Booklet

author

Michael Janda

Design

The Ultimate Design Critique Checklist

design

Design

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The Ultimate Design Critique Checklist
The placement of every pixel must be considered. No detail must be left uncritiqued. No typo can be left unfixed. If something is off-center by the slightest degree, it can quickly become a visual abomination.

Big Picture: Take a first glance at the design. Then take a few steps back and look again.

  • OBJECTIVE: What is the objective of the design? Is it trying to sell something? Tell a story? Convey a message? Does the design accomplish the objective?
  • ACTION: Will the viewer know what action to take in each area of the design? Call? Click? Read? Visit?
  • BRAND MATCH: Does the design match the client's brand?
  • COMPOSITION: What would improve the overall composition?
  • CLIENT EXAMPLES: Does the design meet or exceed the quality level of example designs the client has mentioned?
  • INSPIRATION EXAMPLES: Does the design meet or exceed the quality level of example designs from your research?
  • DIMENSIONS: Are the dimensions appropriate for the project?

Broad Strokes: Begin drilling into the main areas of the project.

  • EYE FLOW: How does the eye flow through the design? Is the eye resting on the right elements in the right order?
  • WEIGHT: Does the visual weight of the design elements work? Is there anything too heavy? Too light?
  • COLORS: Is the color palette working? Are there colors that seem to not fit the brand or design?
  • TYPOGRAPHY: Are font choices appropriate for the design? Are there too many being used? Too few?
  • PHOTOS: Do photos and images match and support the overall design and messaging?
  • MESSAGING: Is the core messaging clear? Is there a headline or other text that needs to convey a certain message? Will people easily see what you want them to see?

Nitty Gritty: Examine every pixel of the design in close-up detail.

  • TYPOS: Look at every single word. Are there any typos? Missing punctuation?
  • GRID: Are design elements structured on the grid properly? Is there anything that could break the plane on the grid to add more interest to the design?
  • ALIGNMENT: Is there anything off-center or out of alignment?
  • PHOTO TREATMENT: Have photos been treated properly? Have they been adjusted and enhanced properly? Are photos facing the proper direction? Are photos cropped effectively?
  • TYPOGRAPHY: Is font usage consistent in the design? Is the text spaced properly (leading and kerning)? Are there any widows or orphans? Rivers?
  • TANGENTS: Are there any weird design tangents? Unintended visual tension between objects?

Great designers have a vision of both the big picture aspects AND small details of design.

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