Senior Design Systems Designer • Manchester, UK 🐝

Show notes for episode 14 of the Diary of Design Thinking by Simon Hoang, co-hosted by Chuck Rice.

Designers often have an easier time progressing into leadership positions, we think, because giving feedback and critique is core to a healthy design culture. We discuss design feedback the right way, how to handle aggressive feedback, and techniques for lowering your defences while maintaining your dignity.

…and when you grab your iconic GTA weapons during feedback.

Listen now on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

What we discussed

  • 0:00:04 — Introduction and topics overview
  • 0:00:27 — Episode starts: mic problems and camera simping
  • 0:01:20—Uno the dog makes a guest appearance
  • 0:02:10—Sync and async design feedback. Well, critique
  • 0:03:50 — Wrestling with getting time for design feedback
  • 0:05:21 —How do you get the right level of feedback?
  • 0:07:00—Trying out video recordings for sharing design work
  • 0:08:30 — Embedding design crit sessions to an existing team
  • 0:10:00 — Feedback matrix: a structured way to critique design work
  • 0:13:45 — Design-only sessions, and wider cross-functional sessions. How many, and what ratio is right?
  • 0:18:14 — When should Engineers be involved in the design process?
  • 0:21:20 — What happens if you show Engineers at the end
  • 0:23:30 — What does a business with no designers look like?
  • 0:24:55 — Feedback at larger, established organisations
  • 0:26:04 — Being your authentic self at work
  • 0:27:45 — How to disagree with a piece of feedback the right way
  • 0:29:17 — Handling aggressive feedback
  • 0:31:20 — Getting data to back up your decisions
  • 0:34:43 — Sorting design choices into type 1, hard to reverse, and type 2, easy to reverse
  • 0:37:05 — Getting copy and content right, and what elements can be deferred
  • 0:39:18 — Being clear to others what’s still in flux, and what’s set in stone
  • 0:43:01 — Learning how to deliver feedback using Radical Candour
  • 0:44:00 — The other type of feedback: feeding up, and feeding down
  • 0:44:43 — How to lower your defences, if you find feedback hard to take?
  • 0:46:20—Using fast and slow thinking to distill out the essence of feedback from tough people
  • 0:48:48 — Your mental health, and remembering you might just be in a toxic environment
  • 0:51:19 — Strategies to elicit clearer, constructive feedback from someone else
  • 0:54:00 — Wrap up and last words
If you’re dealing with difficult thoughts of feeling unworthy, or struggling to make it through the day, don’t forget #ItsOkayToTalk.
Check out Andy’s Man’s Club: a movement aimed at supporting men to talk about their difficult thoughts and feelings.
Men are up to 4 times more likely to think about and commit suicide. #ItsOkayToTalk.


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