fun!!
- You're likely an engineer or product manager on the working team building the project being presented in the meeting. You want to be in the room to provide context if people have questions, or to hear feedback first-hand.
Given you work on this team and talk about these details frequently and the designers in the room don't often get the chance to discuss it, if we go around the room to provide feedback, we'd prefer if you skipped your turn. That said, definitely feel free to jump in with context clarifications or details that the designer presenting may have missed.
Want to join as a Guest? ****Ask the designer you're working with who's presenting and they'll add you to the meeting.
Note: Please only join for the portion of the meeting that is your topic. We try to keep the group as small as possible.
- You don't work actively on the project being discussed, but you are just curious to learn more about design and critiques. You may be new to the company, or just want a peek into the process.
If you're joining as an observer, we ask that you please remain silent during the meeting. If you have feedback, feel free to write it down, and share it with the presenter after the meeting.
Want to join as an Observer? ****Slack Noah and he can add you to the queue.
Note, there may be a small wait as we only allow 1 observer per meeting to keep the room small. Thanks for your patience!
- You don't work at Figma, but are a friend of the company or a company we want to deepen a relationship with or learn from.
On rare occasions, we invite other designers outside of the company to join our critiques. We try not to do this too often, as it doesn't scale well, but from time to time with key customers or friends of Figma, it's a great way to deepen our relationship. If you have a guest that fits this criteria, feel free to slack Noah and we'll see what we can do. Note: we probably can't handle more than 1 of these per quarter.
What topics will be discussed?
The topics for each week's critique will be announced every Monday before 12pm in the #design-crit slack channel. The calendar invites will also be updated around that time to reflect the topics.
Why is there so much process around this?
Due to the demands of our day-to-day project work, the design team only gets these two hours of focused time a week together to give each other feedback. So it's important we're able to keep the meeting tight and productive.
We once tried to have every critique be "Open" where anyone in the company could join. We quickly learned that each person you add to a room changes the dynamic and feel of the meeting. A small meeting feels productive and impactful, where a large meeting can feel stressful as if you're presenting to a crowd. Smaller meetings also mean deeper more focused feedback, and a lot less .