Dirk HCM van Boxtel

Dirk HCM van Boxtel

Community Staff Sydney Australia & the Netherlands Waldorf & Statler @ the balcony (creative director & digital strategist) Joined about 5 years ago via an invitation from Dave T.

  • 23 stories
  • Posted to How to give feedback on design to peers and on social media?, in reply to Azmir S. , Nov 01, 2018

    Yeah, I 100% where you came from with everything you said!

    It's just one of those things that we've all been doing wrong for a long time :) And I do mean "we". I'm guilty of shit feedback as well :D

    0 points
  • Posted to How to give feedback on design to peers and on social media?, in reply to Azmir S. , Oct 30, 2018

    Never critique the work of another on social media unless you want to be known as an asshole, publicly.


    I reckon we need to stop being precious about this. Critique is GOOD. Getting it for free is a privilege.

    1) We've gotta interpret feedback differently.

    If someone says "your shit sucks", you punch the "block" button. If they say "I don't get the message you're trying to get across", you can fucken well say "thank you, that's solid critique!".

    2) Giving feedback is an art. Get good at it.

    You'll be given and giving feedback the rest of your life, especially as a designer. Get good at it.

    Unsolicited feedback can be great. Even in a public forum. Just gotta put the EFFORT into making it solid feedback. And not expect a response. And not be a dickhead about things.

    Just my 2 cents! And you've already mentioned part of this in your post (giving good feedback) but it needed a bit of highlighting since this is kind of important. I don't think we principally disagree. Just the wording of "Never critique the work of another [...]".

    (Having said this - I don't often do unsolicited feedback as I don't feel I have the time. This excludes discussions like this one, which, in a way, is feedback as well, that you didn't ask for :p)

    4 points
  • Posted to How to give feedback on design to peers and on social media?, Oct 30, 2018

    Dirk's guide to critique that doesn't suck

    1) Skip the fucken pleasantries

    "Awesome!", "I love it!" and "Beautiful!" are not useful as critique/feedback. In fact, these are 100% opinion and add nothing. Doesn't mean you can't say nice things. Just be specific.

    Examples of good critique:

    • "Lovely contrast. Super easy to read even with the sun on the screen!"
    • "using the logo's rounded bottom right corner on the buttons was a great bit of branding!"
    • "the colours you picked clash, but that really fits the contradictory nature of the message you're trying to get across!"

    (Don't forget exclamation marks! Everybody loves exclaiming!)


    Design is about telling stories. Whether the story is a brand new homepage or an error box, it's trying to get a message across.

    It is imperative for a designer to hear what message is being put across. This puts EVERY other shred of feedback into that context, as opposed to the original context within which the design was made.

    The reason this needs to be stated out loud is that everyone will have their own interpretation of anything they read or see. Does "please close this window" mean you should close the modal, the browser tab or the whole browser instance?

    3) Only consider the true knowns.

    You're going to be guessing a lot while doing critique. And guessing is done best out loud, in front of people that know the initial brief.

    You'll be guessing their meaning, their goal, their message.

    What you won't be guessing:

    • How gestalt principles apply to design
    • What display sizes are out there in the wild
    • How an API works
    • That people will look at the cleavage before they see the CTA button
    • That "click here" doesn't specify what will happen when you click
    • How search engines index
    • How a projector makes low contrast text/background unreadable


    Those are the things you'll be commenting on. Not on "I don't like blue". Not on "italics rub me wrong". And also not on "I like dogs better than cats".

    In closing:

    First off, here's some feedback I've given on DN:

    The fun thing is, you can reverse this feedback. If people don't do these things, you can tell them "thank you for your feedback, I'll take that into consideration!" and ignore the fuck out of it. Address it if required, but generally speaking, you want to keep asking questions of people until you get feedback that fits within the above guidelines.

    Enjoy feedbackering others, and feel free to feed me back on this guide too. Feedy feed feed. Feet.


    2 points
  • Posted to Confessions of a Flawed Designer (comics), Oct 25, 2018

    Solid share.

    I think at one point or another, we've all experienced these.

    And at one point or another, we will all experience these. Again.

    Part of being human :)

    Just remember that. We're human. We're flawed. We do what we think is most fitting depending on our knowledge, current circumstances and emotional state.

    Don't regret. Learn. And try to be better at dealing with situations in the future!

    3 points
  • Posted to Dribbble's 404 Page , in reply to Daniel Golden , Oct 24, 2018

    Put you back in the clear, Dan.

    You're golden.

    1 point
  • Posted to Dribbble's 404 Page , Oct 23, 2018

    Topical. Interactive. Promotes discovery. Well done.

    13 points
  • Posted to Interplay., in reply to Andrew C , Oct 16, 2018

    Talking about two different things here.

    • Downvotes on articles (good thing)
    • Downvotes on comments (bad thing)

    The difference being that not many votes are required to make the front page, and a couple of downvotes on spam can allow us to police this place as a community.

    As for comment spam: different story altogether. Requires better reporting tools.

    1 point
  • Posted to Feedback on my website. What can be done better?, in reply to Ahmed Sulajman , Oct 16, 2018

    Happy it proved useful!

    0 points
  • Posted to Brutal design by Adidas, Oct 16, 2018

    So. In contrast to how others are choosing to interpret your title, I'm assuming that by "brutal", you're not referring to "brutalist", because it does, indeed, look "brutal", and not "brutalist".

    That sentence was fun to type up.

    Moving on from there, yeah, I see what they went for with this style. It's a bit niche but sites like this were all over the internet within that very particular late90's, early 2000's design. Well, design is a big word.

    Throwing together all these random images with no regard for whether they go together or not. Animated gifs for no reason other than "they look cool".

    Which I suppose is what they're saying about the shoes. "Look at how cool these are!"

    Fair game. I kinda enjoyed the flashback, and appreciate the look of the site :)

    8 points
  • Posted to Interplay., in reply to Todd Cantley , Oct 16, 2018

    People shout "DYING!" far too soon when it comes to communities. There's always an ebb and flow of things.

    Calm down and keep posting :]

    As for the voting; I've brought it up for discussion with the other mods, will raise it again soon.

    2 points
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