[blog #8] changes in self as a designer

Collaborating, taking on board feedback and understanding how to think like a designer through understanding what the consumer wants is imperative to be successful in designing experiences.


Collaborating is said to be a vital tool in design. It is important for the growth of your design in the way of:

  • Self-awareness: allows myself as a designer to articulate my weaknesses and strengths, allowing me to understand how I can contribute in the group for further collaborations and charrettes
  • Scale: effective problem solving happens when a combination of experience, finances, talents and infrastructure happens. This increases the presentation as a whole
  • Creative Abrasion: Leveraging the differences between team mates can allow myself as a designer to better myself and understand how to work effectively within the group
  • Take the long view: Understanding perceived failures is important to take on board. As a designer it is imperative to understand that although the initial project may fail, the team may still be salvageable
  • Learn, learn, and learn some more: collaborating allows designers to optimise the capacity of your associates, extending yourself and the project past its comfort zone and pushes the boundaries (McDonald, 2014)Group of business people assembling jigsaw puzzle

In real life scenarios as designers, the disconnect of collaboration does not just stop in the designing team. It is vital to understand that within a business, different departments of a business need to collaborate to be on the same page with a project. (Nixon, 2013)

As a designer, it is important to understand that collaborating within a team can help boost the overall design you are putting across to the clientele. Without collaboration projects can be within your own personal skills, whereas with mass contribution, the project can be complex yet work smoothly.


Feedback can be both good and bad. Most people characterise feedback as “affirmative” or “constructive”; “positive” or “negative”. This changes the perception of feedback in a way that the information delivered is either a success or failure.feedback

Feedback provided from the mini-charrette, meeting with Jaz Choi, and charrette was insightful. Although there was both positive and negative feedback, it was effective feedback. It is important that when receiving and giving advice, the advice given needs to have reasoning and sometimes a suggestion as to how it can be improved or why is it a positive attribute. (Gottlieb, 2013)

As a designer, it is important to take on board feedback. It is human nature to become defensive over your own work. However, taking on board criticism is a vital tool to become a successful designer. A designer needs to understand how different clients and consumers can interpret a design and how this may not work for all people. (McLaren Coaching, 2016)

A learning curb for me was to understand that feedback is there to help your design be improved or to assist your further designs. Positive feedback helped me understand what the strong attributes to the design were and given suggestions to how this worked well allowed me to understand how to work effectively on future designs to come.

Understanding what people want

Throughout the project, previous tasks assigned weekly allowed me to understand how designers need to understand how consumers and people interact with the environment. The way in which we act and interact with objects, the environment and people around us is affected through our upbringing, culture and what we know to be the social norm.

Research has shown that the way in which our parents have raised us is reflected in the way we perceive our surrounding environment. The child-parent relationship has a major impact on a child’s development. Depending on how you were raised, the way someone interacts with an object can vary, some examples are:

  • Bread can be stored in the fridge, freezer or cupboard
  • Clothing hung on the clothes line or put in the dryer
  • Butter stored in the fridge or cupboard


It is important that as a designer, we understand that not everyone has the exact same actions and thought process as we do. What we may think to be normal, others may think this a completely different way of approaching a particular process. It is vital not to stereotype and still understand that not everybody is the same. (Kelsey, 2016)

So how has this changed me as a designer

Throughout this learning experience, it is clear that I need to understand how to work effectively within a team, understand feedback to help better future projects and recognise that through different upbringings and cultural influences, the way in which an individual interacts within an environment differs.


A Clean Design. (2013). Designing Great Feedback Loops. Retrieved from www.acleandesign.com/2013/05/designing-great-feedback-loops/

Gottlieb, A. (2013). 12 Techniques for Giving Criticism and Feedback so that People Can Hear It without Getting Defensive. Retrieved from www.psychologylounge.com/2013/05/13/12-techniques-for-giving-criticism-and-feedback-so-that-people-can-hear-it-without-getting-defensive/

Kelsey, M. (2016). The importance of design and marketing collaboration – InVision Blog. Retrieved from http://blog.invisionapp.com/design-marketing-collaboration/

McDonald, S. (2014). Explainer: how we understand people and why it’s important. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/explainer-how-we-understand-people-and-why-its-important-26897

McLaren Coaching. (2016). Is Feedback Good or Bad? Retrieved from www.mclarencoaching.com/is-feedback-good-or-bad/

Nixon, N. (2013). 5 Reasons Why Collaboration Is Essential in Today’s Business Environment. Retrieved from http://www.inc.com/natalie-nixon/5-reasons-why-collaboration-is-essential-in-today-s-business-environment.html

Patterson, M. (2016). Collaboration Key to Strengthening the Workforce. Retrieved from evolllution.com/opinions/audio-collaboration-key-strengthening-workforce/

Sinscorse. (2013). parents smoking habbit. | My Blog. Retrieved from https://sincorleoneme.wordpress.com/tag/parents-smoking-habbit/


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