Toxic critiques drive people away. They stop sharing. They stop learning from one another. They stop speaking up and eventually they leave. But done well, a great critique session can embody everything we love about working with a team of smart, creative people. It's a tool for creating better design and better designers. It’s also a tool for creating an inclusive, passionate, inspiring team — you know, the one you’ve always wanted to be part of.
Most advice about critique lives as a bunch of good ideas that you should try to remember next time you’re in a critique session. At Mozilla, the Firefox UX team has been using an approach, adapted from a process created by choreographer Liz Lerman, that completely upends traditional design feedback. It works by embedding all the things we strive for in a critique into a deceptively simple, step-by-step process. It changes the dynamic of critique and puts the designer in control of their feedback. It gives us a way to talk to each other about our work that’s respectful and inclusive. The process is also flexible. It doesn’t require design training so it can be used with a wide range of stakeholders and it even works with remote, distributed teams.
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