Talking About Design Feedback at Stir Trek 2016

Last week I had the opportunity to speak again at Stir Trek, a yearly conference held in Columbus at a large multiplex theatre. It’s a one-day event with 6 different ‘tracks’ of speakers. You finish up after the sessions with a showing of the latest Marvel movie (or Star Trek, etc). It’s a great event; organized and run very well, and the cost is very reasonable.

My talk this year was on how to give design feedback. Specifically, how to give useful feedback when you’re not a designer. It was a tough topic to prepare, because I had to research and work through the problem myself; it’s something that’s been troubling me for a number of years.

I took the risk of keeping the presentation short, allowing 20 minutes for a mini-workshop getting actual critiques from attendees. The goal was to ask attendees how they’d respond in example design critiques using the advice from my talk. I also had a 1:00pm time slot and crowd interaction allowed me to fight off post lunch food comas as best as I could.

I can happily report that it went very well. Things ran smoothly, there was plenty of audience participation (and it was ~80% developers!), and I had some nice discussions afterward.

After the conference, I spotted this great review and among the retweets and mentions were these awesome sketch notes:

There’s much more to learn and share around feedback, so I look forward to hopefully giving a similar presentation again and discussing with more people.

My slides are available here. If you’re interested in a live presentation of this talk, please reach out to!