CRITIQ: A PROPOSAL FOR A MOBILE APPLICATION THAT MOTIVATES, ENABLES AND SUSTAINS CRITICAL THINKING AND DISCOURSE AMONG UNDERGRADUATE COMMUNICATION DESIGN LEARNERS
PROBLEM DESCRIPTON: Students are not likely to engage in the same type of critical discourse when in the absence of the design instructor. Richard and Elder (2002) posit, “Students generally lack the intellectual skills and discipline to learn independently and deeply…” Additionally, when trying to extend design critique behaviors outside the design classroom, communication design learners default to and appropriate technology—e-mail, Facebook, text messaging, etc.—that were not originally designed to facilitate effective critiques, and do not encourage dialectic exchanges that a design classroom provides.
SOLUTION: CritIQ aims to provide an external support system and venue that allows communication design students to access peers’ critiques as well as engage in the critique of peers’ works at any time during their design process outside of the classroom. It triggers critical analysis of form to support concept through conversations. CritIQ allows peers to connect to an infinite amount of more experienced learners who can mentor them in their areas of weakness. It is a mobile application that uses intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) to cater and tailor to the critique needs of the learners in the same way that a design instructor would during classroom critiques. This mobile application provides system-to-learner guidance as well as peer-to-peer support
LOOK AND FEEL
METHODOLOGY: I formulated and utilized a co-design activity that engaged target “consumers”—communication design students—and design faculty members as co-designers of the proposed mobile app. I equipped the participants with a participatory toolkit that collected insight about the learners’ expected and unexpected needs, as well as the faculty members’ teaching techniques and learning objectives for the design learner. The toolkit asked participants to sketch buttons that would allow them to critique design work on a smart phone. Each button represented one of the participant’s many values and needs. Their experiences as learners and faculty members influenced the meaningful design of CritIQ. Simply asking the participants to express what they would like CritIQ to do would not have allowed the participants to engage in the “making and creating” process, thus not allowing for the type of innovation that Sanders promotes (Sanders 2006).
WIREFRAMES: Participants’ feedback informed the following wireframes that highlight CritIQ's main features
USER TESTING : The wireframes were used in the user survey which asked learners to rate the different features offered by critiq as well as support their rating with qualitative reasons.
Outcome: Answers were overall supportive of CritIQ and its proposed features. Participants highly rated individual features and agree that they would recommend the app to their peers