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How To Give Thoughtful
Feedback
To Your Designer

Client feedback is one of the essential parts of any design project at our studio. That is why I feel like having open communication with my clients is so critical. Feedback allows me to check in with my client to ensure we are both on the same page.

We all have varying ideas and interpretations of things, and how one person views something will be completely different than another. That is why I feel communication is essential for any successful project. At the end of the day, I want my client to be happy with the result. I also want them to get a return on investment on the project; successful branding or a new website should be bringing their business more money.

Knowing how to provide effective feedback is essential for your designer to know your wants and needs. In this blog post, I will go over nine ways you can give your designer helpful feedback to reach your common goal.

Try and be as specific as you can when giving feedback. Vague comments like “make it pop” or “it’s bland” are hard to interpret. Since design is subjective, it could mean completely different things. For instance, “make it pop” could mean that you want bolder fonts or a brighter color.  

Or it could mean something completely different; unless you are specific with your feedback, it will be hard to deliver what you envision.    

Using specific language will be harder to miss interpret. And your designer would likely know what is bothering you. So, instead of saying, “It needs more pop.” Say, “I’m worried that the current color palette will blend in with others in my industry since they are similar. Instead, I think brighter colors would appeal to my target audience.”   

I know that it can be hard to articulate your thoughts on design. So, instead of explaining it show your designer examples.  

I love when clients send me screenshots, pictures, or links to other websites because it allows me to visually see what they want instead of giving me a vague description that I can misinterpret.   

Not having an example to reference could lead me to make a wrong revision, resulting in wasted time, money, and frustration. 

So instead of saying, “This isn’t what I envisioned, I want something more trendy.” Say, “This isn’t how I pictured trendy to look like. Here is an example of what I had in mind. I really like [BLANK] about this design; what are your thoughts? Do you think it still aligns with our brand strategy?”      

Your new branding and website should align with your company and resemble your mission and values. It should also speak directly to your ideal customer and target audience. We often forget that the branding and website are not really about us but our customers. 

So even though it may not be something you would like, you still need to ask yourself, “would this appeal to my customer?” Often the answer is yes; it would appeal to your customer. 

Before the design phase even begins, we have a brand strategy workshop, and after the workshop, I will deep dive into strategy research regarding your brand and industry. This lets us get really clear on your target audience and ideal customer. With this information, we can create a website and/or brand that speaks directly to your customer. 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions shows your designer that you’re invested in the project and value their opinion. By asking thoughtful questions, it allows you to have an open dialogue with your designer.   

Ask them if you don’t understand why your designer made the choice they did. There is usually a reason behind certain design choices, allowing your designer to give you the why behind what they did.     

In an ideal world, there are never revisions, but that is not always a reality.

Designers are used to receiving feedback on projects. But there is a difference between criticism that is direct and honest and feedback that is rude. It is important to note that designers are people, too, so be thoughtful when giving feedback.

As the client, you should be comfortable sharing positive and negative feedback with your designer. But be thoughtful in the delivery. And make sure that the feedback is about the design, not the designer.

Constructive criticism is always welcome; that is how we learn and grow. As professionals, we should be able to be nice and respect one another. There is no need to be hurtful and insult someone else; we should respect each other’s feelings.

Design can be subjective, so ask yourself if the design meets the project goals and strategy. Doing this will allow you to determine if the project is headed in the right direction.   

Ask yourself, “Does the design successfully address the needs of my target audience and ideal customer?” If the answer is yes, that is amazing. If the answer is no, then now is an excellent opportunity to ask your designer more questions so that you can solve the problem together.  

It can be easy to look over a design and come up with solutions to things you don’t like or don’t think are working. Instead of looking for solutions, try communicating the problem and telling your designer why you feel it is troublesome.

Giving more insight into your audience will help foster better solutions. For example, if you have an e-commerce website and the designer was to put the ‘new arrivals’ section towards the bottom of the homepage instead of at the top, you could explain that customers may miss seeing that section. By describing the problem, you’re allowing your designer with more knowledge to explore other solutions instead of choosing a solution that might not be the best fit for your business.

Instead of focusing all of your attention on the bad, look at the good as well. Everyone loves a compliment, especially when your designer probably spent countless days designing your project. I’m sure there are parts of the design that you probably really enjoy, so this is an excellent opportunity to share what you like and don’t like.

By knowing what you like, your designer can share more ideas with you that align with your taste.

Even though design can solve many problems, it can’t solve all of them. When giving feedback to your designer, it is important to be realistic with your requests. 

Your designer’s goal is to bring your creative vision to life. But like everything else, design has rules, and not everything is possible. For example, certain shapes and colors will not work together. As designers, if we feel something does not work, we should explain it to our clients. Instead of just saying no to their request, we should be explaining why we don’t feel like it is in their best interest for the project. Because at the end of the day, we want our client’s businesses to succeed.    

When giving feedback to your designer, communication is fostered by implementing these nine steps. 

The client and designer both want the same common goal. The goal is to create branding or a website that aligns with their customer and shares their brand’s unique story. A successful project should also bring your business more income and customers. 

If you are interested in learning more or seeing how our studio could support you and your business, you can set up a free discovery call by clicking here.