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Discussing Design by Aaron Irizarry, Adam Connor

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Appendix A. The 10 Bad Habits That Hurt Critique

Introduction

Adam and I often are asked for tips on what can be done to avoid critique sessions becoming a train wreck. This book has covered a lot of tips and techniques for making your critiques more productive; we would like to pull out a few things to keep in mind when going into a critique. These are things that you can work on by yourself or with your team. As we have mentioned, critique takes repetition, practicing the positive things we can do as well as training to avoid the bad habits that can put hurdles in the way of good communication and positive critiques. We have identified 10 common bad habits that negatively affect our critiques; we will give a brief definition of each so that you can have them as a handy reference

Reacting

Reactions in and of themselves are not bad; we all have them. In the context of critique, when we mention reacting as a bad habit we are talking about a response that has not been thought through to what we are seeing or hearing when someone presents a design. When we verbalize or act on our initial reactions without taking time to better understand what we are responding to and why we are having the reaction we are, we put ourselves in a position to provide information that isn’t helpful to the presenter.

Instead of just reacting with the first thought that comes to mind (it doesn’t matter whether it is accurate), hold on to that thought and think about some questions that will help you understand ...

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