Where can I get feedback on some interaction designs for a high tech medium, either without breaking NDA or with more exposure?

13 Dec 2012 - 1:44pm
3 years ago
2 replies
2922 reads
Lee Beckwith

I work in a small high tech group at a R&D company. We are developing some interactive systems for a heads-up display, and I'm looking to get feedback on my design work. Basically our options right now are to publish to big academic conferences like CHI or UIST, or basically keep totally quiet. The problem is that our work is not JUST scientific or JUST academic, but also we have more visual and interactive design stuff that communities like CHI don't critique the same way that say a community on behance.net would criticize. 

That said, I can't put our stuff on behance.net or anywhere so blatantly public, unless it's published in a magazine or conference journal. The only problem is that I'm looking to get some intermediate feedback on our design work because as it is it probably isn't good enough to get into a high level design magazine or journal. Especially since we don't have a big team of designers, it's just me basically. 

So some examples of what would be good are design journals that give feedback similar to peer-review, so there is some criteria for getting in. Or, a closed group where I can share work with other high-tech designers without leaking too much information. 

I know this sounds impossible, which is exactly how it feels to me. Design should move quickly into public view, get feedback, and constantly iterate and improve. Unfortunately an R&D environment is pretty much the exact opposite of what fosters good design, but we are trying to break through this barrier nevertheless. Any suggestions you have would be welcome, thank you!!! =)


14 Dec 2012 - 8:40am

Hi Lee,

I use ZURB. They have a variety of tools for testing throughout the design process.
I know some of the folks over there are they're pretty much deep in the mix of what's going on in our world.
If you have a list of people you would like to review your work you can create a personalized URL and send it to the list, OR they also offer an option to "buy" a number of testers. You also have the ability to set how long you want the test to run (1hr, 12hr, 24hr...etc) Once your test is complete they can no longer access the URL. You will also have a chance to gather some demographic info if you so choose.

Hope that helps.
Good luck.

16 Dec 2012 - 10:32am
Dave Malouf

Hi Lee,

You problem is interesting. It sounds like to me you aren't asking for "usability" feedback, but more general criticism from a designer's perspective.

It's an interesting problem, but I do think there are some answers.
1. There are design conferences. It's too late for this year's IxDA conference, but there are regional versions of the conference you might consider. There are other conferences on design and technology that don't have the academic feel. For example maybe IDSA's conference might be a good place. While it is industrial design centered, they do mix things up and htis year's theme is "Breaking Rules." I know they started accepting talk submissions for education, but don't know yet if they are for the general conference yet. 

2. Maybe you can create a google community on G+ (new service) and invite people let's say from this list or from other vetted forums to take a look at material in that somewhat closed environment.

3. You could also look at creating (using a similar system as #2) a design advisory board. Lots of organizations have different types of advisory boards for technology, partnerships, customers, so why not the design side.

I'm sure others can riff from this.

- dave

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