#btconf Düsseldorf, Germany 13 - 14 May 2024

David de Léon

David de Léon is a designer and researcher with 25 years of academic and industry experience. You can tell by his hair and beard that he has been doing it for a while

At the start of his career, David worked a decade for Sony Mobile with user research and design and innovation of mobile phone interfaces. Towards the end of his tenure at Sony, he reviewed all the design output produced by the UX teams in Sweden, Japan and China. It was then that he became obsessed with the factors that contribute to effective and impactful feedback.

That obsession resulted in a pack of cards of design critique questions, which is now also a website. Since people sometimes misunderstood the use of those questions – and missed out on some powerful subtleties – David wrote a book on design feedback, which may (or may not) be published by the day of the conference (the last 10% of any project are often the hardest).

David lives in the south of Sweden, where makes his way through the world as a freelancing designer, researcher and design strategist. When not working, he reads obsessively, performs magic, plays with his wife, chats with his kids, and naps on the sofa.

Want to watch this video on YouTube directly? This way, please.

The Gentle Art of Design Feedback

One of the surest and cheapest ways to quickly improve a piece of design is to get some feedback. The difference that good and actionable feedback can make is extraordinary. And yet, we so rarely engage in design feedback. In fact, it is probably the most underused and under-appreciated design tool that we have. Why is that?

The answer may be simple. If you do design feedback poorly, it feels like wasted time, where people are unsure what to say, and feel awkward saying it. We have all suffered through meetings where people give you unfounded onions, which is frustrating, or nod their heads in approval, which is nice but doesn’t really help you to improve your work.

The barriers to effective feedback are practical and psychological. There is a lack of processes and techniques, and people feel apprehensive about both giving and receiving feedback. When something is unclear and unpleasant, we avoid it.

In this talk, David will focus on the psychological barriers to good design feedback. He will share practical advice, as well as some Jedi mind tricks, for how to enjoy having your design critiqued, and how to critique other people’s design without anyone feeling uncomfortable.