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What are Community Design Critiques?

A critique (or more informally a "crit") is an opportunity for us to come together as a small group and examine and discuss a creative artifact - a design wireframe, a persona, a newly-implemented UI or software component, etc.

The idea is to focus on tangibles, not on abstract plans:

  • What have we designed or built?
  • why is it like this, what are its strengths, and how can we make it better?

In many cases, techniques like our UX Walkthroughs, Inclusive Design Mapping Tool ("Petals & Flowers"), or User States and Contexts will help us concretely assess and discuss an artifact from different perspectives. It's based on the idea that creative work gets stronger when it is discussed amongst peers and diverse ideas are considered.

Crits help us to: 

  • amplify the strengths of a design
  • suggest alternative trajectories
  • reflect on our work through the lenses of different users
  • identify areas of confusion
  • focus on tangible artifacts, not just abstract ideas or goals

These design crits are informal, constructive, specific, and respectful. It's a forum where anyone from the community can bring their designs and receive feedback.

Since these meetings are participant driven, there will be occasions when the crit will not meet. Meetings will be announced in the schedule below, and to the relevant mailing lists (i.e. inclusive design community list, and fluid-work).

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Sharing at a Design Crit

If you plan on sharing a design at a design crit, here are some details which may help you prepare for the discussion.

Design crits are intentionally informal and casual

We try to keep design crits very informal and casual on purpose. This makes it easier for participants to share designs (requiring less time preparing formal presentations), and opens up more time for organic conversations. A formal presentation of your project or design is not required, and we encourage a more conversational approach.

Come prepared with specific questions or ideas to share

Design crits are a great opportunity to discuss designs, refine ideas, ask questions, and get feedback. To get the most out of a design crit, come prepared with specific design issues to share - this will help focus the discussion on the topics that will help you.

Making use of available time

Design crits are intended to be 1 hour in length to help keep the discussion productive and specific. Come prepared with something to show and with questions to ask. If needed, another design crit can be scheduled to continue the discussion, or you can take advantage of the Inclusive Design Community mailing list to reach a broader audience.

Pre-Meeting Information

One to four days before each Design Crit, an email is sent to both the fluid-work and Inclusive Design Community mailing lists. These emails describe the topic of the design crit and provide instructions on how to participate. These weekly emails is a good opportunity to share any designs, presentation material, and resources in advance.

To Join

To join the conversation using your browser please visit the fluid_standup conference room. If you have issues with video or audio, try accessing the fluid_standup conference room using the Google Chrome browser instead.

Optionally, you can join the conference using the Vidyo desktop app. You can find


Check out the Meetings page for more reoccurring events.

Check out the Collaborate page for more ways to get involved!

Schedule for 2018


Every Tuesday at 10 AM - 11 AM ET, folks from the IDRC, Fluid community, and others get together to learn and chat about designs, design challenges, and to give feedback. Users who are remote typically join via Vidyo.

Note: occasionally the design crit will not be held. Please check the schedule.

Open Platform for Citizen Neurodevelopmental Research: Part 2Aaron EngelbergMay 15Wireframes and project notes (Zipped PDFs)
Open Platform for Citizen Neurodevelopmental ResearchAaron EngelbergApr 24Wireframes and project notes (Zipped PDFs)
Inclusive Locks and designing with childrenClaire AndrewsApr 10Meeting notes
ILDH restructuringSepidehApr 3Meeting notes
Co-design debrief and challengesSepideh / Dana / JonMar 27Co-design design crit notes
LipSync touch screen assistive deviceStewart RussellMar 13

Collaborative Notes

PhET Faraday's Law Keyboard prototype

Wordpress Gutenburg Editor

JonFeb 27
UIO Browser extension syllabification optionJustinJan 30
SJRK Storytelling Tool DesignsDanaJan 23


Bodies in Translation Knowledge PlatformLindsayJan 16Bodies in Translation Knowledge Platform
Google Summer of Code Project BrainstormingJustinJan 9January 9 Design Crit - GSOC Brainstorming

Past Topics - Year 2017




Links / Notes
UIO+ IconographySepideh, JustinDec 19
Learning Diversity ILDH EntrySepidehNov 28

Learning Diversity Draft

Faraday's Law Keyboard interactionJonNov 21PhET Faraday's Law Keyboard Interaction Sketch
Personal data tracking experienceSepidehNov 7

Topic 1: OwnCloud permissions and workflow

Topic 2: UIO breadcrumbs and help text

Jon, EloisaOct 24
My Lifelong LearningDanaOct 3
Design of Keyboard Help Dialog (PhET)TaliesinSept 19
Storytelling Tools (Social Justice Repair Kit) - ContinuedDana, Gregor, AlanSept 12
UI Options Content Simplification StrategiesJustin, JonSept 5
Storytelling Tools (Social Justice Repair Kit)Dana, Gregor, AlanAug 22
Brainstorming ideas for UI Options tutorial videosAvtar, JonAug 15
Creating personas and curb-cuts to demonstrate benefits of meeting WCAGLisaJuly 25
Infusion Build SiteJustin, MichelleJuly 18
Social Justice Repair KitDana, AlanJuly 11
MyL3DanaJune 27

Touch-notes and Query Exploration Mockups

Balsamiq Mockups - Partial Query Workflow

Meeting Discussion Notes

Energy Skate Park - Audtiory Track ConstructionJonJune 20
UI Options Web Browser Extension - Content SimplificationJustinJune 13
PhET - "Build an Atom"Taliesin / MichaelJune 6
"Multimodal Design Patterns for Inclusion & Accessibility"AlanMay 30
Mobile UI OptionsJustin / DanaMay 2
Facil'iti website accessibility appJonApril 25
Privacy PrototypeDanaMarch 28
Liz Sanders Video on Addressing the Gaps Between Co-Design and more formalized approachesJonMarch 21
UI Options ResdesignJustinMarch 14
UI Options Number StepperJustinMarch 7
UI Options Toggle buttonDana / JustinFeb 28
Accessible annotations and text selectionJonFeb 14
Privacy Needs & PreferencesDana, CarenJan 31
BIG IdEA project brainstormingLisa, JonJan 17

Past Topics - Year 2016




Links / Notes
  • Social Justice Repair Kit Brainstorming
  • PhET Energy Skate Park Text Descriptions (part 2)
  • Colin
  • Jon
Dec 20
Making/Hacking Entry for Inclusive Learning Design HandbookAlanDec 13

Pull request:

Draft of document in Alan's branch:

Notes from crit documented on github.

Privacy Needs & Preferences Wireframes updateDanaDec 6
Privacy Needs & PreferencesDanaNov. 29(Floe) Privacy Needs and Preferences
  • Design Guide Icons
  • PhET Energy Skate Park Track Descriptions
  • Felipe
  • Jon
Nov. 22
  • Design Guide Icons
  • Docs workflow with Infusion release
  • Docs-template improvements
  • Felipe
  • Justin
  • Jon
Nov. 15
Brainstorming for Nexus demosSimonNov 8

Docs site remediation for OpenEd 2016

Inclusive Design Guide Icons



Oct. 25Docs site remediation design sketch (Google Drawing)
Strategies for WCAG compliant disabled HTML elementsJon / JustinOct. 4Notes: Design Crit - Disabled Elements and Accessibility Oct 4 Notes
UI Options Mobile and Desktop redesign (cont'd), and Inclusive Design Toolkit landing page.DanaSep. 27
Unifying UI Options Mobile and DesktopDanaSep. 19Notes: Sept 20, 2016 Design Crit Notes - UI / Learner Options
Fluid Sandbox DesignTony AtkinsAugust 24This week's meeting is held on Wednesday at 9:00 EDT
  1. IDRC website design - navigation
  2. UI Options Mobile
  1. Lisa
  2. Dana / Jon / Justin
Aug 16
Inclusive Design GuidesSepideh / DanaAug 8
PhET Energy SkateparkJonJuly 26
IDRC Website mockups and design elementsLisaJuly 19
First Discovery GameDana / SparshJuly 12
Design Cards site designDanaMay 9
  • continue iterating and create a version that more resembles physical cards
  • refactor and extend docs platform to be able to support this new usage.
  1. accessibility of IDRC Website Design
  2. design artifact repository feature discussion
  1. Lisa
  2. Jon
May 2Design Crit May 2, 2016 Notes
PhET Energy SkateparkJonApril 25Notes