Armed with basic information and an ultimate goal, the design process can be viewed as a journey without a map. Along the way new ideas are gathered, guiding the designer toward the end goal. Like bad directions on a trip, non-constructive feedback leads to wasted time and effort. Your designer struggles to find the right path and the project suffers. Remembering a few key points when giving feedback will help you steer clear of obstacles along the way.
First is communication.
Communication is crucial in keeping the design process rolling along. Being able to articulate your ideas and critiques clearly goes a long way in helping your designer understand your goals for the project. Instead of giving vague feedback such as “the text doesn’t pop” or “these colors aren’t doing anything for me”, try being specific. “Can we try a bold upper-case font in the headline?” or “I like the images and colors used in this flyer”, these will give your designer a better grasp of your vision. Even if you’re not familiar with design terms, just referencing what you like and dislike in other artwork examples can be very helpful. Your designer will appreciate the extra guidance.
Next, maintain an even keel to your feedback.
Most of us tend to focus on what we dislike and point that out first. While noting what you don’t care for is very important, it’s equally helpful to let your designer know what you do like about the project. This way, the designer can build upon the aspects that work. As a side benefit, giving honest, balanced feedback can help develop a more positive relationship with your designer.
Finally, ask questions!
Asking questions is helpful to both you and your designer. Giving feedback should be thought of as a conversation and not just a “yes/no” checklist. If something doesn’t make sense to you, ask the designer about it. Your question is the perfect opportunity to start a conversation. While talking it over, you and your designer gain different perspectives, helping the design move forward. You’ll both feel invested in the project and its success.
Providing quality feedback is vital to the creative process and ultimately benefits both the designer and client. The more information you can provide your designer, the easier it will be to keep your project moving in the right direction.