Project Feedback & Context

I’ve posted a bunch of stuff on here, and appreciated the feedback I’ve gotten on it. These forums have helped shape who I am as a designer.

However, it is frustrating to get feedback from people when I don’t know where they are coming from and what their credentials are. Feedback from Mods like Yo and R is more helpful because 1) I have seen their work and understand their point of view, and 2) I know their work is reputable, quality, and something to look up to.

I really wish that people who comment on projects would make their portfolio URLs available so I can evaluate their feedback in context. I want to know you can walk the walk before you talk the talk. The ‘oh, this is a great project with 20 problems but I’d never post a project up here’ is getting old.

My 2 cents. =)

As the quality of the design is irrelevant to the designer, the quality of the critique is irrelevant to the critic. Either the critique has value to you or it doesn’t, the messenger doesn’t matter. Hence the saying, don’t shoot the messenger.

The messenger always gets shot.

Personally I agree with Cameron. We deal in subjectivities and opinions more often than not. If he added 2+2 and thought it was 5 anyone could correct it, but as a young designer, getting pushed and puled in multiple directions, trying to find your way down a path with little light, it’s good to know if your guide is experienced, or just another person bumbling along the way.

I kind of agree and sort of don’t. I totally understand the feeling, “well what do you know” feeling when offered a panning.

Couple of reason’s why I dont agree:

I don’t really think it matters who gives you feedback with regards to core or other places such as yanko. its the internet the place where everyone is able to air, and will air their opinion. I haven’t actually seen any shocking feedback on here.

For me personally I like my anonimity. In my case I’m a 24 yr old junior at a firm I don’t want everyone knowing who I am. I also don’t see why it should matter who I am, providing what I offer to the table has some insight behind it. That is massive beauty about core, we can all discuss together as relative equals.

That said yes it’s hard to know who to listen, I still struggle with this but with Core that is where the rockstars step up to agree\ disagree with the general gist of the conversation. Essentially giving it validation. Designfabulous’s recent post is a good example of this. High and intelectual level of criticism.

Just hope that your project is interesting enough to attract their attention… If you have done that your doing something right!

I think it is not case about knowing who everyone is everytime someone offers a critique, but maybe more rockstars to help validate and guide

Appreciate the thoughts, guys.

I value Core a lot as its a great resource to really get the full spectrum of feedback on something. Whereas a professor or colleague would mention one suggestion, here I can basically get any potential snags in a project brought to my attention within a few hours.

I still think it would be helpful for people to give some context to their critique, though (which they often do, but I’d like to see their work). =)

I flat out disagree. If a person doesn’t know what they’re talking about, it’ll show and you won’t learn anything from it, and it won’t matter. Just because someone isn’t better than you doesn’t mean that you should disregard their opinions.

If they do raise valid points and get you thinking about your work, then great. Doesn’t matter if they have a portfolio to show for it. In the end you’re the one who processes the critique in your brain, and the results of things happening in your brain are what matter. Whatever you take away from any conversation, whether it was the intent of the critic or not, will be a learning experience for you.

In Cameron’s defense, Tangerine, he didn’t actually say that he would disregard feedback if he was better than the critiquer, he was just asking saying more context is better. But I can understand how it might have come off as that. I think designers are really competitive and we always are interesting in seeing where we “stack up”.

If we’re talking about advice on what school to go to, or career decisions, etc., then yes context may be crucial. The times that I have engaged in conversations like these I usually preface my post by stating my experience.

I think seeing work is great, and this was a good reminder for me to start sharing more since I’ve enjoyed seeing others work; but criticism is criticism. You should take it ALL with a grain of salt, you have to be intelligent enough to take the worthwhile bits. No one has a monopoly on good criticism and no one is always right or wrong. It’s all shades of gray.

I had a humbling experience a couple of weeks ago, I was ranting a raving about this idea that I had to a friend who’s working in the finance industry, and I mistook his silence for not understanding all these “designery” things; but then he quickly pointed out a major flaw in my idea which none of my classmates or workmates who are all designer/design students had seen. And it hit me that at the end of the day he is my consumer just as much as anyone else is, so duh, of course his criticism is worth while. I may not be able to design the thing better than you or someone else who’s giving you feedback, but I am a potential user, and that’s something you can’t take for granted.

Just out of interest could you give an example of feedback that you’ve seen that would be “better” if you knew who it came from?

I didn’t mean to come off as arrogant. I just needed to vent as it can be overwhelming to get so much feedback from people who aren’t necessarily invested in my projects as a design manager or colleague would be.

Like I said earlier, though, the feedback I’ve gotten on the projects I’ve posted the last few years has definitely developed my own ability to anticipate constraints, hang-ups, and problems early in my process. For that I am grateful.

I guess another frustration I have is how few projects are posted in this area. It seems like we are generally segregated into posters and critics, whereas I prefer everyone to be both?

How so? If someone responds to your topic then they are obviously showing that they genuinely are interested in giving their opinion, and ultimately hoping to see your design benefit from it. If they didn’t care about your work, they wouldn’t post. I don’t think you should automatically assume that a seasoned pro is going to care any more or less than some non-designer or student designer who’s got the cajones to try to throw in their 2 cents.

Yeah most of the internet is like that though, if you read Wikinomics or anything else on internet culture it’s usually a 90-9-1 ratio. For every 1 poster there’s 9 repliers and 90 lurkers. Probably about the same here and everyone else. The only thing that changes that frequency of posters is increasing the overall sample pool. So spread the word about the boards everyone! I keep trying to get my professors to join, no dice so far.

Just wanted to cosign this! It’s interesting, I’ve been traveling to a few schools in the last few months. WIT here in Boston, RISD, CIA (were I saw kids from CCS, CIA, Ohio State, and UC), and UI-UC… and pretty consistently the better students tended to be the ones that at least read these boards. I’m not saying the boards make you better, but being aware of the level of talent out there, and exposing yourself to critical discourse is certainly not a bad thing, and I really wish more instructors would engage in that here, it would be great, they would however be challenged, and that might be a level of provocation they are not looking for?

I can see your point, though anonymity makes this forum enjoyable and comments more free.

It’s great you post your work, nice stuff.[/quote]
I like that biometric camera. Sweet!

Thanks Cameron!

Yeah, I agree with you Yo. I feel some students don’t really understand how much talent is out there and how unbelievably competitive it will be to get a job after graduation. Also, seeing that talent really pushes you to step up your game :slight_smile:

I can see where you’re coming from, in that I’m sure there are posters who post crit without much thought or insight, but I think Choto pretty much hit it on the head. Anyone’s opinion can be valuable. Sometimes it takes a fresh mind, someone who isn’t absorbed in design to see certain things. If we take consumer group testing for example, they don’t have design experience but a product can be designed, based on their opinions.

I think that it could also be argued that as a designer you are going to spend the rest of your life having to figure out which feedback is the most relevant and insightful and which feedback is either misleading or backward (or static) thinking, so perhaps now is a good time to start! At least on these boards you have an idea of the angle people are coming from (i.e. as a designer, or someone interested in or studying design).

I do however have sympathy with you wanting to know where the advice is coming from when working on a project, this board really helped me through my final years studying too and I always tried to check out the coroflot / websites of people that posted comments on my work. However, now on the other side and working for a big company I am a little bit wary about my comments being linked back to me or the place I work - not that I plan on saying anything inflammatory or giving away any company secrets (something I would NEVER do), but I’m pretty junior and don’t want anything to be taken out of context…

By the way, I think that your work Cameron has improved massively since you first started posting on here a couple of years back, so you are obviously getting some good advice from somewhere!

Thanks Firenzee. I’m sure a nice chunk of my progress came from here.

I guess I don’t even really mind that I don’t have context from people who give feedback. I just wish that people who posted here frequently would link their portfolios so I could get to know them better as designers.