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Discussing Design: Improving Communication and Collaboration through Critique
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Discussing Design: Improving Communication and Collaboration through Critique

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Conversations are a large part of how we work together as a team. Designers are no different, but there are not many resources available that concentrate on these necessary soft-skills. This book provides practical and actionable insights to help your team give and receive constructive criticism. For managers, this book discusses proven tools to set a foundation for your t ...more
ebook, 150 pages
Published January 2015 by O'Reilly Media
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Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tech
This book inspired me to use a more structured approach wehn giving and receiving feedback on UX design projects. The vocabulary of critiques vs reactions and direction is useful, as well as the definition of a critique being to measure a design against agreed upon objectives. Perhaps the biggest message for me is to get better at defining clear objectives and use cases for each feature with the project tema and reviewing those regularly.

The book became a bit repetitive in later chapters, as th
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
For people who work closely with designers, this book gives great practical advice on how to properly 'critique'.

The first half of the book is useful, while the second goes into granular details of some 9-5 basics, e.g. "be sure to take notes"

Would recommend for anyone who collaborates with designers sometimes, and mandatory for people who are responsible for designing (or approving designs) of user facing products.
Sharon Bautista
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is another design book with a premise that seems noble--critique is a universal part of design organizations that's perpetuated with much complacency. Time for a shake-up, or at least a critical eye, right? The most memorable parts of this book are the definitions to commonplace terms, like critique, facilitation, active listening. The definitions seem more human and eloquent than the typical textbook glossary. Unfortunately, the rest of the book feels like a regurgitation of design books b ...more
Sashko Valyus
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Дизайн ніколи не створюється в вакуумі. Його завжди потрбіно валідувати, покращувати, тестувати і часом навіть продавати. Ця книга чудесно описує частниню цього процесу, а саме як організовувати, давати та отримувати критику на дизайн. Дуже практична і чітка.
Головне в критикуванні — шукати рішення, чому щось працює, чи не працює, а не придумувати нове, яке вам здається кращим.
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
There was a lot of padding around common sense or sometimes stuff which wasn't applicable to me. Mostly common sense. There was too much "this is what we'll tell you, this is what we're telling you, this is what we told you" (and a case study which usually didn't add much if anything).
Jake Zukowski
Decent review for industry veterans

For those who have been in the design industry for a while, we can tell ourselves, “We need to get better at critique.” Critique is like communication: very rarely will you be told you’re doing too
Ricardo Valenzuela
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really good guide to have proper feedback sessions.

An interesting detail which weirded me out is that the writers mostly used “she” “her” (female pronouns) in negative examples of bad habits during critiques.
Maria Arce
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended!

If you find yourself struggling in a design environment you should read this book. You will be able to understand how to participate of a collaborative and balance critique oriented workplace and take all the positive outcomes.
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
this was great.
Colle Owino
Sep 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would say it a book full of concrete and actionable insights on how to go about critiquing design.
The main point is that its about collaboration and helping the design improve and meet its objectives.
Even going as far as detailing how to make it possible through facilitation.
The overall tone is reminiscent of a design critique workshop but quite digestible to even those who are not designers.
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Important principles about differences between types of feedback. IMO this can be easily digested quicker in a talk, podcast or an article. I skimmed the book heavily because I realized after the first two chapters how much of the content is drawn out way too long. Unfortunately I've read a few similar books recently which didn't need to be written as books (if that makes sense).
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-hold
Just saw Aaron speak at an event and I was so impressed that I ordered this book immediately. The structure he proposes will undoubtedly help me in better conveying customer needs and sentiment to our designers and hopefully help us build an even more fantastic product and harmonious company.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a UX/UI designer, this was such a useful read & I'm looking forward testing some of the strategies for communication listed in the book. Would also recommend it to PO's, scrum masters, developers etc. It's useful for a whole team! ...more
Vuk Trifkovic
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: o-reilly, tech
Good overview of a key skill. Not overly elaborate and to the point.
Vlad Golovach
Apr 04, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely nothing conveyed in so many words.
Colbys Dovi
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good book on Design Critique, the different types of feedback, and how to give/receive constructive feedback.
Delhi Irc
DL027879 GG6
Hiran Venugopalan
Basics are there, but it's time to update.
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful tips on how to run critiques at work
Ridhima Gupta
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Aug 30, 2019
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Sean Post
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Jeff Tang
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Mar 17, 2017
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Mar 04, 2017
rated it it was ok
Dec 31, 2019
Clovis Six
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Feb 14, 2018
Ari Becker
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Nov 13, 2017
Mitch Malone
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Aug 02, 2015
Ankit Agarwal
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Mar 17, 2019
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“Good critique is comprised of three key elements: It identifies a specific aspect of the idea or a decision in the design being analyzed. It relates that aspect or decision to an objective or best practice. It describes how and why the aspect or decision work to support or not support the objective or best practice.” 0 likes
“When asking for critique, keep the following in mind: Remember the purpose. Critique is about understanding and improvement, not judgment. Listen and think before responding. Do you understand what the critics are saying and why? Return to the foundation. Use agreed-upon objectives as a tool to make sure feedback stays focused on objectives. Participate. Critique the work alongside everyone” 0 likes
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