This is an updated version of Discussing Design: The Art of Critique. We’ve all struggled at times in sharing our designs with teammates and stakeholders and collecting feedback on them. The comments we receive can seem to more about personal preference or indicate some misalignment of goals and vision for the project. Our ability to critique and to facilitate critique with others speaks directly to the quality of these conversations. Designers frequently complain about the quality and uselessness of the feedback they are given, but we rarely take a step back and examine how to collect useful feedback and make our discussions around our designs more productive. With this talk we look deeper into the various aspects of critique, not just as an activity for collecting feedback, but as a key skill in our ability to communicate and collaborate. We examine the language, rules and strategies for critique and provide participants with takeaways that can immediately be put to work to create a useful, collaborative environment for discussing designs.
Text of Discuss Design Without Losing Your Mind
1. DISCUSSDESIGN Without Losing Your MindAdam ConnorEXPERIENCE DESIGN DIRECTORAaron Irizarry PRODUCT DESIGNER
2. Conversations canhurtSomething about pain in conversations. 3. The new Spotify design is perhaps even worse than the old Spotify design. The visual hierarchy and underlying IA are terrible.I would never use this. I dont like the layout.We should make that a dropdown instead of radio buttons.This is terrible. I have no idea what the lines mean.We're disappointed in this solution. We're going to have our own designers come up with one. I like the paper form better.None of this is what I asked for. Here is a rewrite. My intention is to sharpen the language, make it more precise.Looks ugly. Make it pretty.What. The hell. Is this? Make it look more like SharePoint.What kind of company shuts down a much-loved service like Google Reader but keeps the vegetative Google Plus? I'm just not feeling it. I don't know what, butIt doesn't have enough spunk. The wireframes are still not answering our problem and are not providing enough an easier solution for the page.No. That wont work. What if we do it this way...it isn't right yet. Just needs to be more innovative.Change the order of the screens so that the 3rd and first one are switched.It needs more flululululuh!! Its laid out too much like [popular service]. We should be different. 4. The new Spotify design is perhaps even worse than the old Spotify design. The visual hierarchy and underlying IA are terrible.None of this is what I asked for.We should make that a dropdown instead of radio buttons.What. The hell. Is this?Here is a rewrite. My intention is to sharpen the language, make it more precise.Change the order of the screens so that the 3rd and first one are switched.No. That wont work. What if we do it this way... 5. Critical thinking 6. Critique 7. There are two facets to critique:Giving & Receiving 8. There are two facets to critique:Giving & ReceivingINTENT At their foundation is 9. Giving critique with the wrong intent is self focused. 10. Giving critique with the right intent is objective focused. 11. When giving critique...Use a filter.Gather initial thoughts and reactions. Revisit them in the right context. 12. When giving critique...Dont assume.Find out the reason behind thinking, constraints or other variables. 13. When giving critique...Dont invite yourself. Get in touch and ask to chat about the design. 14. When giving critique...Lead with questions. Show an interest in their process. 15. When giving critique...Talk about strengths.Critique isnt just about the things that arent working. 16. Receiving critique with the right intent takes humility and restraint. 17. When receiving critique...Remember the purpose. Critique is about understanding and improvement, not judgement. 18. When receiving critique...Think before responding. Do you understand what the critics are saying? 19. When receiving critique...Participate.Analyze your proposed solution with everyone else. 20. When receiving critique...Set the foundation.Use prior agreements and objectives to get everyone on the same page. 21. A simple plan. 22. What was the creator trying to achieve? 23. What was the creator trying How did they try to to achieve?achieve it? 24. What was the creator How didto achieve? to trying they tryHow effective were achieve it? their choices? 25. What was the creator How did they try to trying to achieve?How effective were achieve it? Why their choices? is or isnt whatthey did effective? 26. Standalone Critiques Design Reviews Collaborative Activities 27. A few things tokeep in mind... 28. The Rules 1 Avoid problem solving. 2 Everyone is equal. 3 Everyone is a critic. 4 The designer is responsible for next steps. 29. Set the rightfoundation. 30. Set your foundation with...PersonasUser Archetypes that describe their average behaviors, goals, expectations, knowledge, etc. 31. Set your foundation with...GoalsDesired, measurable outcomes of the user interacting with the product or service. Can be user oriented, business oriented or both. 32. Set your foundation with...PrinciplesDesired qualities or characteristics of the final solution. 33. Set your foundation with...ScenariosShort narratives that the describe the desired behaviors, thoughts, reactions, emotions, etc. of the user as they move through a particular flow or use case. 34. Standalone Critiques Design Reviews Collaborative Activities 35. Critique is about iteration and improvement. So long as youre looking to improve on whatever it is youre doing, youve got an opportunity for critique. 36. Who gets aninvitation? 37. Start things off on the right foot. Illustration by: Hugo A Sanchez 38. Facilitating critique Critique GoalsDirect InquiryActive ListeningSix Thinking HatsRound Robin & QuotasFacilitators 39. Yes. You will meetdifficultpeople. 40. What comesnext? 41. Standalone Critiques Design Reviews Collaborative Activities 42. Design Reviews have theirchallenges. 43. Solving the review problem Take control. Recap objectives. Pretend youre dealing with difficult people. Dont rely on them for critique. 44. Standalone Critiques Design Reviews Collaborative Activities 45. The ever popularbrainstormArtist Unknown 46. Divergent ThinkingCritiqueConvergent Thinking 47. Critique is at the core ofcollaboration. 48. Thanks! Aaron Irizarry PRODUCT DESIGNERTHISISAARONSLIFE.COM AARON@THISISAARONSLIFE.COM @AARONIAdam ConnorEXPERIENCE DESIGN DIRECTOR ADAMCONNOR.COM ADAM@ADAMCONNOR.COM @ADAMCONNORFor more thoughts on critique, communication and collaboration, check out:discussingdesign.com | @DiscussingD