When you get tired of asking your friends on Facebook and Twitter to review your website and want to get a lot of random people to give you feedback, there are a lot of choices out there. Wait a second let me rephrase that; when you want designers, entrepreneurs, etc. to review your site Criticue is a great option, it’s not just “random” people. Now I know what you think some of them cost money, and some of them are completely free. Which category does Criticue fall into? Both and I will explain how in this article. Today you’re in for a treat because I am going to show you about this cool site that I like to use for website critiques. The name of the site is http://www.criticue.com, and I have been testing it out for about 4-5 days now. In this article I’m going to show you exactly how it works, my thoughts on them, and what you can expect.
How Criticue Works?
As you can see from the screenshot above this is the homepage. It’s really pretty easy to use, but just in case you’re wondering what do you need to do to get started, I’ll show you. There is an option where you can put in your websites URL. Then you click “take a screenshot.” Optionally, you can include your own screenshot if you have one on file and then click “upload.”
Once you have done that you’re going to need to create a username and register your email account with them. Instead of showing you how to do that I’m going to assume you can handle that part. But, note you can always sign up for a guest account, but I highly recommend that you sign up for a user account. Once you have done that you’ll receive an email with your password. It’s going to be something random, so I highly recommend that you change it to something that you can actually remember.
Then this is completely optional, and you don’t have to upload an image of you, but I do. To do this, you’re going to want to go to My Account>Settings>Edit Profile. As you can see from the screenshot up above this is what it will look like.
Time To Earn Credits
Next, you’re going to want to go to your account and click the orange button “earn credits.” This is where we are going to contribute to the community to get some credits. Then with these credits, we can start getting some feedback on our website.
Now that we have clicked earned credits we get a quick screen that gives us the guidelines. The guidelines are as follows:
- Show what you would improve on their website.
- Provide useful feedback. Don’t think you can just write “I like it” or “this stinks.” Be considerate of others, but at the same time give them some genuine feedback.
- Obviously, use proper English and don’t worry if the site isn’t in English. Rate it based on design.
- Don’t cuss someone out or use foul language.
- Don’t post anything that could be considered spam or junk.
Click “start review, ” and you’re ready to start rating websites.
Reviewing Other Sites
This is where we are going to write our feedback on the website. Notice there is a bar under where you type that shows you how many words you need to type. Make sure you’re in the green and write out a full review to get your credit. Typically, reviews are 51 words or more. I try to spend at least 5-10 minutes on each site I review. Just write as much as you want. I don’t know about you, but I like reading those reviews that are long. It gives me good feedback. Just remember you get out of it what you put into it. Don’t forget to rate the site 1 star for not very good and 5 stars for great. Please note that you don’t have to rate it if you don’t want to. I always do, though. Then just click “submit the review.” Note that you can always skip sites or mark them as spam if you feel they are spam.
You will see a little box with a comment icon. This is what the author has typed in. Some people don’t put anything there or ask a question about an element on their website. They could want feedback on their logo, site design, navigation, etc. It’s a good idea to put your URL in that field if you’re the author. For example, for me, I put in to see my site at tbwhs.com. That way people can go to your site and view it in their browser, rather than just a screenshot.
Now, if you don’t want to leave feedback on others sites, you can always buy credits. To do this go to My Account>Buy Credits (it’s a big yellow button). The prices for credits are down below:
Optionally, you can earn free credits by clicking on “get free credits” write below “buy credits” on the “my account” page. You get 5 free credits per active person that you refer.
Feedback I Got From People
So on October 11, 2014, I decided to go ahead and review about 20 or so sites. It took me about 1 to 1 1/2 hours of going through sites and leaving the best feedback I possibly could. I really wasn’t expecting that people would start reviewing tbwhs.com that day, but to my surprise when I checked later on that night I already had 7 people that left me feedback on this very site you’re reading right now. Pretty cool, huh? Here is a screenshot of the feedback people left me:
Would I Recommend Using Criticue?
Yes! I certainly would. I got some great feedback in just 1 day. It’s an excellent idea, and I’m kind of jealous that I didn’t think of it. My reputation there is only 62 at the time of writing this, but that was just an hours worth of work. So any webmasters out there that are looking for some feedback on your sites I would highly recommend that you check them out. Really is a great system! I will continue to use Criticue and let you know my results in about a month.
Follow Up & Interview
As a follow-up, I had some questions for Martin Biiski that I emailed to him. He was nice enough to do an email interview with me. The interview is down below:
Does your “reputation” score allow you to get feedback faster?
We’ve experimented with it, but it has a negative effect on how long it takes to receive a review. I’m now considering turning Criticue into a ‘credit’ for web reviews with all reviews being right there in the open and reputation influencing how visible your website is. I’d love to hear what you think about it.
TBWHS response: That’s very interesting in turning it into a “Reddit” style. I actually love the idea.
If you choose to upload your own screenshot is there pixel height and width that is recommended?
It’ll automatically fit the screen but staying at 1024px may be a good idea in general.
If you’re not happy with the feedback quality that you get is there a way you can get more credits?
If you receive spam reviews, you can mark them and such and moderator will review it and refund credits in every case he or she will agree with your assessment.
As of December 2012, you stated you got 13,000 unique visitors on the first day. Can you let us know how many active users you have and how many unique visitors you get per day?
Apart from spikes (when an article is posted or when there’s a surge in activity on Twitter), it’s usually just between a couple of hundred and a thousand visitors per day.
Is there a certain time of day when you will receive feedback faster?
It’s pretty random though weekends are slower.
What makes Criticue.com stand out from your competitors?
You get feedback pretty quick, and it’s often very valuable considering the small effort you need to put in to get a review.
What are your future plans for Criticue.com in 2014 & 2015?
Make it a more social experience by letting users browse through websites, read the reviews they received and comment on them as well as post their own reviews.
TBWHS final thoughts: I really thank you for taking the time to answer questions for us at tbwhs.com. I think your idea for a site that gives you honest feedback on your website is a fantastic idea! I will continue to use your service and recommend that everyone looking for feedback on their sites use your service.
I’ve been using Criticue.com for about 3 weeks now and my reputation score is 248. I’m actively giving honest feedback and have got lots of good ideas on site designs. It’s just plain awesome!