It’s no secret that the feedback stage can be a little nerve-wracking for both client and designer. Honest feedback is important, but sometimes sharing your thoughts can seem daunting. Here is some insight into how to give your designer (me!) feedback that is efficient, helpful, honest and kind.
1 – KEEP YOUR AUDIENCE IN MIND
When presenting feedback, it is important that first and foremost, you keep your audience top of mind. Instead of considering what you personally like and don’t like, look at the designs from the perspective of your target audience. What would they think about the font choice? The illustration elements? The color palette? Let me know if something may not appeal well to your audience and provide some insight into why you think that.
Bad feedback: I don’t like the typeface.
Good Feedback: I think that the typeface may be too fun and quirky for our older, professional audience. A more sophisticated font may appeal more to our demographic. What do you think?
2 – DESIGN IS A COLLABORATION (DON’T MICRO-MANAGE)
Chances are, you chose me for a reason. Whether you liked my portfolio, my aesthetic or value my education or expertise; I probably know a few things that you don’t when it comes to design. It is important that you value my knowledge and collaboratively ask for my feedback and to listen to my insight.
Inevitably, there will be some sort of revisions or changes that need to be made. If you spot a problem or are concerned with certain elements, I want to know about them! But instead of sending me a to-do list of changes to make, present me with your concern/s and let me come up with a solution.
Bad Feedback: Make the logo thicker and larger.
Good Feedback: I am concerned that there is not enough contrast between the logo and the background and that it may be hard for our clients to read. Is there a way to fix that?
3 – DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS
I think that sometimes clients don’t ask questions for two reasons; fear of feeling silly, or for fear of being annoying. As your designer, it is my job to make sure you feel confident with the choices being made and I am happy to answer questions you have for me throughout the process. Asking questions creates collaborative dialogue and shows me that you value my opinion. Asking thoughtful questions also allows me to further explain the headspace behind why I made the decisions I made, which often leads to an overall greater understanding and appreciation of the work.
Bad Feedback: “I don’t like the purple colour you used.”
Good Feedback: “It’s important that the colour palette is strong. I love the sage colour you used! We aren’t quite sure about the purple colour yet – What were your thoughts behind choosing that colour? “
4 – BE NICE (BUT HONEST)
It is important that you give both positive and negative design feedback during the branding process but how you do it is everything. It’s important that you are honest with me, but it is also important that you know and value the heart that has been put into your concept.
Don’t be afraid to give feedback for the sake of avoiding conflict or hurting my feelings. Trust me when I say that as your designer, it is SO important to me that you love your project. I want you walk away from our time together confident and excited about your new branding and if you don’t feel confident about an aspect of your branding, let me know while we still have time to fix it!
With that being said, don’t forget that designers are people too. While any designer who has been doing this for some time has developed thick skin, creativity is deeply personal. I put my complete heart and soul (and several hours) into each and every project. Putting my work out for feedback is always a vulnerable and scary process. So please, be honest. But don’t forget to be kind too!
Bad Feedback: This is just missing the mark for me.
Good Feedback: Thank you so much for all of your hard work! The colour palette is perfect and we love that floral illustration. While the logo is beautiful, but I am not sure if it is the best fit for the client we would like to attract. I have listed my feedback on that below. Thanks again for all of your hard work!
5 – FINALLY, CLARITY. BE CLEAR + CONCISE.
Organise your feedback. When you’re providing feedback, use bullet points or numbers. If you’re giving different types of feedback, break them up into clear sections, different paragraphs, or use headers. This avoids confusion and saves me from emailing you back to ask for clarification.
Be as specific as you can. I don’t want to have to make guesses. If you’re unsure about something, it is better to simply say so, and why.
Bad Feedback: I’ve been deliberating whether to include my mailing address on the business card or not.
Good Feedback: I’m not sure about including my mailing address on the business card for security reasons because we warehouse ammunitions equipment. What do you think I should do?
Compile multiple feedback into one. As your designer, I liaise with one point of contact (you!), to streamline the efficiency of the project. If there is more than one person giving feedback, make sure you have a meeting beforehand, refine and agree on all your feedback. Then send one message with all the feedback.
I hope this guide has taken some of the guesswork and uncertainty away from the feedback process. Let me know if you have any questions—I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!