After days, if not weeks or months, of trashing through ideas and then carefully refining your work, you send your client or manager a product that positively shines. But instead of commending you for your creative genius, they respond in a far more maddening manner. Maybe they dash off a terse “I don’t like it” or send back a long list of overly prescriptive change requests or reply with a vague and confusing request to make it “pop.” Whichever it is, you’ve just received some pretty terrible feedback.
All of us are governed by our own internal clocks, or circadian rhythms, that determine when we’re wide awake and when we need toothpicks to keep our eyes open. We tend to think that we’re at our best during our peak hours: Night owls’ hoots are pitch-perfect in the evening and larks catch the most worms early in the day. But when it comes to creativity, we may be getting it all wrong.
Even the most skilled creative team will occasionally miss the mark. Maybe their aim was slightly off, or you perhaps you were looking at totally different targets. Providing useful feedback can help everyone realign and pull the project’s objective into sharper focus. But helping them draw the best version out of their creative quiver can be a challenge. You want to be precise without micromanaging, kind without being condescending, and direct but not dismissive. With all these fine lines to walk, how do you make sure your feedback sparks forward momentum and doesn’t derail the project? The following tips will help ensure you and your creative colleagues are communicating effectively, so that you end up with a final product everyone is proud of.
If you’re a designer, you work with a lot of tools every day. So many, in fact, that some days it feels like switching between the tools is your second job. When you’re trying to illustrate the story of an experience you’re creating, though, you rely on each one of those tools for a different reason—whether it’s creating or prototyping. That’s why designers need a simple way to bring all their tools together in one place. As a designer on the Dropbox Paper team, I know firsthand how Paper’s new integrations have helped make my job easier. So today, I want to show you they can help your team create and share early ideas.
You get home from work and your partner asks what you want to order for dinner. Somehow that simple question seems impossible to answer. You toss the choice back to them. And so the game of “I don’t care. You pick,” begins. What’s going on here? Why does take-out suddenly seem so complicated?
Our brains are constantly processing a barrage of information. To handle all of this input efficiently, our minds relegate a fair amount of thinking to our “adaptive unconscious,” a concept made famous in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink. Gladwell likened the adaptive unconscious to a “giant computer that quickly and quietly processes a lot of the data we need in order to keep functioning as human beings.”