How to Criticize with Kindness ... Arguing Intelligently

over 7 years ago from Adam Michiels, Director, Digital Strategy & UX

  • Adam MichielsAdam Michiels, over 7 years ago

    Totally agree. I think that learning how to get slammed and keep on moving is a very valuable thing.

    That said though, I think this applies more in cases where people are critiquing to actually keep the learning/conversation/producing moving along.

    Cold criticism is more of an attack or a polemic in many cases.

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    • Account deleted over 7 years ago

      I think it's also important to add that a lot of times the quality of feedback is directly proportional to the time invested in the work itself/how it's presented. Especially online.

      When someone on Behance/Dribbble/Wherever posts a redesign and/or conceptual work... and it's like a dozen screenshots - some showing user interaction examples alongside some text explaining their thought process and why they did things... you almost always find the responses to be more professional and helpful as a whole.

      I firmly believe that this is because if someone takes the time to think things through and has logic on why they did certain things, it creates a situation where critics need to step back and think about the designers point of view and then propose tweaks or thoughts based of of this presentation. More often than not, the quality of responses is pretty similar to the initial presentation. The "presenter" set the tone.

      When someone simply posts one or two shots, with no overview of what it is, why they did it and how it solves something... it opens them to simpleton attacks and comments. It's much harder to simply say "this sucks" to someone who presents something thought out and in-depth over someone who posts simple shot with little to no insight.

      I think as we strive to provide better feedback on things, it's absolutely key to also work on presenting work better. THIS is absolutely HUGE in real life. The better you are at pitching something... internally to a small team, your boss, or a client... the more constructive the feedback and discussion will be.

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