Critique vs. Criticism: Creating a Safe Space to Share (Aaron Irizarry, Capital One)


June 10, 2021
"Everyone's voice is equal, and everyone should be a critic, and everyone should contribute to the conversation... even if you're not a designer, your voice is valuable. Critique is not something owned by design... If you want to improve anything, you can critique it."


Aaron “Ron” Irizarry , is the Sr. Director, Servicing Platforms Design at Capital One. He loves all things user experience, problem-solving, and design process. Having worked for Fox/IGN, HP, Nasdaq, and now Capital One, Aaron loves sinking his teeth into complex problems. In addition to his day job, Aaron speaks at events and provides training for companies on design team structure, communication, and collaboration. He is also the co-author of Discussing Design .

Most importantly, Aaron is a BBQ aficionado, a lover and player of heavy metal music, and a lifelong Dodgers fan.

In this episode we cover:

  • Design systems
  • The critiquing process
  • Collaboration between levels
  • Facilitation techniques and frameworks
  • Establishing ground rules
  • Identifying emotional responses
  • Feedback vs. critique
  • And more!