JD 101 | Ep 4: How to receive feedback in design review | 5 tips

Photo by Andrew Moca on Unsplash

Howdy 👋,

Here are all the tips that I am thrilled to share with you on this topic:

Tip 1: Apply FRAMEWORK when receiving feedback
Tip 2: Be VULNERABLE
Tip 3: DON’T take it PERSONALLY
Tip 4: PREPARE for what type of FEEDBACK you may get
Tip 5: Make your commitment public

Tip 1: Apply FRAMEWORK when receiving feedback

You can follow this classic structure to organize should-have information when replying to the giver.

1. 🦻🏻 LISTEN to understand

  • Aston Sanderson, author of “Small Talk" once said, “Being a good listener is extremely hard”. Indeed! It is just not only hearing what the other is saying but also absorbing it in, processing it, and comprehending it.
  • By giving your full attention to what the other person is saying and remaining fully engaged with he/she (show your today languages to signal that you are listening attentively), you will be able to pick up details that will be valuable to improve your design.

3. 🙇‍♀️ Be GRATEFUL

  • Whatever feedback comes to you, show your appreciation toward it. Because those that can give you feedback are the ones who listen carefully to what you presented and want to assist you to succeed with a better design solution.
  • Example:
    - 💁🏻‍♂ ️“Thank you for your input."
    - 💁🏻‍♂️ “That's a great point. I overlook it during my research.”
    -
    💁🏻‍♂️ “Appreciate your comment. That is a very helpful perspective coming from a business standpoint”

2. 🧐 CLARIFY your understanding

  • If you are not following the person’s idea, kindly ask for clarification. It’s always better to get it right the first time and resolve the ambiguity rather than overlook it afterwards.
  • Example
    - 💁🏻‍♂️ If you are not catching up with what they are saying
    => “Sorry, I’m not following you, could you please share again?”
    - ️️️💁🏻‍♂️ If the person gives you the information that never come to your attention before.
    => “It would be helpful if you can share with me some background about what you just said”
    - 💁🏻‍♂️ If you are not sure you understand it correctly, try to reframe it from your perspective and double-check again with them=> “Correct me if I get you wrong. You just talked about … The problem here is …. Is that correct?”

3. 🦉 Be SELECTIVE

  • Not every single piece of input needs to be taken and not every feedback with suggesting items needs to take action after that.
  • Always link back to the main goal of the review session to guide you on what feedback is valid for your design and what's not to help you navigate forward.
  • Example
    - 💁🏻‍♂ ️If you are looking for different angles for the information architecture and someone tells you that your design needs more colour => Remind people of the goal and be straight but politely.
    => “Sorry we are not addressing it right now, but it will be considered in the next phase. We need more inputs on the overall IA, but about the visual wise."
    -
    💁🏻‍♂️ If people just throw ideas => Thank them, but don't make any promise that you will apply them.
    => “Thanks for all the ideas. I like them a lot. I will try to see if it works"

4. 🤽‍♀️ Take action on your selected items

Tip 2: Be VULNERABLE

  • You may receive lots of questions that you don’t know the answers to. The only single recipe that I will give you is being honest about what you know and what you don’t know.
  • Example
    - 💁🏻‍♂ ️ “This question is out of my expertise; however, I believe that [person] will know the best and he/she will be able to give you the answer"
    - 💁🏻‍♂ ️ “ Sorry I overlook this issue. I will go back to investigate it and come back with answers for you”
    - 💁🏻‍♂ ️ “ To be honest, I don't know. Could anyone here can help me with this?”

Tip 3: DON’T take it PERSONALLY

  • Dealing with that critique at the start of your profession is not easy as you do not have enough experience to deal with this. You may feel offended when hearing something unconstructive like this: “I don't think this solution is going to work as there are so many technical constraints that you are not aware of”
  • You own the solution; nevertheless, this does not imply that every feedback is directed at you and for you. All feedback given will be for the design solution, not about your competency in overseeing the design.

Tip 4: PREPARE for what type of FEEDBACK you may get

  • This is the exercise I always enjoy most while preparing for the design review session. The more you collaborate with the stakeholders and your design mate, you will be able to depict some questions they may ask when reviewing your design.
  • Example:
    - 💁🏻‍♂️ Engineers will focus on technical wise, so all the questions will be around edge cases, and logic.
    - 💁🏻‍♂️ PM will pay attention to the requirements, timeline and resources.
    - 💁🏻‍♂️ Design team cares about things at a lower level, such as interaction, visual aspects, and design system compliance.
  • Defining your audience and their needs before getting onto the stage will also help to fulfil your design with diverse aspects as the more hats you wear, the more viewpoints you cover.

Tip 5: Make your commitment public

  • Maintaining transparency among all the stakeholders will navigate you avoid conflicts that may happen in the future.
  • Therefore, at the end of the meeting, you can wrap up the main points and next steps defined, so everyone is aware of your progress.
    Alternatively, you can send a summary email to ensure you have a record of the aligned items.

I thank you for your time spent on this subject. I hope this brings you one step closer to conquering your fear and owning your next design critique.

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Product Designer who fancies Data Visualization — https://www.behance.net/thuychi199ad47

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Chi Nguyen Thuy

Chi Nguyen Thuy

Product Designer who fancies Data Visualization — https://www.behance.net/thuychi199ad47

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