7 Ways to Give Helpful Feedback to Your Designer
Critique is a natural part of the design process, and designers are usually prepared to handle a little bit of back and forth on the revisions. As with every process, especially those that involve communication, there are ways to make it smoother, and keep everyone on the same page. If you are working with a designer on any project, try to keep these 7 tips in mind, and everyone’s lives will be tremendously easier.
1. Be Proactive
A lot of feedback can be avoided if from the very beginning of the project, as long as you are up front with what you are looking for. When the project is first being discussed, share all of your ideas, as well as what items or elements are necessary to be included, and which ones are simply wanted, if possible. By providing these details ahead of time, the feedback process is potentially shortened immensely.
2. Be Specific
Both at the beginning of the project, and throughout the revision process, it is important that you are as specific as possible about what you are looking for. When you are specific, you are giving your designer a direction to head in, which eliminates a lot of guess work and can shorten the time the entire project takes to complete. In addition, if you have examples of certain colors, elements, fonts, or anything else, share these with your designer.
3. Ask Questions
Quite often, your designer will go over concepts and sketches before a finalized version is in your hands. At this time, if you are unsure about any of the aspects of the design, do not be afraid to ask questions! Your designer should be more than happy to explain why they have chosen to design things the way they have. A lot of confusion and future edits can be avoided if, when you are not clear on something, you ask for clarification. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and moving in the same direction.
4. Be Direct
Though talented, your designer is not a mind reader (sometimes we wish we were, though!). In order to save us all valuable time, and save you money, it is best if you address your concerns directly. Beating around the bush might not solve the issue you are worried about, and instead, might even cause additional problems! When addressing revisions, be specific (see above) and be direct and what you want.
5. Avoid Lingo
Additional confusion can be caused when misunderstandings happen, and these can stem from poor communication if you are using design lingo to mean one thing, when your designer knows it to mean another. If you are unsure of what a certain term means, instead, describe what you are referring to. When your designer is understanding what you are addressing, they can provide you with the terminology to use next time. By avoiding using lingo, you can potentially avoid having to revise designs several times because of a miscommunication.
Just like in every other aspect of your life, balance is crucial to providing helpful design feedback. If there are certain points you like about the design, be sure to draw attention to these and what you like about them, then contract with the areas you are not fond of, and what you don’t like about them. This balance is helpful because the designer gets a better feel for what styles and specifics you like in design, and can tailor it to better fit your vision. That, and your designer isn’t just strictly bombarded with negative feedback (thank you!).
7. Listen & Trust
Last, but definitely not least, listen to and trust your designer. Odds are, your designer has listened to you go on about your ideas for this design, and they have a pretty good idea about what you are looking for. Now it’s your turn to do the listening. Hear them out when they explain why they designed certain aspects the way they did, and trust that they want the design to be the best it can be, for their sake and for yours!
Applying these few tips to your next interaction with your designer can greatly improve the quality of feedback you are providing to them, and will surely make the entire experience much more pleasant for everyone involved.
Still looking for a designer? Let one of us at MNGR help you! Contact us today.