3 Tips for Giving Useful Feedback to Your Designer
By William H. Goff III
October 6 • 5 Minute Read
October 6 • 5 Minute Read
Poor communication sits at the underbelly of belabored and exhausting design projects. Though, the blame rarely sits on the shoulders of just one person.
Many designers fail to provide a feedback-framework for their peers and colleagues, and lots of folks distill design critiques that are just too granular or ambiguous, which either dispirits the power of their creative partners or leaves everyone lost.
To push your design project forward, it's important to question more than your assert and place your critiques with the context of your audience and organizational goals. This will hasten your designer's ability to deliver the right solution for your brand and, quite possibly, lend itself to a trail of heart-emojis between the two of you. Here are some tips on how to ensure your project runs smoothly.
1. Be Precise and Clear
Ambiguous statements like "the logo needs pizzazz" or "I'm just not feeling it" are tough to translate into next-steps. Remember, great design is not impartial. For you, pizzazz could mean more color but, for someone else, that could mean a thicker typeface. Be specific so no one has to guess. Tell designers exactly what you like and don’t like. Is it the font? The colors? The imagery?
Good Feedback: The typography seems too modern for our conservative audience. A more classic font family like Garamond might appeal to them and align itself with our brand personality.
2. Avoid Micromanagement
Telling your designer to “change the color palette of your website” doesn’t give insight into your problem, so they'll never gain real understanding or context. Maybe you want to change the color because it's currently too eccentric for your audience. By sharing your dilemma—as opposed to a solution—you'll hear suggestions you may not have considered.
Good Feedback: I’m worried that the color palette you chose is too whimsical and that our audience won't take our brand seriously. What can we do to communicate our expertise with some gravitas?
3. Ask Questions
If you don’t know why your designer did something then ask them about it. This gives them the opportunity to share their rationale and provide you with a deeper understanding of the challenges they observed and the solutions they considered. You’ll understand things better as a result, and they’ll appreciate your interest.
Good Feedback: You mentioned that you only considered freemium sans-serifs with relative weight variations when selecting font-families for my visual identity system. What did you mean by that, and why were these things important?