14 Tactics to Handle Criticism as a User Experience Designer
Updated: Jul 15, 2021
As user experience designers, we are often put in the spotlight. One of the most challenging situations can be when you're trying to handle criticism. Sometimes it's even tough for us to give feedback that someone doesn't want to hear! In this blog post, we'll share 14 tactics on how to handle these situations like a pro and come out on top.
Tactic # 1: Avoid creating a power imbalance by being the expert. Try to reflect that you don't have all of the answers, and seek out experts in their fields.
Tactic # 2: I often say nicely, "how would you design this?" - not in a tone of challenging them, but to make them feel part of it. Sometimes good ideas come with it, and it's a win-win. They also feel empowered and become part of your UX leadership. Sometimes they may say, "I don't know, you are the expert" or "it's your job to come up with the design," Then, there is no need to lead the discussion further. Then you go to Tactic #3.
Tactic # 3: Sometimes, it's best to say "I'm not sure" or "I need more information." or "Let me do some more research."
Tactic # 4: Be a good listener and reflect on what they said. This way, you can continue the conversation with more information that solves their issue or question.
Tactic # 5: Don't make it personal! It's about improving your design work, not attacking them personally for everything wrong in their
Tactic # 6: Engage others in the design process, so they feel being part of it; this will help them understand and accept the design.
Tactic # 7: Use empathy to break through barriers by trying on their shoes or asking many questions about WHO they are and where they come from.
Tactic # 8: Be confident in your work. Know that if you put all of yourself into it, then people won't be able to criticize what you've
Tactic # 9: Give them a few design options, not more than two or three; this will help them to choose a design direction for the product.
Tactic # 10: Be clear about expectations and agree on how feedback will be given.
Tactic # 11: Find out what they like before attacking something that is not working.
Tactic # 12: Accept criticism gracefully by acknowledging the person's perspective and thanking them for their input but don't let the critic decide what you create.
Tactic # 13: Focus on your work and do not get distracted by outside forces that want to take away from it. Let go of your ego and know that criticism doesn't mean they are correct, just different than you.
Tactic # 14: Review with teams and get feedback before you publish.
The best way to deal with feedback from teams is by understanding who they are and their needs, rather than trying to force your ideas on them or dismiss them outright as potential users of our product.
A UX designer have to negotiate between teams, design options that are always limited in number given time constraints, contend with criticism from stakeholders who may not understand what we do or have a vested interest in seeing our design fail.
To help with communication across the above 14 steps, an online whiteboard makes collecting and addressing feedback easy. Dojoit is a whiteboard where you can share your design and draw, write, a markup to help illustrate and brainstorm with your team in real-time.
Dojoit is the fastest and simplest visual collaboration platform. As a designer, you can quickly bring up a board and import your design, start sketching. It's designed with collaboration in mind, and you can invite others to collaborate on your design or watch as a passive observer.
What would you expect if I told you that the founder of Dojoit is a UX designer?