Why I Love Critiquing Websites

Colored Pencils and Checklist from Death to the Stock Photo

In the last few months, I have really been pushing myself to build a presence within the web development community. I’ve been blogging (21 posts since November), reading and answering questions on Stack Exchange, and I attended a WordCamp in October. (I promise there’s a recap on the way about my WordCamp experience!)

Though all of these things have been greatly beneficial, it’s hard to measure their direct impact on my career.

I’ve recently reached an exciting milestone in my career. Strangers have started contacting me for web development advice! It’s exciting to have validation that all this aforementioned hard work is starting to pay off. I have so much more to learn, but strides are being made in the right direction.

Aside from plugin/theme recommendations, I recently gave a website critique. It was a great experience and really took me back to my web classes at BGSU (and my experience at BGSU generally).

The best thing about college was the supportive nature of my peers. Being around and talking to motivated and hard-working individuals is so rejuvenating. So having someone reach out and ask me to look at his site was really exciting.

So what makes giving critiques so fun?

  • There are no “right” or “wrong” answers.
  • Critiques are based on opinion, so no matter what you say, your point is valid. And let’s face it, we all want to feel heard.

  • It feels good to be honest.
  • Sometimes it’s really hard to get honest feedback on your work. It’s probably because our first instinct is to turn to family and friends for advice. Whether it’s the compliment sandwich or their fear of being harsh, family and friends don’t always give constructive feedback. It’s an awesome feeling when you get to provide an unbiased opinion.

  • You get to see another person’s perspective.
  • When looking at others’ work, you may say, “Why on Earth did they do that?” Now is the perfect time to ask! It’s interesting to see what causes people to make structural or design decisions. Who knows, maybe they are doing something you should be doing.

Let me know if you are interested in me critiquing your site!