Over the years, we’ve found that the quality of the feedback from our clients directly influences the outcome of the design. A simple, “Looks good,” while nice to hear, might not give designers what they need to contribute to the success of the project.
While you read this, you might be saying to yourself, “I’ve never worked with a designer, I’m not sure what effective feedback looks like!” Or maybe you don’t trust your visual chops, and aren’t sure whether your input matters. Or, maybe you just received a first draft of visual design from your design team, and something isn’t right…but you’re not quite sure how best to communicate your thoughts.
Whatever the case, know that your input is extremely valuable. To help you provide valuable feedback with confidence, here are three steps for giving effective visual design feedback:
1.Take time to review everything your designer has sent
If your designer has sent notes or a video walkthrough along with the designs, make sure to read and watch all the material. Instead of offering suggestions right away, sit with the designs and as you review each piece:
Reflect on the goals for the project. Consider if the design solutions presented will help you meet them.
Keep an open mind. Being open to new ideas is what allows us to make breakthroughs.
2. Offer Feedback and Request Revisions
Through your feedback, try and identify:
1.What’s working well, and why? Let us know what’s really working, so we can keep that up. Knowing why you think certain elements are a good fit helps us continue providing recommendations with confidence.
2. What’s not working well, and why not? There may be things that aren’t working, and the perfect way to communicate that to your designer is to point out: What aspects of the design are not serving the project’s objectives? Why not? That “why not” piece of it is the most important part of the puzzle. We’re here to help solve problems!
When giving feedback or requesting revisions:
Respond to specific questions from your designer.
Keep feedback focused on your target user
Offer problems to solve, but try and avoid prescriptive solutions (e.g. “We’d like to see something more calming” gives your designer more room for creativity than “Make it grey!”).
Direct and kind honesty will get you the best results. Don’t hold back on critical feedback because you’re afraid of hurting your designer’s feelings! This is our job!
If you’re working with a partner or a team, consolidate your thoughts into cohesive feedback for your design team.
3. Approve and Sign Off
Progress is the goal – not change for change’s sake. If a design lands on the right solution, let us know the design is approved. It’s a win for everyone!
Want to Learn More?
We have a lot more to share on how to work with a designer!
Connect with Exygy if you have a project that would benefit from thoughtful, user-centered design, or if you’re a designer wanting to put your stellar skills to use for social good.
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Leading the Future: Linda Cheung
Linda Cheung is another changemaker who's moving the needle at the intersection of equity, social impact, and technology.