What is Product Critique and How to Do it? [Examples]
March 29, 2023 Max 7min read
Have you struggled to make successful products and believe your skills could improve? Well, you are not alone. Although a solution is available, many people need help in this field.
Product critique is an essential component of product creation. It entails investigating and assessing a product from several perspectives, including style, usability, functionality, and marketability. However, performing a product critique can be difficult, and many people find it difficult.
Fortunately, we have some helpful advice and illustrations to help you perform a thorough and perceptive product critique. You’ll be able to determine your product’s advantages, disadvantages, and opportunities for development by paying attention to our recommendations.
Whether you’re a product manager, designer, marketer, or someone interested in improving products, our article will give you the necessary skills. Don’t let challenges in developing products keep you from succeeding. So let’s start and discover how to perform product critique like a pro!
What is Product Critique?
Product Critique Definition
Product critique is a technique that considers its usefulness, accessibility, and user-centered design. Heuristic evaluations, usability testing, and expert reviews are just a few of the methods that can be employed to achieve this. The objective is to offer suggestions that can enhance the general product-using experience.
Product critique is a powerful strategy for analyzing and evaluating a product’s functionality, design, and user experience to determine if it’s meeting its goals and working well for users.
But here’s the thing: effectively critiquing a product is more than just a skill. It’s an essential skill for product designers and managers who want to create successful products that meet user needs and expectations. When you understand what makes a good product and how users interact with products, you can identify areas for improvement and develop winning product ideas.
Product critique also plays a critical role in the interview process for product designers. Candidates must analyze a product and provide constructive feedback and strategies for improvement to show they can objectively evaluate a product. It’s a great way for interviewers to gauge a candidate’s skills and expertise.
But it’s not just for interviews. Many organizations hold internal product or design critique sessions to assess what’s working and how to improve products. These sessions typically involve a presenter who provides context around the business objectives, user goals, and reasons for certain decisions. Critiquers, such as designers, product managers, marketers, and other stakeholders, then ask questions and offer feedback that aligns with these goals.
Why Product Critique is Important?
We are now moving to understand the significance of product critique.
Feedback: Product critique provides valuable input on a product’s usability, accessibility, and overall design. This feedback helps designers and developers identify areas for improvement and make necessary changes to enhance the user experience.
User-Centered Design: Designers and developers can ensure that a product meets the requirements and expectations of its target market by assessing its user-centered design. It is significant because a product’s performance depends heavily on the user experience.
Customer Satisfaction: A well-conducted product critique can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Users are more likely to be happy with their experience and keep using the product when it is user-friendly and meets the requirements of its intended audience.
Competitive Advantage: User experience is crucial in determining a product’s success in today’s cutthroat market. By conducting a thorough product critique and making necessary improvements, designers and developers can ensure that their product stands out from the competition.
Continuous Improvement: Product critique is an ongoing process that can help designers and developers identify areas for improvement over time. By consistently evaluating their product and making necessary changes, designers and developers can ensure that their product remains relevant and meets the evolving needs of their users.
How to Do a Product Critique?
Product critique entails more than just bringing out its shortcomings. It involves assessing its user experience, interaction, and style. This article will assist you in posing the appropriate queries and offering thoughtful input, whether you’re a designer, marketer, or user.
Let us look at how to do a product critique.
Start with the Basics: Key Questions to Ask
When exploring a new product, starting with the basics is essential. It means taking the time to ask fundamental questions about the product and its purpose so that you can understand what it’s all about.
Here are the critical questions you need to ask:
- What issue does the product solve? This question is essential in determining the product’s potential value to you. You can decide whether a product is relevant and valuable by understanding its goal.
- What does the product’s value proposal consist of? What advantages does it provide, in other words? It can be easier to determine whether a product is worthwhile investing in if you know its unique benefits.
- Who is the intended audience and end users? You can determine whether a product fits you by understanding who it was created for and learning the intended audience. You can assess whether the product is simple to use and serves the end users’ needs by understanding them.
- What did you expect before using the product? It is a crucial question to ask because the answer will allow you to assess whether the item lived up to your hopes. Additionally, it can assist you in recognizing any prejudices or presumptions you may have had before using the merchandise.
- Was it simple to get started to accomplish your goal? When assessing a product, ease of use is an essential factor to consider. It might not be worth your time or money if the product has a steep learning curve or is challenging.
- How did you feel after using the product? Our emotions greatly influence our perception of goods. Positive emotions make us more apt to use and advocate a product to others.
- Does it conform to established design and interaction guidelines? It is crucial to assess its style and user interface, To ensure a product complies with industry standards and is simple to use.
- How does this item stack up against the competition? Finally, assessing how the product compares to comparable goods on the market is critical. It can assist you in determining whether it provides a distinctive value proposition or if there are superior alternatives.
Strategies for Conducting Product Critique
Here are a few techniques to conduct a product critique:
Prioritize your skills and areas of strength
Concentrate on the parts of the product where you are an expert, such as visual design or product-market fit. If you’re an expert, give a thorough analysis that covers all the crucial topics.
Putting Yourself in the User’s Shoes: Focusing on a Persona or Use Case
With this approach, you examine one or more characteristics from the viewpoint of a particular user persona. Understanding the user’s behavior, motivations, and wants sincerely is necessary.
Optimizing User Journey by Focusing on Specific Problems
Last but not least, you can commence by concentrating on a single issue the user is attempting to solve and assess every product component used in resolving issues.
Who Can Conduct a Product Critique?
Based on the objective and scope of the evaluation, various individuals or groups can conduct product critique. Typically, a product critique can be performed by:
- Product designers or developers
- User experience researchers or designers
- Product managers or project managers
- Business analysts or stakeholders
- Industry experts or consultants
- Focus groups or end-users
The choice of who conducts the product critique will depend on the goals of the evaluation and the expertise required to evaluate the product effectively.
Examples of Product Critique
Here is an example of Google Keep product critique. It provides an easy-to-use interface with helpful features like voice and image notes, auto-increment lists, and reminders based on time and location.
- Briefly introduce the product under review, Google Keep, a note-taking app.
- Mention that the critique will focus on the app’s UX design and in-app architecture.
Section A: Principles Used
- Define the principles to use in the critique: UX design and in-app architecture.
- Explain what each principle covers and its relevance to Google Keep.
Section B: Use Cases and Problems it Solves
- Describe the target audience for the app, management students.
- Highlight the importance of note-taking apps for management students and how Google Keep addresses their needs.
Section C1: Positives
- Provide a list of the positive aspects of the app’s UX design, such as an easy-to-use interface, the ability to add voice messages and images, and the option to set reminders.
- List the benefits of the app’s in-app architecture, including its integration with other Google apps, labeling and pinning notes, and providing time information for the last edit.
Section C2: Shortcomings
- Provide a list of the negative aspects of the app’s UX design, such as the lack of standard text formatting options, poor hyperlink formatting, and the absence of simple image edit options.
- List the drawbacks of the app’s in-app architecture, such as the inability to customize the order of label lists and establish a hierarchical relationship between notes.
Section D: Recommendations
- Provide a list of recommendations to improve the app’s UX design and in-app architecture, such as including standard formatting features, allowing mix-and-match of different types of data in a single note, and using a hierarchical label structure for notes.
- Suggest the addition of haptic feedback as a way to enhance the app’s user experience.
Now that you know what product critique is and how to conduct it, you are well on your way to becoming an expert!
Not only should a product’s faults be pointed out, but also its user experience, interaction, and style be evaluated to improve it. You can influence a product’s success by being thoughtful and asking the right questions. Keep honing your skills to develop successful products that satisfy customer requirements and expectations, whether you’re a product manager, designer, marketer, or someone interested in improving products. Good luck!
A product critique should cover the product overview, user experience, accessibility, design, functionality, security, feedback, support, and overall impressions.
Creating a diverse group of participants, getting ready for the critique, leading an interactive critique session, and following up are the four steps you can take to better your products. This approach guarantees that the critique is thorough, helpful, and practical.
When conducting a product critique, it’s essential to avoid common mistakes such as being selfish and only considering personal preferences, providing untimely and incomplete feedback, and showing preferential treatment towards certain aspects of the product. Instead, the critique should focus on providing constructive and objective feedback, considering the perspectives and needs of the target audience, and evaluating the product as a whole rather than just certain aspects.