At our MEET-IXD event, one of the topics that Luke Woods from Facebook had shared in his keynote talk was the importance of critique. At Facebook, their team goes through critiques all the time. And he too used to have thought, it’s crunch time, there’s a deadline to be met and he just wanted to hold on to his project to get it out the door. But he said no, actually the more you gather together the (necessary) people to toss ideas, get feedbacks and build upon them create much better results.
I immediately cringed in my mind thinking back on countless critiques I had back in college. I was so conscious of peer criticism before the final ta-daah-worthy ideas, I’d work by myself in wee hours of the night in the studio when nobody else’s around or work at home. (am i blushing?) So a lot of my projects came as surprises (not in a good way) to the class at the final critiques. I usually went last in presenting, usually holding an unfinished product in my hand (still few wires hanging or rubber curing). My brain which just pulled all-nighter(s) would try real hard to spit out few words to articulate my intentions and concepts. Luckily few of these projects received wows, but few others had confused the heck out of my class.
After working almost 7 years out of school, when I think of critiques I still mostly think of either extreme applauds or harsh criticisms. I don’t know how to maturely and wisely utilize critiques.
I’m going back to work in just two weeks after 3 months of maternity leave. Amidst the paralyzing baby blues, I got to think deeply about my career path and choices I would like to make. I thank Luke for making me realize how I haven’t much grew out of my solitary designer’s mind from college.
I want to become more comfortable in throwing out an idea or sharing a raw design with peers (hi jasmine!). I work with a wonderful team of designers, developers, project managers and marketers. I was enjoying the benefits of my team only when we were sharing communal snacks, mundane life stories or (other) hot new creatives on the block. Whether in school or at work, I am going to bite my tongue (until it becomes second nature) and ask for your opinions and criticisms. I look much forward for this new phase. I think this may be a real break through for me.