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Getting Torn To Shreds...


Inkz

New Member
#1
So, long story short.

Ive been a long term member but never really posted here. I'm in a biggish FB group which has to do with graphic design etc and some dude posted
about this particular forum, and being all offended by unconstructive criticism and in his words "Torn to shreds" when asking for critique. Oddly enough, Ive scanned the forum and found no sign of this ever occurring lol.

I just find it so childish that someone can take criticism so personal and to go and whinge to others about it.

Clearly not in the right career lol.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
#2
We've had a few people 'moan' when we've given fair but negative critiques and as I usually say in the thread, the first thing you need to develop if you want to do this for a living is a thick skin, your work is going to be heavily critiqued in this business and not all critique will be 'oh that's perfect you're a god amongst designers', actually none of it will be it's as simple as that.

We judge the work posted here on what we see, often without the full brief etc too, and we really don't care who did the work, so if they're going to take our unbiased feedback personally then why post it for feedback in the first place...

If this persons work was 'torn to shreds' then there was clearly some major issues that needed fixing, when we have given heavily negative feedback it normally turns out this 'designer' has no training, thinks that they can design because they have a copy of photoshop and/or has only had 'positive' feedback from close friends/family.... design is not that simple.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
#4
Fact is Myles, A lot of people come on here as first time posters/members and post some work up and ask for constructive criticism and when people do as they ask they're not prepared for it and take massive offence as if it was meant to be insulting or given out of spite even though the opposite applies.
By it's very nature, a critique is meant to point out the problems and negatives so that something can be improved.

I've seen this A LOT and to be honest I'm pretty pissed with trying to explain this to them and type the same old thing about how it's actually meant to be constructive, how the industry works, how design is subjective, about how you need to learn to take criticism to succeed or even to survive.
I feel like sometimes I've almost chased them to the door trying to explain this.

People don't usually take the time to look at someone's work and write paragraphs of well thought out feedback just to be facetious.
If they did then any one of the Mod's would be down on them like a ton if sh@t and at vey least warn them or delete their post as it's just not tolerated around here.

Thing is though, I do see why people take offence and it's most often just because of their lack of experience of the professional design environment and this not a hobby forum.

Recently though, this has concerned me as the last thing anyone would like is to feel like they'd hurt someone's feelings or knocked their confidence whilst trying to help them.
A while back I spoke to the other Mod's about making a very obvious "READ THIS BEFORE ASKING FOR OR GIVING FEEDBACK!" statement to explain about how a critique works, what to expect and ask people to keep their feedback constructive and even to consider their feelings. (all nice and fluffy like) ;)
Also to explain that this is generally a forum of professional Designers and feedback is given in a professional way which some may take as being harsh.

This is something I intend to do but I'm open to anyone else's input as well.

Personally, I'd be very happy if you could explain this to any members of the FB group that may have been offended and maybe encourage them to return even if it were under a new user name and just start again.

I'm sure you'll have found that this is pretty much a very friendly and positive place where people will do their best to help others.
It's just that some people don't see it that way sometimes.
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
#5
We had a user a while back who posted some work for critique and had a tantrum following some not completely negative feedback. They reported other users for giving negative feedback. I tried to explain the nature of the critiques and reason with them but they proceeded to use childish language to describe these other users who had done nothing but give an honest opinion of their work so they were removed from the community. It wouldn't surprise me if this was the user who was being 'torn to shreds'.

I suspect a lot of people surround themselves with peers or communities who produce the same style and and level of work they too produce. This leads to an echo chamber of sorts where everyone is patting each other on the back for their amateur work and they start to seek positive reinforcement rather than critique. Every so often someone posts outside of these communities (such as here) seeking approval of their work and are shocked when users are honest about what they see. As Levi said we're often given no backstory about the work, who it's for, the level of who has produced it, we're merely presented with it at face value and as such can only give feedback based on what we see. I suspect many people are shocked because they've only been given positive feedback and this is the first time they've faced honest criticism.

I'll always try and balance out any negatives I have about someone's work with suggestions to improve, I'd never just criticise someone's work for the hell of it, especially because a lot of people who come here looking for critique are younger designers or students and I don't want to put them off. With the nature of text-based feedback though it's possible to misconstrue someone's opinion as being overly negative, especially if you have it in your head that everyone is hostile against you. Sometimes a post can come across as blunt too, simply because users don't want to or have the time to spend leaving the same reply they've left dozens of times before.
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
#6
So true @Paul Murray

I think I know what/who you're talking about and it is a pity that they took it that way.

Often people do come on here from a more hobby based environment where it's all encouragement and back slapping even when the work is poor or flawed.

This doesn't serve any other purpose than to build peoples egos and encourage them to carry on making mistakes and not to grow as a creative.
I'm a firm believer in making mistakes as this is the way to improve.

It's just that by the very nature of what we do, we need to be able to accept criticism and as I said, design is subjective.
Everyone can have an opinion and a lot of it comes down to taste.

I recall our first crit at college and no-one was prepared for it.
It was pretty savage with the tutor pulling us apart in front of the entire class.
One of my mates was pretty much in tears after his and I felt gutted for him but it was just a baptism of fire to prepare us for the real world.
Our skin got thicker but we always dreaded them. ;)

I also recall my niece feeling the same and I had to explain to her how things work and the whole thick skin thing.
She now works in fashion where they take that shit to a whole different level.

They actually are a bunch of spiteful, vindictive, cruel shit-bags. :D
 
#7
Always found the feedback very fair on here. Other forums can be brutal. That said academic feedback is much tougher at postgrad level.

Feedback can be hard; consider all, take what is useful.

I recall when I was a mod, one member asked for feedback for a very poorly received logo. Lots of comment good and bad. The OP was upset however because the client had also read the feedback.

Never take to heart (easy said I know, but the skill is quickly learned).
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
#8
Always found the feedback very fair on here. Other forums can be brutal. That said academic feedback is much tougher at postgrad level.

Feedback can be hard; consider all, take what is useful.

I recall when I was a mod, one member asked for feedback for a very poorly received logo. Lots of comment good and bad. The OP was upset however because the client had also read the feedback.

Never take to heart (easy said I know, but the skill is quickly learned).

On the flip side, there have been some people that get all huffy and then accepted it for what it was. Help.

I recall the guy who wasn't really a Designer and he'd made himself a logo.
I't got some well meant criticism, he took offence, realised it was constructive and carried on posting up what he'd done.
"Try this, alter that, nudge that up a bit".

In the end he had quite a decent looking logo.