A few months ago “Adaptive Path” ↗︎ wrote an article called “The Do’s and Don’ts of Managing Designers” ↗︎. Some of the most liked retweets of this article from the Design community highlighted these sentences,
There’s such a culture of critique around design deliverables that doesn’t exist with any other deliverables. For designers, a typical day is everyone telling them what’s wrong with their work.
At Shopify, which prides itself on opinionated employees (many other companies would jump to identify themselves as having this too), there are at least nine different ways a Designer will get feedback. That’s just counting the ones that aren’t including random passerbys. So, how do you deal with that?
Yes, you should be critical about criticism. It does not make you stubborn because not all opinions are created equal. You could uncover things you don’t know that they do (best case scenario) or you could very well find out that they’re not good at critique (worst case scenario).
Here are the questions you can ask them,
All great work has a strong vision behind it. If you aren’t good at protecting your vision it will be design by committee or data. On the other hand, if you are too aggressive about protecting you are missing out on information and that’s a real shame too.
Here are the questions you can ask yourself,
There are often no right answers, there is just not close enough. It’s a field of grey so there’s naturally going to be a lot of opinions about what you should be doing. The key to not questioning your existence is straddling the line between asserting your role as the Designer and being too open to feedback. Neither extremes lead to a happy conclusion.