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★ #6 You're Not Designing for Yourself


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TOPIC:When to know you need feedback. Trying to solve a new problem? Looking to improve your business but don’t know how? How do you know what you ought to be doing? What information do you need in order to make your decisions better? Feedback is critical to increase your ability to make the right decision, to avoid wasting time, attention and effort and to maximise your efforts in bringing your ideas to life. This week we tackle feedback, when to give it, when to look for it and how you can use feedback productively.

SPONSOR:
This weeks show is brought to you by The Experience Workshop. The Experience workshop builds outstanding experiences that your customers love, talk about more often and buy more often. Come to www.ExperienceWorkshop.com.auand take your products and services to the next level.

3 Tips to improve your Feedback

  1. It’s important to be asking the right questions. If you’re asking the wrong questions you can lost sight of the goal, get wrong or distracting feedback and waste more time. Think carefully about the information you actually need to make better decisions.
  2. It’s important to distance yourself emotionally from feedback you get. Even negative feedback or criticism can provide useful information, providing you’re asking the right questions. If you can distance your emotions from the feedback, it can become a positive productive force and help you make your product, service or idea better.
  3. It’s important to remember empathy when looking for feedback. You should always be looking for opportunities to learn and sometimes the best way is to humbly ask the stupid or obvious questions. Try to understand your audience, user or customer. The better your empathy skills are, the better you will be at understanding their needs or hopes – and therefore much more able to create the products or services they desire.

SHOW NOTES:
Lean Analytics
Steve Blank – Get out of the building
The Lean Startupmovement
Eric Ries

3 Comments

  1. hey jase. really enjoyed this one. Editing an assignment at the moment and listened to number 3 on dissonance then this one- really enjoyed the discussion here about feedback and failure. I think I too often (arrogantly) assume my opinion is correct- well in relation to my images anyway… And fail to ask to feedback and other people’s opinions and I really hate anyone asking me to reconsider the approach I’ve taken! Hate it. That’s fine if I want to pursue a fine art path in photography- the artist doesn’t care who agrees with their work, and it’s only icing on the cake if someone wants to pay for it. But for me whilst my photography it isn’t about money at all – (that’s what the night shifts are for I guess)- I really want my images to be useful in some way. I am happy to take pictures I like (and fuck off if you don’t like them too etc etc)! But beyond this I like my images to have some utility to them- I like them to be useful in some way in addition to just being seen and being appreciated . Fine art photographers (I’ve been hanging out with a few recently) like to pay out commercial photographers and regard photography to a brief as something of a lesser craft. But I really like it- I prefer it if my work has a purpose. Maybe art does too sometimes. But maybe commercial work can be art too. These are things I’ve been thinking about lately. Anyway so my fear of feedback (lately) has been not wanting to show my more quasi-editorial work to my more conceptual fine art friends who will poo poo it immediately for its lack of grunge and shadow. They’ll “understand it immediately” and will render it pointless, so they say. Moral of the story is I need some more design/commercial friends! And that sometimes negative feedback needs to be considered with a grain of salt if the people providing the feedback are not the audience you’re really working for. But everyone is a little scared of negative feedback. Well, I am!!

  2. without all the grammatical errors: take 2
    hey jase. really enjoyed this one. Editing an assignment at the moment- listened to number 3 on dissonance then this one. Really enjoyed the discussion here about feedback and failure! I think I too often (arrogantly) assume my opinion is correct- well, in relation to my images anyway… So I fail to ask people for feedback way too often and if I’m honest I really hate anyone asking me to reconsider the approach I’ve taken! Hate it.
    That’s fine if I want to pursue a fine art path in photography- the artist doesn’t care who agrees with their work, and it’s only icing on the cake if someone likes it or wants to pay for it. But for me whilst my photography it isn’t about money at all – (that’s what the night shifts are for I guess)- I really want my images to be useful in some way. I am happy to take pictures I like (and fuck off if you don’t like them too etc etc)! But beyond this I love my images to have some utility to them- for example to be used on a website etc. I like them to be useful in some way in addition to just being seen and being appreciated- and I like working to a brief. So feedback will be something I’ll have to get a little more comfortable with…
    Fine art photographers (I’ve been hanging out with a few recently) like to pay out commercial photographers and regard photography to a brief as something of a lesser craft. But I really like it- I prefer it if my work has a purpose. Maybe art can have a purpose too, and maybe commercial work can be art. These are things I’ve been thinking about lately.
    Anyway so my fear of feedback (lately) has been not wanting to show my more quasi-editorial work to my more conceptual fine art friends who will poo poo it immediately for its lack of grunge and shadow. They’ll “understand it immediately” and will “render it pointless”, so they say.
    Moral of the story is I need some more design/commercial friends! And that sometimes negative feedback needs to be considered with a grain of salt if the people providing the feedback are not the audience you’re really working for. But everyone is a little scared of negative feedback. Well, I am!!

  3. Hey Lish,
    Thanks for taking a listen and I’m super pleased you got something out of the shows! I think I tend to think of feedback as just a natural part of everything I do. Going through design school I learnt that feedback is everywhere in the creative industries, because you’re creating something new and everyone has opinions. I learnt that thick skin is super important – so I don’t lose too much hope when I get critical feedback – and that I need to look at the feedback closely to try and get the most out of that. So someone else gets the chance to criticise my work, fine, I’m going to try and find the useful and productive elements that might help me see it in a different light. More exposure to feedback will help you get more comfortable, it really does take practice to calmly accept withering criticism and put it to good use!
    As to the issue of commercial work vs fine arts, I’d say that before you can become picasso, you have to figure out which way to hold the paintbrush. Every art is a craft, right now you’re refining your skills as a photographer who can deliberately and accurately capture an image to a brief – maybe one day you’ll be writing the brief for yourself (even great artists like Michelangelo worked to a brief) and you’ll need all that experience to really capture your art. It takes time and focus to learn the craft of any art, and you will learn so much more quickly by getting feedback from people whose opinions you trust and value.
    Any creative endeavour (like a podcast!) takes effort, courage and focus. I’m trying to learn by doing something new! Thank you for giving us some feedback, it really does help to know that you found something insightful or interested in the shows we’ve been making. Also, you’ve inspired me to pitch two new show topics to Frank; 1. fear of failure and 2. the importance of really good briefing. Thank you!
    Also Lish, I’d really love to see your photographs, would you share them with me?
    cheers,
    J

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