Helen Tran — Product Designer(helentran.com)

6 years ago from Max Lind, sometimes Maxwell

  • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, 6 years ago


    When Van Schneider comes up he is absolutely ripped for his ego, attitude, or aesthetic. As do many other designers who place emphasis on their image regardless of the quality of their work.

    Women absolutely have it far worse due to both blatant and/or unconscious biases, but to paint our community as black and white as Design Twitter is strikes me as unfair and more damaging than helping.

    15 points
    • Whitney Jenich, 6 years ago

      *cough cough ... Just want to say, that as a woman, I found his comment more helpful than damaging. I didn't see his comment as divisive at all, but rather a callout and reminder to all about some of the sexist and asinine things women encounter while participating in this community.

      9 points
      • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, 6 years ago

        Sorry my mistake, I didn't mean to say Joel was being divisive. I don't think I have ever seen/read Joel be divisive haha.

        I was responding to the uproar these comments caused on Design Twitter and how designers are labelling the DN community as a cesspool, trash, filled with racist misogynists, etc.

        Yes they exist en masse, but not especially here, not especially in design, and these comments aren't a particularly good example of how bad design critique can get from a sexist or any perspective. As I showed above similar comments ARE made about male designers who strongly emphasize their "brand" and how they look.

        I don't think any critique of how we brand ourselves should be derailed so easily because we want to fit it into a big topic in our society today, and I don't think we should automatically assume that designers who critique a portfolio as "more about identity than work" are raging sexists.

        If many of these people had to interact with these critiques in person, I bet you would see far less harsh accusations. But we live in a society today where we don't see the other person's face and we can easily jump to the harshest conclusion possible as to why someone is saying something we disagree with.

        1 point
        • Whitney Jenich, 6 years ago

          Heard. Thanks for your thoughts.

          To respond, while the DN community may not have these terrible types of people "en masse." They do exist. Maybe not as harsh, maybe not as disgusting, but they are on here... So, why not try to stop it before it gets worse? Why not start speaking up when you notice these moments. Let's be proactive.

          When it comes down to it, many of these comments were not constructive. They did nothing to help. If you want to give someone criticism on their brand identity, by all means go for it, but be professional about it. The words "beautiful," "dating profile," "vain," or "ego" don't have to belong in the critique of hers or any portfolio. There are many other, more productive words, with less association to a sex out there that could have gotten the point across. "More about identity than work" is a fine critique.. but when it comes down to it, many comments here did not verbalize in that manner.

          While we live in a society where we don't see each other's faces and tend to jump to the harshest conclusions, we also live in a society where people take this as an opportunity to say things quicker, harsher, and without thought.

          3 points
          • Mattan IngramMattan Ingram, 6 years ago

            So, why not try to stop it before it gets worse? Why not start speaking up when you notice these moments. Let's be proactive.

            Because you can't prevent or predict everything, and not all of it is as harmful as people are making it out to be. It was discussions like these that made me realize my earlier views WERE wrong. I feel like our society and in my experience designers and developers in particular have lost the ability to have a debate without jumping to the conclusion that the opponent is evil, racist, sexist, biased, what-have-you.

            Furthermore we have become so sensitive and obsessed with being kind-to-a-fault that we lose the ability to actually hear an argument past the triggering phrases. Beautiful, vain, and ego are all perfectly descriptive words for certain people regardless of sex or gender, and if I made a portfolio that made people think that I would want to know!

            Honestly I'm kind of curious which specific comments are poorly worded or sexist here? I just read through the whole thread again, and I'm having a hard time calling any out as specifically sexist (and I am someone who looks for that kind of stuff usually!) beyond that potential difference in amounts of critique.

            Can you quote one that you would consider an unfair comment and that wouldn't appear on a portfolio from a man? I'm not saying that doesn't happen, it absolutely does, I just don't think this thread is an instance of it.

            1 point
            • Whitney Jenich, 6 years ago

              As a woman, the first time I read through this thread I felt weird. I left the thread and maybe an hour later came back and read it again, and that feeling was still there. It was a feeling I had gotten many times before— like when standing next to my brother and being the only one asked if I’m ~in a relationship~ or when I’m interrupted mid explanation/thought, or when I feel unsafe if I have to wait alone at a bus stop after the sun goes down.. the list goes on. But what these all have in common is this underlying subtle sexism, this thing that is not easily seen and when it is, many try to brush off as nothing. But it persists and it is tiring.

              I get that we can’t prevent or predict everything. And this thread to you may seem harmless, but these "harmless" little moments add up. What we are experiencing right now in our society is the pattern and momentum of change. Things hit the extremes before the dust settles. I am personally taking this sensitive time in history as a learning experience and an opportunity to find my voice in these little moments.

              My thoughts are this. If you read this thread over and decided there were no poorly worded comments with underlying sexist connotations, than so be it. To each there own. I could very easily point out a comment that I felt qualified as a poorly worded critique, but I don’t believe pointing one out will do anything but continue this thread and ultimately lead us back to how we both feel now.

              I respect and appreciate your perspective and opinions. Although I ultimately disagree with you, I have also learned something from you, so thanks.

              2 points