Adam Connor

VP Design Transformation, Author & Illustrator

Adam Connor

About Adam Connor

Adam's work focuses on helping teams and organisations build their own human-centered design and innovation capabilities. As Mad*Pow's VP of Design Transformation, Adam and his team turn the design process inward to help organisations assess, strengthen and scale their design skills and practices. Taking an approach built on HCD, anthropology, and organisational behaviour, they work to create positive change by addressing the relationships that people have with one another to foster more collaborative, creative and customer-centric organisations.

He has coached and trained teams across the world and from industry leading organisations such as Google, Disney, Fidelity, and Aetna. In 2015 he and co-author Aaron Irizarry released Discussing Design: Improving Communication & Collaboration Through Critique with O’Reilly Publishing. His thoughts on collaboration and design can be found at and


Discussing Design Without Losing Your Mind (or Give and Get Better Feedback Through Critique)

Our ability to critique speaks directly to the quality of the conversations and collaboration we have with our teammates, whether they be designers, developers, or stakeholders. The ideas and designs we have for the services, products, and websites we’re creating depend on this feedback. But these conversations can become challenging for any number of reasons: misalignment of expectations, differences in objectives, personal preferences for solutions, timing of the conversations themselves, and more. 

This workshop examines the language, rules, and strategies for critique and provides participants with takeaways that can immediately be put to work to create a useful, collaborative environment for discussing design. The contents and activities will focus on:

  • Build understanding what critique is and isn't (Hint: that art-school line about developing a tough skin and defending your work is hogwash)
  • Provide How to introduce critique to team members who may be unfamiliar with it.
  • Ways to improve our ability to deliver, collect and receive critique.
  • Facilitation techniques for improving the quality of feedback discussions.
  • Best practices for incorporating critiques into a design process.
  • Identifying common challenges to critique in organizations and tools to overcome them.