Receiving Feedback
April 23, 2020
When I was getting started with design, I did not like receiving feedback on my work. I'm fine with sharing. After all, sharing has an ego-boosting quality to it. Receiving feedback, especially when I didn't ask for it, was difficult. I'd often become defensive or upset as to why the feedback provider didn't see the world the same way that I did.

This is, of course, ridiculous and any designer worth their weight knows that feedback is a necessary part of creating something great. Even the best designers I know have their blind spots. It's impossible to find them without help from others.

Thankfully I've grown since then and I've come to appreciate how much feedback really is a gift. Without it, there's no way to grow. Especially as a designer, I've come to live off of it.

I'll admit though, that I still have to remind myself of its importance occasionally. Just yesterday I was in a kickoff meeting where I was handing off my work to a few engineers. My work was all buttoned up and I was ready to move on to something new. As I presented my design work it became evident that I had missed the mark on a small (but critical) part of the project. I accepted the feedback outwardly with gratitude. Internally, I was screaming.

Later, after giving myself a break, I realized that I was frustrated by the feedback primarily because I didn't know how to fix the issue that was brought up. I didn't have any solution that felt right already in my head. In a way, this realization was energizing. Solving this issue was now an opportunity to grow and to learn something new. It was an excuse to go try other products and see what they're doing. It was an opportunity to explore a solution space that I hadn't previously considered. It was an opportunity to design.

Thank goodness, for feedback. What would I have done without it?