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How to Give Designers Feedback

Giving your designer feedback is one of the key steps to delivering the best result for your project.  But how to do you give designers feedback, knowing you’re giving the right kind of feedback?

The truth is, the ultimate job of a designer is to turn your ideas and vision for the product into something tangible.  Now, because we’re not mind readers, we use various techniques to get this information from you.  This can vary from asking you for examples of things you do and don’t like, to quickly sketching ideas out in order to translate what you describe into something we can both see and agree on.

So when it comes time to take those sketches or those ideas and turning them into something tangible, we often work to a v1 (version1) of the desired design.  This allows us to continuously design and deliver your product faster by getting feedback sooner.

Designer: ‘Did you mean this red’?
Designer: ‘Is this the type of journey you want your users to take?’
and so forth..

So how does one give designer feedback when they don’t know how to do it?

At design school we’re taught to give constructive feedback to each other, and overtime as a designer I’ve come to understand the difference between someone trying to be rude (which is rare) – to someone who simply doesn’t know how to articulate their distaste for a design.

Neither one of these offends me anymore.  So don’t be afraid of hurt feelings, and focus on articulating the vision you have that we’ve not nailed yet.

Operative word being… ‘yet’.

So if a designer comes back to you with a solution you absolutely hate, simply focus on these two things:

  1. Purpose
  2. Style

Purpose

What is the purpose of this piece you’re getting them to design?

Let’s say you hire a digital designer to create some Instagram promo posts for your skincare product.

An example of something you notice right away is that the price of the product isn’t clear enough and is smaller than the other items.

Rather than say:
“can you make the font bigger on that price?”

Say :
“There is too much focus on the product title and not enough on the great deal our customers are getting, this is more important than the product title as the photo really does this for us”.

Done!

What you’ve done there is focus on why it isn’t right, rather than what you think the solution is.  Good designers are skilful problem solvers and so although increasing the font say MAY solve the problem, you’re better off helping the designer balance the elements on the post that works best for the eye and the customer.

In addition to this, you’ll need to ensure that the designed piece actually solves the problem or goal you’re trying to achieve.  Does the app wireframe help users compare products easily?   How will the user feel before during and after the journey?  Will readers know where to go, what to do and at what time based on the information that’s displayed?

Style / Branding

The second issue you should be looking at is the style of the piece.  Branding is incredibly important and to ensure you get something that fits nicely into your brand, you’ll need consistency.  Ask yourself these questions..

  1. Does this style reflect your brand?
  2. If you removed your logo, would the text and imagery still reflect the core values of your brand?
  3. Are the fonts and colours consistent with your vision for your brand?
  4. Have we used those icons, images or fonts before?

Branding is simply consistency, and that’s something everyone can understand and see in a design piece.

If you don’t have these guidelines in place it’s really important you get one.  This helps you maintain consistency not only with suppliers and partners but also all of the people you plan to hire in future!

And that’s it.  Got any comments or suggestions to add to give designers feedback?  Add them below in the comments!

Stay informed,

Tania Richardson web designer.

Author avatar
Tania
https://taniarichardson.com
15 years as a digital designer. Author and Director of Richardson Creative, that helps start-ups and large organisations use design and data to design the best online experience for their business.

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