Tips for providing the best Feedback you can!
I recently came across a series of posters inspired by some of the most frustrating feedback that designers across the globe have received from clients. Whilst they provided me with a good 5 minutes of amusement, I was all too aware of how familiar some of these comments were. Comments such as, “Can you just jazz it up a little?”, “I’m the target market, and I don’t like it”, and my all time favorite: “I’ll know it when I see it”.
1. MANAGE STAKEHOLDERS
When there are multiple stakeholders involved in a project, as is quite often the case, it can be difficult to get decisive feedback. It could be that Person A and Person B will always rely on Person C’s opinion before giving theirs. Or perhaps Person D and Person E have conflicting objectives. Maybe Person A has had a bad experience with a design agency in the past, and therefore has come to the table with a wary approach.
Whatever the issue, the first step is to establish early on who the ‘working group’ will be and who among them will have ultimate control over the sign-off process. It’s important to create an honest and open environment throughout the project as this will encourage effective communication.
2. AVOID AMBIGUITY
Vague descriptors like “jazzy”, “edgy” or “slick” aren’t exactly tangible, and can be easily open to misinterpretation. “I like it” or “I don’t like it” doesn’t quite cut it either. Whilst your client is best placed to advise on how they want their business to be perceived, they aren’t design professionals and don’t always have the language to describe what they want. So, simply asking them to be more specific may not be the most effective approach. Instead, ask them “why?” and keep asking “why?” until you can understand what it is they are really trying to achieve.
3. KEEP IT BALANCED
As humans we have a tendency to focus on the negatives, but understanding what you like about a design is just as important as understanding what you don’t. Make sure you take the time to tell the designer what you like and why, as this will help inform the design development just as much as the dislikes. Plus, positive comments help reduce the negative impact of any criticism. Bonus.
4. NEVER TAKE IT PERSONALLY
It can be challenging not to take offence when your design ideas are criticised, and all too easy to blame the designer for not communicating their desires effectively, but don’t. Criticism goes hand in hand with the design process and, if managed correctly, the resulting feedback will be instrumental in achieving a solution that both you and your designer are happy with.
Remeber, we’re here to help you! We want to create something amazing.