Getting critiqued

May 12th 2016

But design is different. As a designer, I don’t matter. My work doesn’t matter. Nothing I make matters in the context of my process. It’s all about the people you are building for. You’re just trying to solve problems for people. Once you realize this, it’s the most liberating thing. Because every critique is valid. It doesn’t need to feel like your soul is being ripped apart.

Adam's post on critique surfaced yesterday on Twitter during the discussions about Instagram's new app icon. This post is packed with valid points for people receiving feedback – it's a learned skill and something we should all aim to be better at. We are solving problems for people, yes, and our process or craft is a means to that end.

But that doesn't excuse designers in our community for shitting on other people's work with knee-jerk, emotionally-charged words. Giving feedback is a skill as well, and Twitter is rarely a conducive medium for such things. Logo-redesign-day is becoming as loathed as the "should designers..." diatribe. Which is too bad, because redesigns (such as Instagram's) are a chance for us to learn, to ask more questions, to build context, and to try to understand the changes in relation to a product's goal.

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