Design feedback experience

Mariana Mota is writing a book interactively, I just answered a question she made about design feedback, and because it touched me so deeply I decided to share my own experience. I think it might resonate with other designers as well…

The prompt:

Tell me a story of when you have received feedback on your design work and it either frustrated you or motivated you to do good work.

What made you feel the way you felt? Who gave you the feedback? Was it verbally, how did they speak (manner, words)?

My experience…

One of the experiences I had receiving feedback was when an email was sent around the office saying that a work was done and asking people to give their feedback and point out if any problems were found. I received both positive and negative feedback, the positive was in form of praise to myself (skills) or to the design and the experience that was pleasant to them; this type of feedback came via email or verbally and it was motivating, it was a recognition that I was doing “the right thing” or at least I was in the “right path” on the design process and delivery. The negative feedback was mostly in the form of “check this problem in browser x”, or “this is not working”, or “can we make it this way instead?” and they were all valid points, and where possible, the feedback generated an action and I “fixed a problem” or at least gave a reply on what cannot be done at this stage and why.

What made my experience *really* bad and unsettling (in this specific case) were a few colleagues, just around the corner from where I sit, lashing about things they didn’t like or didn’t work, talking to each other (sometimes sarcastically) and not actually passing the information in a constructive manner to myself, either verbally or via email. I found it really disappointing and felt disrespected (because I could hear it all! yet no consideration or direct approach!), some of the feedback was just personal preference and it was out of the context of the client wanted, so a few comments could be ignored, but some others were just questioning skills or technology used and a direct talk would clarify the choices, if I was given the chance.

After that experience I was more pro-active on email requests, asking that ALL feedback could be kindly passed (negative or positive) in a constructive manner via email so I could possibly address any issues.

However I still have a “scar” from that experience and it affected, unfortunately, the feedback request. I’ve chosen for a while to get feedback from strangers instead of colleagues to be able to detach myself from the whole experience. I know that this doesn’t stop feedback that is not constructive to come around, but at least I don’t get it from people that I see every day.

On a personal note: I keep reminding myself that is a learning curve, that is hard to be detached from the design “baby” that was created. Designers (and other professionals) involved in the design process have to be constantly reminded of that need of detachment, so we can progress with the project/product.

Responsive Web Design and PhoneGap

with Matt Gifford Liz Myers

Matt Gifford couldn’t make it and Liz Myers was able to give a good introduction to some of the Adobe products and features as well as the use of PhoneGap on an sample app, mentioning RWD in some parts or the presentation.

My notes on what I could grasp…

New nifty things:

Pricing on CC photography cloud $9.99 (what’s included?)
CC Students $19.99/mo

Mobile apps that work with above are free

On Photoshop CC – Improved layer comps (check if is applicable for current files, sometimes you don’t want to apply down)

Check new features in:

The app she created, out of passion for “true gelato” (looking forward to final version!!!), show genuine gelato shops around major cities: @2ScoopsApp – (The best gelato in London, Paris, Rome, NY) – Liz used: Photoshop, Illustrator, Edge Animate, Edge Code and Edge Inspector.

To test on the Chrome sometimes we have to go over security (She used Snippets app – I would probably use Github gists for free :))

Close Google Chrome and on terminal:
open -a Google\ Chrome --args --disable-web-security

Adobe Edge – Simon Midjaya
Check videos:

Liz was ‘evangelised’ by Blackberry and she used 80x80px to create icons on Illustrator…

Free Icons – (which are 81x81px maybe I misheard? :))

She suggested jQuery mobile (JQM) – getting latest stable version.
The file that comes with it has bare bones CSS, just enough to start with style from scratch (and “don’t look like jQuery mobile app”) but you don’t need to use the structure version if you don’t want to.

Go to demos – and explore the documentation together with examples of how they would look (1.4.2 was latest version at the time of writing); she mentioned the listview widget was used on the 2Scoops App. (Pro jQuery mobile book was also mentioned)

Opening Edge Code – Liz showed initial html declarations, highlight for ‘viewport’, then links to jQuery and CSS links…. there is a configure script that configure JQM – but she mentioned to me at the end of talk the use of ConfigGap to help with initial config file and it seems quite handy.

Edge Inspect – review their content across multiple mobile devices. Wirelessly pair multiple iOS and Android devices to your computer, grab screenshots from any connected device, and see real-time results from changes to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Live Reload – monitors changes in the file system. As soon as you save a file, it is preprocessed as needed, and the browser is refreshed. Even cooler, when you change a CSS file or an image, the browser is updated instantly without reloading the page.

Some observations:

  • Mobiles use fonts in 13pt as base, em font sizes are relative to that base. Some !important declarations might be needed to override JQM code if your style is not shown on the app.
  • RWD on the code using % and em - JQM with responsive design built in. If you need to go for fully RWD then media queries for more’breakpoints’ and landscape/portrait views may be needed.
  • Settings on PhoneGap allow defining devices, icons, splash screens, permissions and others.


Many QR code scanners... One successful installation

Many QR code scanners… One successful installation

App created for various platforms on PhoneGap.

App created for various platforms on PhoneGap.

Liz Myers