How to Give Designers Constructive Feedback
When we’re working on a project, we know that a client’s feedback is super important in making sure that we deliver the best possible product. However, there can often be a disconnect in what happens when a client views an initial version and offering the type of feedback that will help get to the finishing stages in the most efficient way possible. We’ve all had some great feedback experiences and some negative ones, and we’ve learned a lot from both. We genuinely want what is best for the client, so it’s important for us to try to get on the same page - that’s why a smooth, simple and process-driven experience always leads to the best outcomes. Here are some tips on how to give designers constructive feedback so that everyone ends up happy when the design is delivered.
Vague feedback is really difficult to interpret. Phrases like “more personality” or “too bland” don’t resonate because what “personality” or “bland” are to you and to a designer might be totally different things. Personality might mean more colors to you while to a designer it means less text and bigger fonts. Tell your designer exactly what you do and don’t like about the design, being as specific as possible. It’s much easier to understand your concerns when they speak to exactly elements of the design. We use the frame.io platform for tracking comments, revisions and approvals whether it's still images or videos. This makes us accountable for implementing all notes, and it also ensures that the agency and client are always on the same page.
Keep it Balanced
Clients forget that designers also benefit from hearing what they like about the work. Not only does it just feel good, it also gives more insight into what elements you like and appreciate so that they know what is working. But most of the time, if something doesn’t need to be changed or corrected, clients won’t mention it. Try to keep a balance of positive and negative feedback - it will help improve the designs and also help you maintain a healthy relationship with your designer.
Trust Their Expertise
You hire a designer for their expertise and because they know things that you don’t. So it’s best to ask their opinions and take their suggestions. If you aren’t pleased with an element of design, try explaining the problem instead of asking them to change it immediately. For instance, if there is a line of text that you think is not standing out from the rest of the page, don’t just tell the designer to make it bigger. Tell them that it’s not standing out enough. Then a designer can make a variety of changes in order to create the best solution - because they have an understanding of the problem.
Clients don’t always have the words to express what kind of look they are going for in a design, but it’s always helpful to provide examples of other work that you like or visuals to illustrate certain elements. This is a helpful and concrete way for a designer to understand your needs.