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

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  11 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
Paperback, 206 pages
Published June 2015 by O'Reilly Media (first published January 1st 2015)
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3.99  · 
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 ·  105 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Vuk Trifkovic
Jun 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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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