How to Give Good Design Feedback

Kelly Freitas, Art Director
Posted on May 3, 2018

Client feedback is one of the most important parts of the Imarc process. That’s why nearly every step of the project evolution is sandwiched by a client meeting, check-in call, or email exchange.

However, when it comes to delivering quality feedback, here are some tips to help ensure that you are giving effective and helpful criticism.

Trust the Designer

It can be hard to find the words to explain how you'd like things changed on the initial design, but it can be even harder to not micromanage it. So, rather than telling the designer what to do, tell them what the problem is. Trust the designer to find a unique, creative solution that works for the specific goals of the project. It’s our job to find the best solution.

Think of the “Why” and Be Specific

As the designer reveals their work, it can be hard to hide your initial reaction. Ooh's and aah's are encouraged, but not expected. If you immediately feel underwhelmed by the design reveal, tell us. But before you blurt out "I hate it!", ask yourself "Why do I dislike it?" (Also, “hate” is such a strong word, let's be better than that.)

Are the colors too punchy for your audience? The typefaces too small and hard to read? Are the photos featuring the wrong demographic? The more specifics you can point out to the designer, the easier it will be to hit the target in the next iteration.

Put Your Audience First

With every design conversation, it is critical to keep your audience at the forefront of your mind. It can be easy to fall into the trap of nit-picking based on your own personal likes and dislikes, but at the end of the day, we have to remember this project is for your audience. Try to put yourself in your consumer’s shoes when viewing the design. The more you think like them, the more effective and purposeful your feedback will be for the designer.

Give Examples

We don't expect you to know what an accordion menu or a hero transition are. So when you want to articulate elements you want (or don’t want) in design the best way to tell us is to show us. Send us an example of what you were thinking. This goes both ways. Throughout our entire process, we always walk our clients through various examples of design. So when in doubt, give your designer an example of what you meant.

Consolidate Your Feedback

We get it. There are a lot of different opinions from various stakeholders when viewing the design for the first time. But you're designer is going to LOVE you if you take a few days to review internally and consolidate the strongest and most effective feedback. We can lose a lot of time when we’re in that grey area trying to figure out who and what to listen to. To avoid things getting lost in translation, the best way is consolidation. [ insert the thumbs up emoji here ]

Whether it be an email, a Google doc, or another communication tool doesn’t matter - just as long as we have a clear and consolidated direction.

Be Honest but Be Polite

Last and certainly not least, be honest but be polite. Whether you have positive or negative feedback, just be conscientious on how you are saying it. When we have a client that gives us feedback in a manner that is professional, friendly, and productive (which is almost all the time, might I add), we are so much more motivated to deliver our absolute best. And don’t be afraid of hurting our feelings, our intention is to deliver you an end result that fits the goals of the project.

Designers love actionable feedback. This helps our ideas evolve and take shape into something we may not have imagined before. And at Imarc, actionable client feedback is one of the most integral parts of the process. Remember these tips the next time you communicate with your designer and you’ll create a partnership that is strong and effective. Let’s create something incredible together.

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