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Designer Survivor: How to survive a design critique

By on January 6th, 2017 in Design

Are you ready to get thrown into the wilds of a design critique? Don’t worry. It’s not as scary as it sounds. The best thing you can do going into a critique is to keep an open mind. This can be one of the best ways to improve your craft as a designer. Listening to the opinions and perspectives of others allows you to expand your creativity into areas you may not have otherwise explored. So gather a few trusted designer friends around and get ready for a critique.

Be a good listener

You worked really hard to create your design, and made very intentional choices as to why your design looks a certain way. Understandably, it can be hard to hear that your perfect design is less than so. Instead of taking the natural defensive stance, listen to what is being said and take notes.  If you disagree, you can talk through those disagreements, which leads me to my next point.

Stand up for your work

Design can be subjective. Since this is the case, it is important to not only listen to suggestions, but to speak up and vocalize why you made certain design choices. In many cases, there are several paths that can lead you to a successful design. Also, just because someone doesn’t approve of the path you took, that doesn’t mean it won’t work or is wrong.

Ask questions

It’s important to ask questions if you don’t understand why someone feels a certain element in your design isn’t working. In website design, this is can relate to not only aesthetics, but also function. Does your website work in a way that a user can easily navigate through it without trouble? Questioning your design process and thinking about how the end product will be used is essential to creating a successful end product.

At the end of a critique, you should come away with a few key areas that you can improve. (Unless everyone thinks it’s perfect!) Taking these suggestions and enhancing your design will help you to transform your design into the best it can be.