How to use “hero and villain” profiles to guide design feedback

Cowritten by Maggie Buck Armstrong and Chrysan Tung

We’ve all been there. You spend weeks agonizing over your work. You think through every scenario and option.

Now, it’s time to get feedback from the team…

Designer 1: “I’m confused.”
Designer 2: “Yeah, I don’t like it.”
Designer 3: “You should do a notification instead.”

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Exhibit A, Designer after a rough critique

And now, it’s time for your soul to suffer a thousand deaths.

Recently, we’ve been using feedback “profiles” to illustrate how critique can be helpful or hurtful. We call them “Good Feedback Heroes” and “Bad Feedback Villains.”

In an offsite, we shared these Hero and Villain profiles with our team and roleplayed a design critique. In addition to being downright hilarious, using profiles made the activity more lighthearted and less personal. We saw how easy it can be to slip into villain-mode, even when we had the best intentions! …


Don’t despair, pair!

— Pair Written by Maggie Buck Armstrong and Chrysan Tung, Product Design @ Weight Watchers

Intro

There’s always a point in your design process when you get stuck.

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No matter which way you look at the problem, and no matter how many coffees you inhale, the block in your brain just won’t budge.

At WW, we started using the Generator/Synthesizer pair design method as a way to escape the “Stuck” sinkhole.

Pair designing helps us collaborate and come up with ideas that are innovative and feasible.

We hope by co-writing this article, we can demystify what “pair design” looks like in real life and offer some tips that we’ve learned to make it even more effective. …


Land your dream job — and learn a lot in the process

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Photo: Hero Images/Getty Images

When I started interviewing for my first product design job, it was a thrilling but challenging time. I was excited and determined, but also overwhelmed and intimidated by the lengthy process. So many questions swirled around my mind: How many interview rounds are there? How should I present my portfolio? They say “product designer,” but do they mean UX, visual, research, or everything?

And, of course, the worst: I made it to the final round after weeks, but didn’t get the job. Argh! Now what?

Thankfully, through lots of trial and error as well as mentor advice, I was able to answer many of these questions myself. More importantly, I started looking at job hunting as yet another design challenge. Once I applied design-thinking principles to my job hunt, I had a lot more success—and even some fun. …


A framework I’ve used for a variety of design exercises

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A Bit of Background

I did this project as part of a product design interview (of which, I’m happy to report I got the job!). My intention of publishing this piece is to demonstrate a framework I’ve used that has worked for a variety of design interview challenges.

Full confession: I used to dread the design exercise portion of the interview process. You never knew what to expect! Some challenges would be super abstract (e.g. Design a way to travel through time… Also, your users are blind). Others would be an actual problem in the company (e.g. Our referral rates have been lower than expected. …

About

Chrysan Tung

Product Designer @ Lyft. Previously @ WW, Weight Watchers Reimagined. — San Francisco, CA

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