How I’m learning to be more intentional about giving and receiving feedback

This image depicts a template for a design critique. There are two grids — one for the “Delta vs. Plus” critique model and another one for the “I Like, I Wish, What If” model.
This image depicts a template for a design critique. There are two grids — one for the “Delta vs. Plus” critique model and another one for the “I Like, I Wish, What If” model.
Notes for a design critique

Recently, I’ve been fortunate to speak with a variety of people on the value of feedback in the workplace and in the design process. The conversations I had allowed me to deeply reflect on the importance of feedback and why we should value it. Previously, I wasn’t aware of just how important feedback can be. I’ve experienced design critiques before and I’ve had 1:1’s with managers, but never really questioned how (and what) I could be doing better in these situations.

I got the idea to write this article after being asked these questions in recent interviews:


How to stay current with new tools and techniques

A coffee mug and a laptop computer against a sky blue background.
A coffee mug and a laptop computer against a sky blue background.
Illustration by Vijay Verma (Ouch/Icons8)

Staying current with new tools and techniques is one of my favorite topics to talk about. As a designer, I love to use industry-standard tools and also keep an eye on new ones coming out. I use different avenues to do this so I thought I’d share them in this article.

Go-to Methods

Twitter

Twitter is a great place to be as a designer. Personally, I have found it to be very useful in terms of:

It can be a bit overwhelming at times, but you don’t…


Continuing work on a project post-hackathon

One of my favorite parts about design is seeing the slow, but steady progress — when you take a step back to look at the bigger picture, rather than the small details, and find yourself amazed at all that you’ve accomplished with your team.

Back in December, I decided to participate in a hackathon with a few people. It was over the course of one day — very little time to create a functional prototype from start to finish. …


A beginner’s guide to getting the most out of testing

A researcher analyzing data from a mobile phone app.
A researcher analyzing data from a mobile phone app.
Source: ManyPixels

The first time you conduct a testing session can be overwhelming. You may be nervous and probably haven’t figured out an effective way to approach it yet. That’s completely okay. User testing, much like other parts of the design process, takes time to understand. It’s about practice and figuring out what works and what doesn’t work. In this article, I’d like to discuss some ideas you can implement and different approaches you can take to get the most out of testing.

Test Plan Introduction

A good first step before you begin user interviews is to make a comprehensive plan. It’s up to you…


A versatile and user-centered approach to consider

A man with red hair, a gold shirt, and teal pants presenting image and text content on a webpage.
A man with red hair, a gold shirt, and teal pants presenting image and text content on a webpage.
Source: DrawKit

As an emerging/early-career designer, it can be difficult to determine the “right” way to do things. A topic that is flooded with differing opinions is writing case studies for portfolio projects. This is the main reason why I struggled when putting together case studies for my portfolio. It wasn’t until I explored several portfolios, read countless articles, and talked to many designers that I settled on a framework. This framework really takes into account all of these efforts and combines them.

I’m not saying my way is the right way to do things. Rather, my hope is that sharing my…


Finding high-quality, reliable fonts

A series of fonts laid out vertically from a type foundry called The League of Moveable Type.
A series of fonts laid out vertically from a type foundry called The League of Moveable Type.
A snapshot from The League of Moveable Type site

The more design projects I work on, the better I get at identifying a set of constants, or practices I rely on. One of those practices is having a go-to library of fonts and a set of resources I can turn to when I want to confine my explorations. What do I mean by confining my explorations? Well, typography is one of those things I can spend hours, days, and weeks on. I could go soul-searching for the perfect font because the possibilities are endless. However, as a designer, an important skill I need to possess is knowing when to…


The Webflow logo against a blue background with the text “User-Centered Tips” at the top and “Part 1” in the bottom corner.
The Webflow logo against a blue background with the text “User-Centered Tips” at the top and “Part 1” in the bottom corner.
Webflow Logo: Ruby Shore Software

A few years ago, I tried to code my website from scratch. I took on the challenge because I knew enough HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to get started. I was so excited and had a lot of ideas that came from just browsing other portfolios I saw. The portfolios that got my attention were, of course, the fancy ones. You probably know what I’m talking about, the ones with the slick animations and transitions. Eventually, my dreams were crushed when I determined that coding an amazing website from scratch was not going to happen. It takes a lot of work…


How to ease the nerves and host a successful meeting

A colorful illustration of an individual sitting at a desk talking to peers on a video call.
A colorful illustration of an individual sitting at a desk talking to peers on a video call.
Source: DrawKit — Education & Online Learning Pack

Designers attend various meetings throughout the day — some that are necessary and others that aren’t. Two that come to mind are daily stand-ups and design critiques. I recently finished up a UX certification program, where we started each day with a stand-up meeting. In these meetings, each student answered the following questions:

A different student facilitated our stand-up meetings each day. This gave everyone a chance to practice hosting a meeting. For some, it was uncomfortable, including me, but the more I…


Solving key problems to enhance clarity and readability

The subtitle “Navigation Bar” appears in caps above the title “Iteration Walkthrough” against a purple background.
The subtitle “Navigation Bar” appears in caps above the title “Iteration Walkthrough” against a purple background.

Iteration is an integral part of the design process. It’s how designers work toward building a solution that meets customer needs and business objectives.

Recently, I received feedback on one of the projects in my portfolio. The feedback was in regards to a specific design component in one of my mockups. In order to incorporate and learn from this feedback, I thought it would be beneficial to walkthrough how I would approach iteration. …


Ideas for designers looking to maximize their time and increase collaboration with engineers

Two people working together in tandem — a woman holding a computer writing on a whiteboard and her teammate following along.
Two people working together in tandem — a woman holding a computer writing on a whiteboard and her teammate following along.
Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

Working cross-functionally with product managers, engineers, and stakeholders is a critical part of being a designer. A key area that requires collaboration between designers and developers is design systems. As Andrew Couldwell explains in his book, Laying the Foundations:

A design system will go nowhere without developers. A beautifully designed library of design components is useless if it lives only in design software and documentation. It has to be built, deployed, maintained, and scaled.

Design systems are extremely complex and it can be easy to get caught up in the details. This is why designers must find ways to speed…

Celine Fucci

A detail-oriented product designer focusing on design systems, interactions, and research — celinefucci.com

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