In a design environment it is of most importance to know how to manage critique. In my opinion, the best way is by grabbing onto it and using it as an advantage.
Today’s designers seek global approval. Receiving solid critique on a Behance post is non-existing. If the public likes it, they press like. If the public doesn’t like it, they scroll. This is definitely another form of critique, but not the deep, piece by piece critique I’m referring to.
Myself and my business partner / sister have both studied at the University of Stellenbosch. This was where we were first acquainted with the value of critique. Due to us understanding this, our way of working together is smooth sailing. The Pepperplane team talks openly about what we think of each other’s designs. This enhances the pace and generates a much better solution. Working together and being able to speak freely and receiving critique in an appreciative manner is of most value.
Critique can be misunderstood and, in some cases, taken as negative remarks. Receiving criticism shouldn’t be from a personal point of view. Criticism is based on what the design represents and supports. Does the design have the target audience in mind? Does the design cater for the main purpose of the product or service?
Designers take their work to heart and develop a strong bond. Being proud of your work is important but being content and placing your client’s needs before your personal guard is even more important.
Self-critique is step number one. If there is an ounce of doubt in your end result, go back to the drawing board. Practice self-critique and refine the design until it’s curated and developed to showcase and support the product or service perfectly. It’s not always up to the client or team to spoon feed you the answer. Take the time and make the effort to evaluate your own work first. After this step, showcase your designs internally. Your deliverable would be much sounder and more appreciated by the client as an end result.
Do you want to grow as a designer? Swallow your pride and start using critique as inspiration and motivation. Kick ass!
Written by: Annette Schuman – 20 July 2020