Sam Morris

Where should we do this?

Jan 5, 2015

Dirty Laundry

Dirty Laundry Illustration

I’m not normally one for New Year’s Resolutions but this year I’ll make an exception for one of my more questionable habits. I’m not talking about clichéd promises like quitting smoking or to visit the gym more, my problem is moaning about other people’s work online.

We’ve all had this happen to us before. Seemingly out of nowhere, we’re forced to learn our way around a re-designed app or a newly responsive website. As more of an insider I’d like to think I’m more receptive to changes, but that isn’t always the case.

In the past I’ve taken to Twitter and joined in with the vitriol towards the latest bad flavour of the week or #uxfail. Only to briefly feel better for having vented and ultimately be left with the same issue.

The truth is I know nothing of the circumstances that the work was created in. I know nothing of the potentially problematic deadlines that might have forced cuts. I don’t even know anything about the politics that might have slowed the project down. Admittedly none of these should completely excuse poor design, nor are they the only possible excuses. However, they should be considerations for those like myself that should know better before vocalising gripes in public.

Fleeting catharsis aside, I’ve found very little redeemable about shouting into a text box. This year I’m going to change tact. If I catch myself heading towards Twitter to have a bit of a moan, I’ll stop — or at least I’ll try.

It seems to me that the best way to solicit change is to talk directly to those that can allow for it, those that worked on the product. I’d be surprised if the response isn’t one of agreement or simple oversight. At the very least you’ll get an answer to why something is the way it is. The best case, you won’t feel as helpless and the issue you were aggrieved by now has a chance of being looked at.

Negative feedback is a necessary part of the process, it can sometimes feel like a constant evil in our business. But for those that should know better, airing dirty laundry in public feels gross no matter what side of it you’re on. This year, I’ll be trying to do my part to change that. I hope you join me.

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