Reviewee Guidebook

If you are a View and Review ticketholder, you may find it helpful to review the following information in advance of your private session.

Your Review Session

Every room in the afternoon will go something like this:
-:10    Main room opens
:00    Main session begins, introductions and housekeeping
:05    Breakout rooms open, breakout sessions begin
:55    Breakout sessions end, back to main room
:60    Main session ends, thank-yous and goodbyes

The reviewer in each room will facilitate the discussion.
Every room will have one (1) reviewer and two (2) reviewees. The reviewers are empowered to facilitate the discussion however they see fit.
Your breakout session might be recorded.

Your reviewer/facilitator will have the power to record your breakout session.
We will remind all reviewees at the beginning of each session—Cyan, Magenta, Yellow—that you may ask your reviewer to record your session.
If you already know you do not want to be recorded, please email as soon as possible.


Presenting a Portfolio via Zoom

You'll be invited to share your work with your reviewer via Zoom. You can learn some tips and tricks for this from the article Presenting Your Portfolio in Zoom with Leon Rodriguez, from the 2020 AIGA Portfolio Festival.

The work samples you submitted when you registered were solely to help the AIGA team pair you with an appropriate reviewer. You can share that work during your private review, or present a totally new series of projects; it's completely up to you.


Webcam Pro Tips

Hi! It’s Paul Mendoza, your emcee for the Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow rooms. Here’s how I step up my Zoom game:

1. Connect your DSLR to your laptop.
I’ve been a big Dan Mall fan since seeing him speak at the AIGA Design Conference in Las Vegas. And a few months ago, he wrote a blog post about plugging your DSLR into your computer for your Zooms and meets.

Read more from Dan Mall on his next-level webcam setup.
I ended up going with an Elgato HD60 S+ capture card because the Cam Link 4Ks were always sold out!
If you have a Canon, there’s an EOS webcam utility that allows you to skip the cam link/capture card step.

2. Wired headphones or an external mic.
For better sound quality, it’s good to invest in a good microphone that is physically connected to your computer, as opposed to Bluetooth. I use a Yeti Blue for my computer. And if I’m in a pinch, I dial in with my phone separately from my computer and I plug in those wired EarPods that come with your iPhone. The sound is usually more reliable than AirPods.

3. Natural light is best.
There’s lots of great lighting solutions out there. But honestly? I prefer sticking to the natural light that comes in from my window, hitting the side or the front of my face. It fills the space evenly with no glaring reflections or shadows. It’s a good look.


Top Three Zoom Tools

1. Annotate a shared screen.
Want to add a drawing, a sticker, or some text to a screen that’s being shared?
Click on “View Options” next to the green bar and click on Annotate.
A new toolbar will pop up that will allow you to mark up a shared screen.

2. Use the nonverbal feedback buttons.
Looking for a way to raise your hand or ask a question, but having trouble catching a speaker’s attention when you’re one of 49 tiles on a screen? No problem. Click on “Participants” at the bottom of your Zoom window and look for a row of buttons at the bottom or the Participants panel that pops up on the right side.
You can raise your hand, say yes, say no, and so on. It’s way easier to see nonverbal feedback when it’s attached to a text-based list.

3. Change your screen views.
Want to pin someone’s video to your screen? Hover over the three-dot icon in the corner of any screen, and a menu should pull down allowing you to pin it.
Need to change the size of someone else’s shared screen while you’re viewing? Hover over the invisible division between the shared screen and the participants, then click-hold to adjust.
And of course, be sure to toggle between Gallery View or Speaker View in the upper right corner of your screen. And yes, this works during Screen Share too!


Defining Crit

This section is excerpted from portions of the “How We Crit Community Resource” authored by Jennifer Rittner. 

What is Crit?
A design critique, or Crit, is a conversation with peers about your work in progress.
The process, common in design schools and professional design spaces, consists of showing your work to peers in order to receive feedback that helps you to continually improve on it.
The Crit is intended to provide a safe, supportive environment for exploring work-in-progress, while addressing possible revisions, new opportunities and potential problems.

What’s the difference between Critique and Criticism?
It’s a fine line.
In general, a critique is meant to address the work using language and suggestions that are clearly about the work itself.
Criticism generally seems to address the person rather than the work.
The design Crit is always about the work. Everyone in the room should be shown respect and equal consideration.

Is a Crit a Formal Presentation?
No. A Crit is not a presentation in which you have to argue on behalf of your work.
It is a mutual investigation into facets of the work’s form, functionality, narrative lens, cultural representation, and design capacities.
For students, this process introduces a common practice employed by professional design firms in which collaborative teams review work in progress throughout a project to refine the work, culminating in a formal client presentation. 

Why do we Crit? 
Showing your work to a community of peers allows you to hear different perspectives.
It also teaches you how to talk about your work in a way that others will understand.
Lastly, it builds resilience, something every designer needs! It allows you to develop a thick skin around receiving feedback, reinforcing that critique doesn’t need to feel personal.
The experience of participating in design Crits throughout your education enables you to develop the emotional and professional flexibility needed to respond to clients, users and the public at large.
Let’s face it: everyone is a design critic!
A good Design Crit prepares you for the best and worst of it.

Who gets to participate in a Crit?
Usually your peers—classmates and/or teammates—participate in a Crit.
Occasionally, guests are invited to participate. These might be design professionals or design educators who have some particular insight on a method, discipline, or theme.
On very rare occasions, a potential user or client may be invited to participate in a project review or presentation, which may feel like a Crit, but unless they are well-versed in design criticism, their participation may be more limited and/or more formal.

What does the Facilitator do?
The Facilitator—usually the instructor or design lead—provides an environment in which the group feels safe and supported.
It is the Facilitator’s role to ensure that all voices in the space are heard and that everyone is respectful and respected.
The Facilitator may also need to clarify, reframe or restate a question or comment if it is not readily understood.
Where possible, the Facilitator should help students clarify their own thoughts, not speak on their behalf.
Facilitators should never impose their will or vision on another designer’s work. Their role is to keep the dialogue moving forward so that everyone in the process is able to participate equitably.
To that end, it is important that the Facilitator model respectful dialogue in which the students are best able to articulate their ideas, questions, concerns and suggestions.

Is there only one way to conduct a design Crit?
Absolutely not! Your team may discover a process that works best for you:
snapping instead of clapping;
nodding instead of hand-raising;
sitting instead of standing.
You decide what makes your community feel safe, supported, and creatively engaged.