Be nice. Or else.
I've heard one of your strengths is giving feedback on other people's designs. Any tips/tricks on design crits for how to leave your fellow designers informed, inspired, and generally headed in the right/better direction?
Hi Tuomas :)
And thanks, I'm definitely still learning how to give feedback to people.
As being designer myself and getting this feedback, I try to think what I’d want in that position and what would be useful.
If the designer doesn’t say, always ask first what kind feedback they want. Everything that comes to your mind might not be useful at that time. Feedback should be different in the beginning of the process (more conceptual) and trying to restrain giving very detailed feedback at the very end (something like fixing a margin).
I try to consider the skill level and personality of the designer. Some people like very direct feedback, some people don’t. Some people need more context and reasoning, some people get bored by it. When I give feedback to more junior designers, and try to give the feedback that they can use and improve on.
I also try to avoid giving direct solutions or prescribing how would I do it, but more framing them as questions “Have you considered doing it like this?”.
Thank you sir!
Asking them about the kind of feedback they want is an interesting move, it might give them a little bit of the power in the situation. Perhaps that helps their confidence and likely improves the quality of the conversation/debate, if they think you're truly invested in giving them the feedback that's most beneficial to them. Psychological safety seems important for the free exchange of ideas.
I think it's really important that you consider each person carefully, and that you've taken the time to acknowledge and learn their feedback preferences.
Keep up the good work -- pidä lippu korkealla!