If I could point out the most valuable asset on the internet these days, it would be honest feedback. That’s because people want to have their works evaluated, but the average user doesn’t want to review someone’s else project, especially at its early stages. When we want feedback, though, we usually want immediate results, and this void has created a market for quacks who say what you want to hear instead of how could you improve.
Often services that offer image display turn out as design showcases, regardless of their viability of comments. Hunie comes to change the game, as a place to host your designs and get honest feedback for a tiny price: your own critiques to other users sketches. It’s a pay it forward model that just might work.
“What if someone just babbles on about my design?” I know this question is tingling in your head, but before going to second base, allow me to show you around on Hunie. Similar to Dribbble, you must request an invitation to the service, registering your basic information and linking to your portfolio. But, relax: as long as you have some stuff out there, the folks at Hunie will get in touch soon, so this seems more like an anti-spam feature than an evaluation process. You can also ask for an invitation if you have an insider friend. All in all, it’s far more open than Dribbble has ever been.
As soon as you get in, you’ll be introduced to the gallery of recently sent drafts, where everything is up for critique. You can narrow down the displayed items with the categories offered by Hunie: Interfaces, Graphics, Identity, Mobile and Icons. You can also check what is trending and who you follow (probably nobody at the moment).
Every 10 designs on the stream, you have a section for the Fearless Experts, where Hunie recognizes their most active and competent designers according to Karma, which is the measure of reputation in Hunie. There are also Points and these you need to exchange for submitting designs. How do you get more points? Writing critiques on other people’s designs (and getting up-voted).
Find a design that you have something to add and open it. This will bring a whole different panel, which from now on I’ll call the Critique panel. Going from left to right, you can find some context written by the designer on the piece. Then comes the menu, where you can collapse the first panel and take a look at the other reviews, the Hunie Board – which ranks those who gained points from their critiques in the piece you’re checking out, and all the viewers.
If the design is inside a project, you can check its siblings from the navigation bar, there you can also zoom or toggle commentaries off. On the bottom, the most important resource is the quick access to other drafts from the same design. Let’s talk about the design we’re reviewing, shall we? If there is any critique there already, you’ll find the circle with the reviewer’s profile pic, now look for something to bash, click and boom! A little text bubble pops up so you can write a suggestion for that segment.
People can up-vote your critique if they find it interesting or mark as useful, you earn 1 point every time any of these happen. People can also reply to your comment and start a discussion. You may also write a general comment, without pointing out anything in the design, still it turns out a bit loose and doesn’t allow replies.
Uploading your designs
Unless you’re the next good samaritan, you joined Hunie because you were helpless looking for feedback to your sketches. Just click that cloud icon and the “Submit Design” panel comes up. There you can give a title, choose a topic, add it to a project and write about your objective with that design. There’s no size or resolution limit to your preview. According to Hunie’s guidelines, avoid “shots” and skewed images. Post something people can criticize you for having a line 1 pixel out of level.
There are only two differences which were not covered previously that you can do with your own designs. The first one is updating it with a new draft. You have a limit of three drafts per project, so use them wisely, though they’re point-free. You may also add more screens for your project, yet these will cost you as a submission. Still better to keep your project in detail, willing for feedback in a concise and well-organized place. There’s no excuse not to organize everything.
Now your design is going straight to the main showcase and everyone who logs in will visualize a thumbnail of your project. You’re up for feedback. Also, don’t expect your sketches to disappear under the stream, Hunie is still a small community and you’ll rarely see more than 10 drafts being submitted daily and you can also abuse the extra visibility offered by the specific categories.
With your first design posted, the critiques will come shortly. Meanwhile, instead of refreshing and checking your notifications every couple of minutes, why not review a few more designs and accumulating points? That’s the goal here: the time you spend on Hunie, evaluating the received critiques, is also time you could check other projects and keep the community objective.
Also remember: you’re the best judge for the feedback you receive. Not everything will be helpful; still, everyone is trying to help, since they rely on the interpretation of their critiques by other users to acquire points. Expect feedback, at any stages, be it in form of a suggestion or a compliment, as every social network, the user base is the sole responsible for the growth and leverage of Hunie as a place amateurs and experienced designers can break their creative blocks.
Oh, I almost forgot: If you’re interested in Hunie, go to the Request an Invite page and beside the link to your portfolio, add “appstorm” between brackets and you’ll get fast tracked for an invitation. In my case it would be like this: http://philgr.com (appstorm). Jumping to the front line, how cool is that?