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Discussing Design

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Real critique has become a lost skill among collaborative teams today. Critique is intended to help teams strengthen their designs, products, and services, rather than be used to assert authority or push agendas under the guise of "feedback." In this practical guide, authors Adam Connor and Aaron Irizarry teach you techniques, tools, and a framework for helping members of your design team give and receive critique. Using firsthand stories and lessons from prominent figures in the design community, this book examines the good, the bad, and the ugly of feedback. You'll come away with tips, actionable insights, activities, and a cheat sheet for practicing critique as a part of your collaborative process.

224 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2015

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Adam Connor

4 books1 follower

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5 stars
78 (27%)
4 stars
117 (40%)
3 stars
74 (25%)
2 stars
13 (4%)
1 star
4 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews
Profile Image for Ben.
85 reviews
July 22, 2015
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 the authors iterated on the main idea and branched into general information on running meetings. I may go back and review those sections later, but I found I began skimming as the same ground was being covered in several different ways.

I recommend this for people who give or receive design critiques as a part of their work.
Profile Image for Nabil.
81 reviews7 followers
December 7, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Sangeetha Sankaran.
109 reviews6 followers
January 29, 2023
Connor puts forth a concise guide for working with ux/ui designers. I found it accessible as a non-designer. The examples of conversations were really helpful, indicating common pitfalls and ways to work around them. I wish this were a little more technical, driven by data or psychology. The advice does feel really subjective, and your mileage may vary depending on your organization.
Profile Image for Sharon Bautista.
136 reviews8 followers
April 11, 2016
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 being published by the big publishers today. If based on design books alone, and specifically the profiles of designers included in design book sidebars, people working 100 years from now will think there were only 5 designers in our century!
Profile Image for Sashko Valyus.
193 reviews9 followers
September 23, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Adam.
Author 1 book5 followers
January 25, 2016
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).
Profile Image for Anton Nikolov.
100 reviews3 followers
April 23, 2021
The book covers a lot of basic critique techniques that you probably know if you have read some articles on the topic. That said I think it is still a nice book for any Designer and product person that participates in the design process.

It is a good collection of practical tips on how to do good design critique.
Profile Image for Jake Zukowski.
26 reviews4 followers
February 13, 2018
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
February 10, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Maria Arce.
2 reviews1 follower
February 19, 2019
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.
October 29, 2020
There’s a lot of water in this book. Same basics are repeated over and over again. If you work in a product company, you might have already learned it within the first few months. I think this book should have been better published in the form of the podcast or a video lecture.
Profile Image for Lewis Ngugi.
57 reviews6 followers
June 7, 2021
Came in handy when I had a challenges in a project around communication and collaboration. The shared feedback is now tied to product objectives and scenarios. Love the guide it also offers towards the end on how to remember about participating in a great critic session.
Profile Image for Diego Pacheco.
163 reviews9 followers
October 4, 2021
Interesting Books even for those who are not designers. It talks about creating a culture of high feedback but also explains why feedback is, in the author case *critique* There are some interesting insights on what exactly matters and why.
136 reviews1 follower
June 19, 2022
This provides framework for anyone who gives or receives feedback on products created by a team. It will be useful for me to refer back to when developing environments conducive to collaboration, and to achieve consensus while maintaining team harmony and my own sanity.
Profile Image for Annie.
790 reviews846 followers
July 19, 2022
This is a good foundational book on getting feedback on design or more specifically critique (why the design doesn't work and how it can be improved). This is different from feedback that is based on reactions or preferences (like "there are too many fields to fill out" or "those colors are ugly").
Profile Image for M Pereira.
537 reviews15 followers
February 6, 2022
A nice engagement of how freelancers in creative roles deal with clients in the to and fro. An education to read about this.
Profile Image for Colle Owino.
82 reviews24 followers
September 26, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Daniel.
48 reviews7 followers
January 3, 2020
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).
Profile Image for Camille.
293 reviews45 followers
September 11, 2016
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.
15 reviews
January 3, 2019
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!
Profile Image for Colbys Dovi.
8 reviews
July 6, 2018
Really good book on Design Critique, the different types of feedback, and how to give/receive constructive feedback.
Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews

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