Giving feedback can be a tough task. And giving effective feedback? Even tougher. Receiving feedback is necessary for the success of the project and the happiness of our clients. Although we pride ourselves on being good communicators and decoding our client's hopes and dreams, we are not mind readers.
We also understand that trying to communicate in design language when you’re not a designer yourself can be a frustrating task. That’s why we wrote this little guide on giving feedback!
Being Clear is Being Kind
The best way to be kind to your designer is to be clear. Giving clear feedback allows us to quickly understand what needs to be addressed so we can move on to the next task. Instead of saying “I don’t like the color” try “I think the heading font color is too dark. Rather than navy could we try a cobalt blue?”
Instead of saying “This feels flat” try “I really want this image to be attention-grabbing. Could we try these alternatives I have found?”
Try to Critique Impersonally
Designers put a lot of heart and soul into the work we make for our clients. Nothing kills design morale quite like making it personal. Try to stay away from personal statements like “why did YOU make the buttons rounded?” or “We don’t like the imagery YOU chose.”
Face-To-Face is always better
Communication through Email and Slack can easily get misinterpreted. It is always easier to provide and receive feedback in face-to-face interactions. It allows for questions to be asked freely and for everyone to feel heard and understood. We are always happy to meet in person or over zoom!
Show Us Don't Just Tell Us
It can be difficult to describe exactly what you want to see! Show your designer examples of what you like. You can email over photos, send links to examples, or share a Pinterest board with the references that you are hoping to see on your own project.
Remember the Goal of the Project
Sometimes it may seem like designers just throw together some pretty elements and call it a project but there is actually a lot of strategy and ultimately data behind the decisions that are made. Though some design elements are just for fun, they are typically always tied to the goal of the project. Keep the goals of the project in mind when providing feedback.
Is your target audience outdoorsy millennials living in the Pacific North West? If so, keep that in mind before you suggest changing the color pallet to beige and light pink.
Why Why Why
As noted above, designers spend a lot of time strategically making design choices. If you give feedback to change a major design element, your designer is going to ask you why. Be prepared to explain your thinking and give a “why”.
You don’t like the rounded buttons…Why? You hate the logo in blue… Why?
The better we understand your reasoning, the easier it is to change that element to something that matches your vision.
No matter what, giving feedback can be challenging and sometimes a little awkward… we hope this guide gives you a good jumping off point for helping your designer understand your wants and needs!