What a piece of shit article.
My point as well.
Any feedback I give in real life and on the internet has to be positive. I take the "sh*t sandwich" approach;
Top layer of bread - say what's good
The filling - say what doesn't work
Bottom layer of bread - how to improve things, refer to top layer of bread when possible.
Anyone can write "this sucks", it takes little or no effort. If you can't criticise in an articulate way then it's probably best to say nothing.
I'm not so much a fan of this method in real life. If you give feedback often to the same person, it sets the expectation that you might be giving a compliment only for the sake of padding your real opinion, the criticism "meat" in the sandwich.
I favor a more direct approach, just giving the criticism outright, but making sure its constructive rather than just insulting.
But, that's just my opinion :)
An alternative way of looking at it—people need to know what is working just as much as they should know what isn't, so they can target what to improve!
If I don't have a sincere compliment, I usually say a neutral observation: "this seems like a focal point", "this typeface feels very contemporary and youthful". This is also helpful feedback, so people can know what impressions people are getting from their work, and what features stand out or aren't noticeable.
Or learn to remove emotion from the criticism and extract the raw value from it. The fact that criticism takes little effort makes me keen to harvest as much of it as possible.It's not like you have to apply it all. It's fucking free. I should be thanking people for writing anything.
I love that this was written by a guy whose bio is literally just "Steve St. Pierre. Art director. Assholic tendencies."
Maybe... maybe you're part of the problem there, Steve.
Hey Barry. I willingly admit that I can be a regular piece of shit. But when it comes to design, let me tell you: I'll be brutally honest, and people often interpret that as me being the ruler of dickhead mountain - and that's ok.
I think you've hit the nail on the head.
What you think of as 'brutal honesty' is always going to be perceived as 'you're not wrong, you're just an asshole.' No doubt those internet commenters just think they're being brutally honest as well.
The challenge is to recognise being perceived as an asshole as a failure of communication, and ultimately a failure of your design process.
edited to add: sorry, I'm not trying to say NO YOU. I think you've really touched on one of the shitty things about this industry - we have a culture that encourages asshole behaviour and prima-donna bullshit. We need to figure out how to get past it, it's just exhausting.
Yeah everyone thinks that they are 'refreshingly honest and straightforward' while everyone else is an 'asshole'.
The link was originally from http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/youre_not_wrong_youre_just_an_asshole.php.
I see this a disheartening amount, even on DN. People saying "this sucks" or "meh" about someone else's hard work, when it might have been more constructive to talk more precisely about why something doesn't work.
I know complaining about Internet comments is like complaining about the tide, but it's still worth thinking about.
I just had 2 Czech guys comment on a dribbble shot:
Why are you doing this "shit"?
LOL, OMG... You invented the wheel! Delete it and go to hell!
Was thinking about replying but decided to just simply delete the comments and block the users.
I'm really curious what you posted on dribbble to get such a strong reaction!?
http://drbl.in/nzQG nothing special
I once commented precisely about why something doesn't work - point by point. I still got burned by other commenters.
We can hope for people to provide articulate insightful comments, but that doesn’t mean that comments such as “Ralph’s” are useless. As a designer it’s often your job to interpret what people (and clients) are saying and turn that into something constructive. If several people are commenting variations of “incredibly lackluster”, there might be a conclusion to draw from it.
I see we have a poet among us.
I shit haikus, Pierre-Louis.
So true, and also people don't think about the limitations and restrictions you often have to work within, which is what I learned pretty quick coming into an agency. You don't always get to do the type of work you want to do, and often you have to compromise due to budget restraints, limited time, bad content, mandatories etc. Sure, your first design might look cool but after going through a chain of people (art director, creative director, web developer, account manager and not least the client) for approval, it almost always coming out looking like a hacked up or watered down version of what you first designed... That's reality.
I put a shitty comment on a design of something once, and another designer replied with something to the effect of "yeah, well all of your designs suck."
It stung, and it certainly gave me some much-needed perspective to be a little more thoughtful.