What NOT to do: rattling off problems

Monish Subherwal Giving Feedback Leave a Comment

“Expert” designers (designers with 10+ years of experience) become REALLY REALLY good at evaluating designs.  They can spot when a design is “off”.  Really great designers are able to “see” all these problems all at once (like Neo in the matrix, yes quite a nerdy reference).

They can tell you why grey isn’t a good choice for a color, or why your feature isn’t going to work.  It’s an amazing skill that comes with time and years of experience designing products.  I know this because I have met great UX directors who have evaluated my work and I have been dazzled at their insights during feedback sessions.

There are many many things to give feedback on, and expert designers can evaluate a design based on ALL these elements:

  • Design layout
  • Labels
  • Color
  • Design decisions
  • Content
  • Structure of content
  • Feature decisions
  • and much much more!

Yet, the drawback for expert designers is that it’s EASY to tear a design apart — AND the designer receiving that feedback.

It’s human nature to focus on the negative (business philosopher Jim Rohn says “negative is normal”) and just spew out problems.

However, if you quickly rattle off ALL the problems ALL at once, you really don’t make your feedback useful to the recipient.

They can end up flustered, demoralized, or unable to know what to “fix.”

Over time, they will stop coming to you for feedback at all – realizing it’s a painful negative experience that isn’t useful.

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