The cover of Discussing Design

Discussing Design

Improving Communication and Collaboration through Critique

by Adam Connor and Aaron Irizarry

This book is a good collection of techniques to improve creative feedback. I’ve used a lot of them since reading it. My favorites:

  1. Critique to improve, not critique to approve. Remind stakeholders that their role isn’t to say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ rather to give the designer actionable feedback for how to resolve any critical issues.
  2. Incremental vs. iterative - We often call work iterative when it’s actually incremental. That is: we don’t actually build a full usable version of a product, release it, and then progressively improve it. We start with an unusuable thing, and then slowly build it up until it’s in a largely finished state. Being able to make this distinction helps to set expectations and get the right kind of feedback.
  3. Six thinking hats - A good exercise to increase the quality and diversity of feedback is to assign ‘hats’ to participants which guide the kind of feedback they’re expected to give.