Fostering good criticism

3 years ago from Evan MacAlpine, Designer

  • Blake Reary, 3 years ago

    Here's how I like to go about it:

    • Frame the problem. What/who are you designing for? What are the goals and metrics you intend to influence? How do you define quality?
    • Set expectations. How far along is the work? What are your specific questions about it it that you hope to get answered?
    • Be specific about what type of feedback you want. Narrative flow? Information architecture? Visual design? Detailed or general?
    • Moderate the conversation. Call on specific people to talk one at a time. Make sure it's staying on track with regards to the former bullet points. Teach people to ask questions rather than make statements about what they like or don't like. Don't let it get personal, keep it about the work. Have someone moderate for you if you can.

    And finally, remember that you're asking for feedback for a reason: to get better. Try to be vulnerable. Be open to the possibility that you didn't get it right. Defend the work if you feel that your reasoning hasn't been effectively communicated or understood. But be willing to accept others' opinions and tastes in relation to your own.

    12 points
    • Evan MacAlpineEvan MacAlpine, 3 years ago

      This is great feedback. Thanks Blake! Do you find you have a different approach when getting feedback from designers vs non-designers or do you find a similar approach works well in both cases?

      1 point
      • Blake Reary, 3 years ago

        I think the biggest difference is that designers tend to have some experience already with critique, while others may have never been exposed to the method and may need a bit more guidance in how to give proper feedback. Other than that, I've used this method for both running designer-only crits as we ll as soliciting feedback from engineers, PMs, marketers, etc.

        1 point