Adam Connor

Adam Connor is an Experience Design Director at Mad*Pow

Adam Connor is obsessed with the creative process. And with stories. No matter how utilitarian a tool may seem, at its core lies a story. Uncovering that story is the key to a successful design. As an Experience Design Director with Mad*Pow, Adam uses his design and illustration talents, 12+ years of interaction design experience, and a background in Computer Science, film and animation to create effective and easy-to-use digital products and services.

Adam never tires of explaining how critical collaboration and critique are to the creative process. He has made helping design teams improve their processes and cultures a focus of his work in recent years at Mad*Pow. There, he has helped establish training and organisational consulting services that aid teams in examining and overcoming obstacles to their creativity.

Occasionally, he shares his perspective and approach to design at and

Clearleft says

We saw Adam speak at the IA Summit and were immediately impressed. Critique is a hugely important topic, but one which may agencies—including ourselves—struggle with. So we’re really looking forward to this session.

Talk: Stop it! Taking on the bad habits that hurt design discussions.

We are creatures of habit. And when it comes to how we collaborate and communicate with our coworkers, we have some habits that can make our conversations about what we’re creating, and why, pretty painful. The first step to improving ourselves is admitting we have a problem. Let’s take a look at some of the bad habits we fall into when talking about our work, and begin to identify the changes we need to make in order to improve our conversations – and by extension – our creations.

Workshop: Discussing Design: Getting and Giving Better Feedback Through Critique

This workshop will examine how teams can improve the quality of design conversations and collaboration by focusing on the language, rules and strategies of critique.

Collaboration requires us to share our work; to communicate our ideas with one another and collect other’s thoughts in order to know whether the designs and creations we’re producing are meeting the objectives of the project. But often we wrestle with collecting feedback. We get comments that are less then helpful because they seem irrelevant or unclear. Or we find that we’re getting feedback and reactions at inopportune times rather than points in the process where they would have been useful in informing design decisions.

Our ability to critique speaks directly to the quality of the conversations we have with teammates, whether they be designers, developers, stakeholders, etc. Designers frequently complain about the quality and uselessness of the feedback they are given, but we rarely take a step back and examine how to collect useful feedback and make our discussions around our designs more productive.

Participants in this workshop will explore examine critique and how it fits into the design process and both an activity and an aspect of any communication through presentation materials and a series of hands-on activities.

In this workshop participants will learn:

  • What critique is and why asking for “feedback” is problematic.
  • Why successful collaboration relies on the presence of critique.
  • How to gather useful feedback from clients and teammates.
  • How to introduce team members to the idea of critique and get everyone using it.
  • How and where critique fits within the design and creative processes and it can be incorporated into projects?