Last night’s MoChat covered how to give & receive feedback. Client feedback predictively had more problems than peer or third party critique. Micromanaging and making changes simply to have input were the most common complaints. On the peer side, things were generally more positive. However, vague or overly subjective feedback didn’t seem to help anyone. On how to improve giving feedback, suggestions included identifying problems before offering solutions, explaining why you reacted to the piece the way you did, being honest but professional, making sure you understand the process and goals to that point, and that what your about to say is actually helpful—not just to say something. For receiving feedback, a few things seemed to resonate with everyone—don’t get too attached to the work, don’t take anything too personally, and remember that this is a job.

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Welcome tonight’s #mochat on giving & receiving criticism.9:00 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

We’ve all had a bad experience with criticism, on both sides of the coin. What are some of the horror stories you have? #mochat9:00 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Make it pop. #mochat9:00 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Micromanaging on the pixel level, and on the other end, just “looks good”. #mochat9:02 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I think the worst, like said, is really non-descript and non-constructive criticism #mochat9:02 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

2 pixels to the left please, no wait! Make it 1 pixel right…. >.< #mochat9:03 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

RT : Make it pop. #mochat9:03 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

How about any bit of client criticism/revision that requires many rounds of changes, to go full circle. #mochat9:04 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

recreational bitching, where person doesn’t have a point to make or want any action done on the feedback. #mochat9:04 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

“It’s too good.” #mochat9:05 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Oh man, yeah, when they feel the need to say something even if its unnecessary. #mochat9:05 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

by not saying something they aren’t some how doing their job. #mochat9:05 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I think on the client side, it’s no good to start providing solutions when the problem you’re trying to fix is never communicated. #mochat9:06 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I’d much rather them say something for the sake of it, than make changes for the sake of being involved #mochat9:06 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Aside from clients, what is some bad feedback you’ve received from peers/other designers? #mochat9:07 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Anytime a peer says something subjective that has no basis besides their feelings. #mochat9:08 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

“looks good” Sadly, I think even peers are afraid to push us to do better. I’m not offended if I can grow. #mochat9:08 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Trying to “fix” things without having any knowledge of the scope or reason for the way things are. (I’m guilty, too.) #mochat9:08 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I think the best feedback from peers should be very technical. #mochat9:08 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Peers generally give instructive feedback. At least the ones I ask. #mochat9:09 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Color design, based on preferences versus message. Unbelievable. #mochat9:09 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I get that sometimes, too. #mochat9:10 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Peers do tend to be so much more helpful though, knowing the process. #mochat9:10 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

RT : Peers do tend to be so much more helpful though, knowing the process. #mochat9:11 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Anyone here been to school for design/art/film? Did they prepare you for how to give/receive criticism? #mochat9:11 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Went to school for film/mograph. Very little attention given to critiques. Friend thought it should be an entire class. #mochat9:12 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I think its hard as peers to separate ourselves from our preferences when giving feedback, but we should try. #mochat9:12 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I went for film… and some teachers really did. They didn’t sugarcoat. Others did and it was very unbalanced #mochat9:13 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Also enjoy feedback from people not knowledgeable of the process whatsoever, as it’s often the target audience. #mochat #mochat9:14 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Think the biggest thing is to say why you feel the way you do, or identify problems you’re trying to solve. #mochat9:14 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

From teachers, it was alright. But there was little attention paid to how to give feedback. It would have been helpful. #mochat9:15 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Film school. No real post-mortum process. But the photography classes I took had great community portfolio reviews. #mochat9:15 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Teachers and fellows students were blunt but on point, usually. They’d a better background for describing the issues. #mochat9:16 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Very true. They often completely different requirements, don’t they? #mochat9:16 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Agreed! And knowing that I’ll be teaching in 12 weeks, being able to give feedback to students is going to be critical. #mochat9:17 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

What do you think is the best way to give feedback to other designers? #mochat9:18 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

No formal training here, but I work in the church, so I’m experienced with criticism :). #mochat9:19 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Before giving any, ask yourself “is it helpful? is it necessary? will they gain something from it?” #mochat9:20 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I love scene by scene feedback from different people #mochat9:20 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

First ask, “Is there anything you would like to change?” #mochat9:20 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I think i’d decline to answer that. I’d much rather hear feedback unbiased by my opinion. #mochat9:21 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

This RT : Before giving any, ask yourself “is it helpful? is it necessary? will they gain something from it?” #mochat9:21 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I think applies more if one of you are doing paid work for me specifically. #mochat9:22 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I ask the goal and suggest alternatives that might help move in that direction, if it’s off. #mochat9:22 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

In my mind, both parties have a list at the ready. Where there are commonalties, you might be on to something. #mochat9:23 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

This Oatmeal comic pretty much nails why designers don’t like criticism http://t.co/Jd2pkK9o #mochat9:23 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Right, but I think I’d compare lists after hearing the feedback, not before. #mochat9:24 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

if possible, get the context under which something was designed before giving critique. Nothing happens in a vacuum #mochat9:24 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

RT : This Oatmeal comic pretty much nails why designers don’t like criticism http://t.co/Jd2pkK9o #mochat9:25 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Haha, been there. It sucks!! // RT 2 pixels to the left please, no wait! Make it 1 pixel right…. >.< #mochat9:25 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

RT : What do you think is the best way to give feedback to other designers? #mochat9:25 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

re:feedback, I find it useful to follow the 3 C’s, Don’t Criticize Condem or Complain, feedback should be in terms their interests. #mochat9:26 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

RT : This Oatmeal comic pretty much nails why designers don’t like criticism http://t.co/Jd2pkK9o #mochat9:26 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

The first frame should have been “Just make something cool. I trust you.” #mochat9:26 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

This is so true! #mochat9:26 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Sure. #mochat9:27 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

So true. “: This Oatmeal comic pretty much nails why designers don’t like criticism http://t.co/lbYHzUrf #mochat9:27 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

RT : This Oatmeal comic pretty much nails why designers don’t like criticism http://t.co/Jd2pkK9o #mochat9:28 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

re feedback (con’d) be precise in your feedback don’t use unactionable words. make the feedback short to respect their time. #mochat9:28 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I try not to be too attached to a design/edit/project. Pick an choose your battles and always save your version for the reel. #mochat9:29 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I do the same. You can only defend your designs/animations to a certain point. Then it becomes unproductive. #MoChat9:31 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

So true. Think it’s also important to realize client feedback is comes from somewhere… might just need to dig a little. #mochat9:31 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

getting in here late, hope I’m not out of place, but u have to accept what the client want and not what u want #mochat9:33 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

What about receiving feedback. What are some ways you think you could improve? #mochat9:33 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I struggle to find such a balance. #mochat9:34 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I think from clients, it’s understanding that the feedback comes from somewhere, and it can be valid. #mochat9:35 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

active listening, provide them feedback in terms a summary to ensure you understand what they are saying. #mochat9:35 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

From designers, it’s understanding that brutal honesty is important and not any kind of personal attack. #mochat9:35 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

hopefully what you bring to the party aligns with what serves the project/message best. Client should do the same #mochat9:36 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Basically, I need to work on detaching myself from the work. It’s not “art” necessarily, it’s commissioned design. #mochat9:36 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

RT : From designers, it’s understanding that brutal honesty is important and not any kind of personal attack. #mochat9:37 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

: I remind myself that I’m being paid for projects & am fortunate to do what I do. Minimize the negativity of criticism #mochat9:38 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I feel very lucky to have a job doing something I truly like. Perspective is important. #mochat9:38 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

great. Where are you teaching and which subject? #mochat9:38 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

RT Before giving any, ask yourself “is it helpful? is it necessary? will they gain something from it?” #mochat9:39 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

I try & remember it’s not personal. #mochat9:39 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

How many of you try to get feedback from a completely separated third party with no connection to the project? How has it worked? #mochat9:40 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

additionally, it’s up to us to educate the client that this thing is more than shiny spheres. We bring value #mochat9:41 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

as long as you walk away from the day still loving what we do. Strike the balance between feedback and our “art”. #mochat9:41 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

That can be pretty effective. They see things with fresh, usually unbiased eyes. #mochat9:41 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Sometimes that works well. Other times feedback is neutral. Never had a bad experience with it, though. #mochat9:42 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

That’s hit or miss unless the person understands a bit about the process or about design. Usually, I don’t. #MoChat9:43 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

re 3rd party: Not really on a project, but n organization health. It really depends on the receptiveness of the decision makers. #mochat9:44 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

good advice #mochat9:45 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Sometimes it can be helpful. If nothing else, you can watch the reaction from a fresh set of eyes. #mochat9:47 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

If many different people give feedback to a project, the quality of it really suffers. #mochat9:48 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

if its a stalemate among clients themselves or if we need fresh eyes. Justify bringing in opinions outside of the gig. #mochat9:48 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Yes,at the end . they’re paying and it’s there product. But it’s very difficult to be on terms with that. #mochat9:49 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Specially if what they’re asking again and again is making it look really ugly haha #mochat9:49 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

the worst thing that can happen by opening that can of worms: design/ edit by committee. #mochat9:50 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Very true of an organization, but what about just your personal circle? EG a trusted non-designer friend? #mochat9:51 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

sometimes it works great. As that someone can give advice on something one hasn’t event think about doing #mochat9:51 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

In the final minutes of #mochat, what would be some advice you’d give to someone who has to give feedback (clients or peers)?9:53 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

sure, if only to serve as a litmus test of how something reads to the general public/ target audience. #mochat9:53 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

How do you feel when a really small budget client gives “pixel feedback” again and again and again? (not paying extra revisions) #mochat9:55 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Identify the problems before offering solutions. Make sure you understand the process & reasons for the design. #mochat9:56 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

At some point let them know that they hired you for a reason beyond being a button pusher… in kinder terms. #mochat9:56 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

try to be very honest giving feedback but without being hurtful (like those YouTube comments) #mochat9:56 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

But that can be rough. #mochat9:57 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

relieved… knowing it’ll be the last gig with them. But follow thru and do your best. #mochat9:58 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Be sincere when giving feedback and put yourself in their shoes on how you would receive. #mochat9:58 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

conigs you can be honest without being cruel, that speaks of ur professionalism #mochat8:59 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Well, that about does it for tonight’s #mochat on giving/receiving criticism.10:01 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

thanks /all have a good night #mochat10:02 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Be sure to come back next week for a #MoChat on starting with Expressions in .10:02 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

Thanks for coming out everyone. Look for the #mochat transcript tomorrow. And as always, #GoMakeSomething10:02 PM EDT Oct 23rd, 2012

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