Discussing Design

Collaboration requires us to share our work; to communicate our ideas with one another and to collect other’s thoughts to know whether the designs we’re producing are meeting the objectives of the project. But often we wrestle with collecting this feedback. We get comments that are less than helpful because they seem irrelevant, unclear, or mired in personal preferences and agendas. Or we find that we’re getting feedback and reactions at inopportune times rather than points in the process where they would have been useful in informing design decisions.

Our ability to critique speaks directly to the quality of these conversations, whether they be designers, developers, stakeholders, or others. Improving these discussions requires us to examine our approaches to identify how we might best give and collect feedback that makes discussions–and our designs–more effective.

In this talk we’ll explore…
* Critique as both an activity and an aspect of any communication or collaboration. Attendees will walk away with:
* A clear understanding of critique is and why asking for “feedback” is problematic.
* Methods for gathering useful feedback from clients and teammates.
* Ideas on how to introduce team members and partners to the idea of critique and get everyone using it.
* An understanding of where critique fits within the design processes and how to incorporate it into our projects and products.



Adam Connor


Adam Connor's work focuses on helping teams and organisations strengthen and grow their human-centered design and innovation capabilities. As a design leader, Adam's work blends systems thinking, HCD, anthropology, and organisational behaviour to foster more collaborative, creative and customer-centric organisations. He has coached and trained teams across the world and from industry leading organisations such as Google, Disney, Fidelity, and Twitter. In 2015 he and co-author Aaron Irizarry released Discussing Design: Improving Communication & Collaboration Through Critique with O’Reilly Publishing. His thoughts on collaboration and design can be found at adamconnor.com and discussingdesign.com