11 September 2004

How to give and receive criticism

A good essay on this topic.


It begins:


Good feedback is rare. It can take a long time to find people who know how to provide useful criticism, instead of simply telling you all the things they think are 'wrong' with you or whatever you've made. A good critic spends as much energy describing what something is, as well as what it isn't. Good criticism serves one purpose: to give the creator of the work more perspective and help them make their next set of choices. Bad criticism uses the opportunity provided by someone else's work to make the critic feel smart, superior or better about themselves: things that have nothing to do with helping the recipient of the critique (Or in the case of movie reviews, the reader of the critique). Given the difficultly of creative work, it would seem that giving and receiving useful feedback should be an important part of what designers, writers, programmers and others are taught to do. This essay attempts to serve that purpose.
[Continued ...]


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