Jan Kiekeben

Design Critique – How to level up your design process

Key Learnings

  • Make feedback a gift and nothing to be afraid of
  • Learn how arguing towards objectives is crucial
  • Create an environment where a professional critique can happen
  • Discussing design is a skill we need to practice, practice and practice

Designers like to discuss products, design, user experience and everything else that goes with them. However, when we get feedback about our own work, we are quickly emotionally attacked. When we talk to non-designers about design, we often get lost in ineffective, lengthy discussions – and when we talk about failures or problems, it often ends with mutual accusations.

In my presentation, I would like to talk about the methodology of “design critique” and the goal-oriented discussion in the entire design process: How can we avoid the situations mentioned above? Why do we need design critique for this? When is feedback necessary and helpful – and how do you establish an effective design discussion culture in teams and companies?


I want to share my story on how I established a company wide format for more than 60 designers and what lessons we learned. My goal is to inspire the audience to immediately start practicing, because .

Date: Wednesday, October 13th
Time: 11:15 - 12:00
Location: HALL 2


Jan Kiekeben

Senior Product Designer, XING

Jan is passionate about digital products we all like to use and enjoy. He has a keen interest in every aspect of product design, such as human factors, research, innovative interaction design, and strategy, with the aim of bringing more joy to the online world. As a team player he invests a lot of time in developing the design maturity of his team, peers and organisation at large.

Jan started his career as a business and process consultant for international projects and publishing houses around the globe, where he focussed on solving problems for people working in the printing industry. Jan then followed his passion for design by taking advantage of a unique opportunity to launch a completely new product. Coupling his aptitude for problem-solving with his business background and passion for user experience design, Jan brings a unique perspective and skill set to his teams. With over 10 years of experience under his belt, Jan is currently a Senior Product Designer at XING, helping people grow and foster professional business contacts.

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