How one team at Google established a sustainable crit culture

Designers are compiling a word “crit” using sticky notes
Designers are compiling a word “crit” using sticky notes

Design critiques create space to improve designs and allow participants to gain confidence presenting work and articulating design rationales. Despite being an undeniably useful ritual, often they fail because the process stays the same while the team and project evolve.

At Google Health, we’ve learned that taking a more collaborative and iterative approach to critique can make it more meaningful and enjoyable long term. Here are a few steps we’ve applied that we hope can be helpful to you and your team.


Illustration by anatinge@

Five Figma templates and a guide to make your next remote retrospective awesome

Running a retrospective meeting is a great way to celebrate a team’s achievements. It’s also a safe environment where everyone can speak up about the things that are bothering them and share tough feedback without blame or judgment.

In this post, I share five frameworks that I’ve found helpful in making retrospective meetings (retro) effective and fun. I created a Figma template for each one so they’re easy for you to run remotely.

Why are retrospectives important?

With my UX team at Google Health, we usually run retro after a research study, quarterly for UX critique and after new product releases.

Retrospectives help us…


Three ways to be productive while we work from home (WFH).

An illustration of a woman’s face surrounded by abstract distractions
An illustration of a woman’s face surrounded by abstract distractions
Illustration by anatinge@

Finding focus and being in the flow become much more difficult once we switch to WFH mode. Some of us don’t have private space for a full day of work, while others need to take care of kids and constantly change gears. On top of that, we’re distracted by disturbing news and anxious about the future.

During the first couple of weeks in WFH mode, my productivity dropped significantly. I couldn’t focus on design work at all. I started experimenting with techniques that could help me adjust to this new environment. …


If you are starting your design career or thinking about what is next, you are maybe wondering if joining a big company (like Google, Uber, Dropbox) or a startup (20 -200 people) or maybe a design agency will be better for your career and professional growth.

I have worked at an agency and with startups for a long time and am now working with Google. I am familiar from the inside with each environment and wanted to share my perspective on what each of them can bring to your design life.

Startup

Mid-size startup could be a very good starting point…


Jakob Nielsen’s general principles for interaction design were published 25 years ago and today they are still relevant and useful in design work.

We collaborated with Google’s UX Researcher Kris Liu to create this handy visualization of 10 Usability Heuristics.

I hung this poster next to my desk and while working on mockups often glance at it to make sure I don’t forget something important. Also when I need to explain design decisions to other designers or engineers ten heuristics are very helpful!


Sketchnote by anatinge@

I am often asked recommendations on what course to take to learn UX design. I have several favorite online resources and books that helped me in my UX journey (I am planning to write a post about this), but one of the most useful courses I took remains the Interaction Design Specialization course taught by Scott Klemmer on Coursera.

It teaches you how to design great user experiences, from finding the need, through UX research and iterations, to the final design that will delight your users. It is great foundational course on interaction design!

While taking this course several years…


Over the last year I drew all my notes at Stanford class on Design Thinking in a visual way that anyone can understand.

I captured the whole course of lectures in one fun, visual format that makes it very easy to explain some of the concepts or method of design thinking to a colleague or a friend.


I am planning to visualize 100 quotes and ideas about design and beyond. Below you can check several of them.

Please follow #100IdeasToInspireDesigners on Instagram to cheer me up and send me your favorite quotes about design that inspire you!


Five very simple tricks that will make your public speech more engaging. My favorite is “Make people think”. Asking people to use their imagination involve them in your story and spark their curiosity.

📩✏️ Subscribe to my visual note-taking online course to learn how to make such illustrations by yourself.


Try to conduct your next meeting or webinar standing, and you will notice that you are more focused, balanced & more active. It’s amazing how much better our brain can function when we use our body too!

It is also very important for an online speaker to vary their voice — when you monotonous online your audience will fall asleep very fast. …

Anna Iurchenko

UX Designer at Google Health, board member IxDA San Francisco. I’m curious to understand people and I’m driven to build great products for them. Love sketching!

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