I’m a designer, just over 3 yrs experience working after undergrad, 1.5 yrs w/ my current firm, and over 10 yrs w/ Adobe programs. I find that in my job, senior designers will often give me direction by explaining how to use software (Eg.—“make a new layer, copy XYX onto that layer, go to master pgs and add XYZ, etc.”). I want conceptual/high level feedback, but I feel like it’s rude to say “I know how to do that.” How do I respectfully get design direction that also respects my competency?

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Sometimes they’re just saying that cause they want things done a specific way, especially if they’re taking over or handing off the file somewhere else, if they’re not giving conceptual feedback just ask for it. I wouldn’t take it to heart (it’s hard I know). A couple more years and you can relish the day you’re a senior yourself!!

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How many senior designers do you have? Can you build relationships with these senior designers and provide critical feedback?

In my position I’m able to professionally leave feedback for my manager in my semi annual reviews- there are specific questions asking how management can help or do better. perhaps this is another avenue of communication?

Kind of sounds like a management/organizational problem that the senior members are not getting to know their reporters.

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This type of situation happens all of the time when 2 designers are looking at a project on screen. No matter how the experience stacks up. The designer reviewing your work is most likely just talking through their steps to get to the solution. Not sure how this would be received by your team, but try sending the layout as a separate PDF. You can be proactive by sending the file first, without being asked, and requesting feedback.

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I’ve gotten burned so many times by just describing the top level outcome I’m looking for. More often than not there are VERY specific techniques I expect a designer to use to achieve a desired effect. Sadly, I’ve found that many designers end up giving me the “Cinemax” version of what I’m looking for unless I’m super specific about the technique to use.

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