A few years ago (about 10 in fact) I joined a page called Concept feedback which allowed users to post their webpages/app pages and get the visual design reviewed. It was actually a really very good idea and I learnt alot both as a reviewer and by having my work reviewed. I was a free lancer at the time so it was incredibly useful to have my designs eyeballed by a few others. In the end I became an expert reviewer on the page and got paid for my reviews (but that is not the point here).

I noticed that UXSE is slightly less busy than it was. I wondered if this could be an idea which would add some energy back in. Concept feedback had some mighty fine review tools (a bit like invision) where you could tag the original graphic to show which part you were talking about and the comments would be threaded. So what that would be a nice to have enhancement.

But to be honest all the basics are already here in stack exchange to do the rest of it.

If not I was wondering if anyone would like to try and start an open source version. I think it would be a valuable additional tool for the UX community globally (unless there is something like this out there now and I have just missed it).

Those sort of sites are good, sure. But I would be really nervous about allowing such questions here. How much use would such posts be to everyone else? Sure, maybe they'll be interesting to read through, but how would they help people coming here find the solution to a specific problem?

There are many popular ideas that get people interacting with the site. Things like 'what is the best icon for a parking garage..' or other simple poll type questions, but they only serve to benefit the asker themselves.

At the core, SE is a searchable knowledge repository, beneficial to people today as well as in 1,2,5 years time. I'm not sure what benefit there is to the community as a whole just to be a bit more popular, but without useful content.

  • Well I personally did find it useful in that it improved my reviewing capabilities hugely. After a reviewing a few hundred sites I could pick out a good one easily. I guess i find the questions on here a little dead at the moment. – Lisa Tweedie Jun 29 at 10:22
  • I agree, reviews in general are useful to take part in and observe, but not everything that is useful is a good fit for Stack Exchange. If such thing were allowed and became very popular then such things could just become more and more common and drown out, perhaps even discourage actual UX questions from being found. – JonW Jun 29 at 10:37
  • Yes I agree there.. probably would need to be a whole seperate stack exchange thingy... but which would by its very nature bring more UX people to stackexchange. Wierdly there used to be lots of UX people on Quora. Not sure if that is still the case. Haven't been there for years. I am working in house now so I don't need so much support in a way. But I do like to help build the UX community in various ways. Open source and dev world do this so well and we need that culture in UX too so that we start reusing each others work and build consistency. – Lisa Tweedie Jun 29 at 13:12
  • @LisaTweedie I think that scientists (my background initially) do this quite well in the research that they do (i.e. reuse/cite other people's work and establish theories), but for some reason there isn't the same focus and discipline when it comes to research in the UX field. I think design languages + systems are starting to bridge this gap (or at least leveraging what developers do). But I can't help but wonder if such a platform will be used by developers who are not really interested in UX and want a shortcut to doing the research and analysis required to get a passable UI out the door... – Michael Lai Jul 5 at 23:20

I do think that the UX community missed an opportunity to create a service for critique/review of user interface design, and now this need has been filled by companies that provide usability/user testing services where the design is uploaded and a panel of users are recruited to provide feedback. Many of the companies that provide prototyping tools have also implemented online collaboration tools so that you can share designs and get feedback/comments.

In one respect it seems logical to go straight to the source and have users provide feedback, but in many cases there might be too many design issues to allow real user experience problems to be identified (because the design is not usable).

I think there is value in identifying specific design trends, patterns and use cases for discussion on UXSE, and these are good questions for the community to ask and answer, however, I do think that many of these existing services would serve the need of the designer better by connecting them directly with their end users groups (when they are unable to test it with their own users directly or effectively).

There are other potential channels for doing what you are suggesting on UXSE, such as using the chat rooms and posting the links to the design (if you are using Invision or Axure, etc.).

  • I am not suggesting users provide feedback. I am suggesting other ux professionals provide feedback. This is what concept feed back was a community of professionals who gave their time freely but gained hugely out of it. It really was great while it lasted. – Lisa Tweedie Jul 5 at 6:04
  • @LisaTweedie isn't the ultimate goal still to try and work out if the design is suitable for the user? I understand that it is different, but if it is no going to be for the end user's sake then what would be the purpose? – Michael Lai Jul 5 at 6:30
  • Not sure where you are going with this Michael. User testing is one way of getting feedback. I do that all the time but I think that does have to be a paid excercise. I am not interested in providing an interface for that there are many companies doing that. This is specifically an expert review space that I am thinking about. It is a model that is proved. Just didn't make it commercially. What I am interested in discussing is an open source style expert review space. Your comments about the user are a red herring. – Lisa Tweedie Jul 5 at 9:33
  • @LisaTweedie I am merely observing the trend of reviews taking the form of user testing platforms rather than the creation of design teams within organisations that will facilitate the process of peer-reviews and design critiques, which developers certainly do with their code review and refactoring. But I see this taking other forms such as more mature design languages (post Atomic Design by Brad Frost) and design systems by the bigger organisations (like IBM) as a sign that this is happening more internally within organisations rather than externally between UX design professionals. – Michael Lai Jul 5 at 23:23
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    That is all good for inhouse professionals (which I am currently) - however there are many many lone UXers around the world - as I was for 7 years from my kitchen. And a shared space on the web was extremely valuable. As was UXstackexchange. – Lisa Tweedie Jul 6 at 8:56

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