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Decoding Design Feedback & Avoiding UX Quagmires

Last month, Jim and I had the great experience of  attending SXSW interactive. Over the coming months we’ll be sharing some key take-aways and lessons we learned here on the wedu blog. Presentation by Doug Hopkins of Isobar, a tier one interactive agency that deals with C-Level execs and their feedback.
Screen+Shot+2015-03-18+at+8.55.20+PMCollaboration:  Anyone feels empowered to say anything at any time and expect the design team to act on it. Designs are visual and as such will create debate naturally.  This makes it important to use both patience and restraint when receiving design feedback.  These three tools will allow you to display patience and move toward a goal of truly defining the feedback you’re being handed:
  1. Before overreacting, get context. What’s the motivation?
  2. Active listening is a critical skill in this situation.
  3. Investigate the ‘why’ behind feedback – and there will be multiple.
What’s next?  Now you need to take that feedback, acknowledge you’ve heard the client, and steer the conversation back to safe place where you can work with quality deliverables in a transparent manner.

Isobar Uses A Mental Model For These Situations

Misdirection and Redirection

  1. Involves getting the client away from loaded language and toward neutral language
  2. Took all the feedback and boiled it down to three broader categories. Set criteria on sliding scale for collaborative determination, naming them differently
  3. Intentionally threw different examples out to open up the extent to which they can have the conversation
“Now that you know Windows is about configuration is that what you meant when you said you liked tiles?”
— Doug Hopkins, Isobar

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