The ideal design retro balances explanation with inquiry and aims to promote a team culture where individuals are confident and proud of their work.
In my quest to understand how feedback can become a more positive experience, I came across two great articles:
The articles suggest taking the idea of positive and negative feedback and reframing it as "reinforcing" and "redirecting" feedback. This removes the personal aspect and shifts the focus to the effectiveness of the designs. I added a third category that I felt was missing: preferential feedback.
“Whether providing reinforcing or redirecting feedback, specificity is important for learning,” explains Lexi Croswell. Be sure to ask yourself, “Which behavior did I appreciate? Which behavior do I want to see more of? Why?”
It's instinctual to provide reactionary feedback like "I like it!" or "I feel like something is off". However, these statements indicate preference and their generality preclude them from being actionable. Instead, the following phrases can be used followed by "thoughts?" to open up a conversation.
Leaning how to provide effective feedback for someone else's designs means that you can start to do the same to your own. Flexing feedback muscles is uncomfortable at first but comes more naturally with practice.
I created the framework below with the idea that this additional structure during design retrospectives can encourage a more open, receptive, and exploratory space.