🐰📰 Newsletter #6 | Leveling up your feedback skills as a designer
Hey Buddies! 👋
Growth as a designer requires being able to give and receive feedback. In this newsletter, we give you tips to help you get the most out of your feedback, as well as events and other things to help you level up as a designer.
Scroll towards the bottom for a fun Lunar New Year design challenge as well!
💬 How to give and receive design feedback
Asking for feedback
💭 Provide context. Is this work for a portfolio? A personal project? Client work? Having a small “about” section or statement in your call for feedback narrows down who you’d like to receive advice from and what type of feedback you are looking for.
🎯 Be specific. Take advantage of your design terminology, principles and fundamentals. Talk about hierarchy, emphasis, balance, color psychology, typography, etc. What aspects are you most vs. least sure of? Is your composition sending the right message at first glance vs. upon further exploration? Structure your questions intentionally so that you receive the feedback that’s easiest to pick out and that you need most to receive.
🗒️ Take notes. It’s okay if you don’t implement all the advice given to you. Determine which points bring the most value to your work; don’t overwhelm yourself trying to implement every change suggested on the spot. Instead, document the feedback you received, organize it, and take a step back. Make time to process your thoughts so you can effectively determine what feedback you’ll implement.
⏰ Figure out what kind of feedback is most relevant. If you are in a 10-15 minute coffee chat and pressed for time, then first impressions, quick and simple takeaways, and actionable suggestions are the best things to provide someone for their work. If you are in a much longer mentoring session that gives you more time to find out the context behind the design and offer a more thorough critique.
🥪 Avoid the sandwich method. Although it’s very tempting to lessen the blow of a negative feedback by putting it in between two positive feedbacks - ergo, “sandwiching” the honest feedback- this approach also risks of undermining your authenticity since the one receiving wouldn’t know if they are genuine or not. Best advice? Be honest, intentional, and transparent with your feedback.
✨ Create a connection. There’s something called the Imago Dialogue that’s used as a conflict resolution strategy for relationships (and also, fun fact, for couples therapy ❤️). Perhaps these techniques can also be applied when discussing feedback and creating connections between designers. The exercise goes:
Mirror what the asker is saying. This ensures you are both on the same page, and encourages the other to describe their problem in more detail.
Validate their experience and point of view. Honor what they are saying, and understand the logic behind their actions. Oftentimes, people look for feedback in their most hyper-focused, most worried, or most stressed states, so having someone recognize their efforts and their struggles without prejudice can really help them in the long run.
Lead with empathy. It’s hard to put our work out there for someone else to judge. By creating a safe space to discuss and create dialogue in your design critique, you provide an honest and open system between the person asking and providing feedback. More information about the Imago Dialogue can be found here.
Thank you to Yumi for writing this. Keep the conversation going! We have channels on Discord where you can give and receive feedback (#design-feedback, #portfolio-feedback, #resume-coverletter-feedback); hop in here!
Lunar New Year social - Sat Feb 12, 8 pm PT (UTC-8)
Stories of first gens in tech - Tue, Feb 22, 5 pm PT (UTC-8)
Visualizing your resume for success - Sat, Feb 26, 10 am PT (UTC-8)
⭐️ Let’s build a no-code e-commerce app in Bravo & Adobe XD (Thu Feb 17, 9 AM PST (UTC-8))
⭐️ Tik Tok for Baby Boomers (team sprint - Feb 22 - Mar 8) with Clicked and Products by Women
New emotes & stickers
Valentine’s Day art
Check out this GIF by Gazal - it’s Fluffle coming out of a present!
National Mentoring Month features
We’re doing similar features for Black History Month. If you identify as a black designer, you can submit your story here.
Congrats to our Buddies, Kate and Denas!
🎨 Design challenge
Want to practice your design skills and showcase your talent to the community? Participate in the next Design Buddies' design challenge! We are accepting all types of designs (digital art, motion design, UX design, etc.) The designs will be featured on the following month's newsletter, as well as our social media.
Taking inspiration from Lunar New Year, the prompt for this month is Tiger!
Please submit your designs through the form below before Mon, Feb 28, 11:59 PM UTC-8 (PST) — late submissions will not be accepted.
Please submit your original work only! If you use assets from other sources, you must credit them in your submission.
You can work by yourself or with a team. If you work with others, please submit one form for the entire team, including the design, participant names, and information.
We look forward to seeing your submissions!
🐰 About Design Buddies
Design Buddies is an inclusive design community where all designers can level up. We have resources, events, design activities, mentorship, and more.
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