I came up with a product idea aimed to enhance the art students networking experience by providing a critique session platform.
Got 83% positive feedback from 16 usability testing and expertise validation / reviews.

problem statement

“As an art / design student, I really frustrated about doing project without instant feedback, design work need to be critiqued, and I can’t find a really skillful friends or mentor to help me to develop my project from specific aspects. I wish there is a tool that can help me find study group or designer friend in different field. I want a community to ask, share and present about design projects.”

marketing research

I started to research current solutions including: Facebook group, LinkedIn mentorship, meetup.com, qritiq.me, designerhangout.co, StudyBuddy App. I then created a Google Sheet to document the Competitive Audit.

Initial Persona

Based on exercise above, I crafted two provisional personas. These personas are purely based off of my assumptions and serve to inform my design decisions during the initial phase of design & research. I’ll be validating or invalidating my assumptions during user research & testing.

Empathize with Users

To find and understand the specific target users, I set 4 learning goals and a questionnaire survey was sent out to further narrow the scope. I visualized the Survey Result below. Based on the data received, multiple semi-structured user interviews were conducted to dive deeper and better understand users’ perspective of receiving feedback in a school setting.

  1. Get multi-dimensional feedback, critique and help from peers in different field.
  2. Find rapid group, flexible schedule for students who want critique instantly.
  3. Better practice for improving presentation skill.
  4. Learn to work within the team or group, in collaborative environment.
  5. Network with other major student both online and onsite.
  6. Get job referral by connecting with other major’s student.

User Interview

To dive even deeper, we need to understand behavioral questions about our target audience, so I conducted user interviews, here are insightful quotes from interviews.

research synthesis

What are the main goals / motivations when students want to connect with others?

  1. - Learning different skillset and getting feedback from other fileds.
  2. - Networking and job referral.
  3. - Finding study partner or mentor who can help them to grow.
  4. - Having common interest/topic.
  5. - Finding a collaborator and seeking help and improvement for current projects.

What factors are students concerned with when joining the group critique?

  1. - Professionalism. They want to learn people specialize in different filed.
  2. - Time manner. A schedule that matches their own.
  3. - Attentiveness, Trustworthiness, Credibility, Honesty.
  4. - Good characteristics help communication.
  5. - Good Face-to-Face communication.

What are the pain points in seeking critique from people?

  1. - Does not give constructive feedback, sugarcoats things instead.
  2. - It is hard to get professional feedback from people who in different field.
  3. - Time constraints.
  4. - Facebook is too informal for finding critique, LinkedIn is too formal.
  5. - Demand inequality, Instructor has neither the time nor energy.
  6. - Working with people I can not choose.

design goal

“Create a solution for art students who want to approach critique session and get feedback from others for their project face to face, and want to efficiently network with other people.”


I categorized and prioritized user needs, then started to make lighting demos by sketching out possible solutions on an iPad. Here are three concepts from crazy 8’, which have a lot of potential.

user flow

In order to get a holistic view of what the features would look like, I carefully crafted the whole user flow including three main features: join in session, create session, and message system.


Over all, I did 8 revisions from the original wireframe based on user testing. Here is the fifth testable prototype I made with Sketch + Maze. To further build out the high fidelity product, I focused on creating fluid and functional animations for the feedback system. Subtle and well-designed microinteractions will improve gesture-based interactions, discoverability and learnability. Here is the seventh Principle Hi-Fi prototype.

major change from usability test

final prototype

design system

final design