If you’re a client or project manager who needs to provide feedback to your designer, keep these guidelines in mind.
The three worst words a designer can hear: “Make it pop.” It just doesn’t mean anything.
Vague design feedback doesn’t give your designer enough information to move forward. A lot of times these comments are based on gut reactions. “I just don’t like it.” Alright, well why? “This looks weird.” What does weird mean? “Make it better.” Is that one thing? Or a bunch of things? Keeping things vague adds an unnecessary level of guesswork to your design process. And contrary to popular belief, a designer cannot read your mind. Without clear direction, designers are in the dark about your vision, and your final design will suffer.
Be very, very specific. Describe exactly what you’re looking for. Ask yourself first :
Instead of “make it pop,” you could say, “I need the title to stand out more. Could you give me some other font or color choices?” Or if words are failing you, use very clear visual examples that illustrate your design direction. Find something that “pops” for you, and tell your designer what you like about it.In short, figure out exactly what your gut reactions are and use clear words to collaborate with your designer to find an awesome solution together.
Do not say “bleed” when you mean “trim”. Do nott ask to adjust the “kerning” when you mean “tracking”. Don’t request a “darker shade” when you really want a “lighter tint”.
Designers are taking direction from you. The more precise you can be with your design feedback, the better. Knowing what you want but using the wrong words will add confusion and delay the progress of your design.
“Whether providing reinforcing or redirecting employee feedback, specificity is important for learning,” explains Lexi Croswell. Be sure to ask yourself, “Which behavior did I appreciate? Which behavior do I want to see more of? Why?”
If you want your best talent to stick around, it’s important to give feedback regularly. Weekly 1:1s are a great time to share feedback about work behaviors, while design feedback should be given during critiques and retrospectives.
For those whom are providing feedback, it’s important to remember this and to remain respectful and patient when providing feedback to our colleagues. Doing this will allow the feedback process to be more effective, and ensure the recipient is more receptive to our opinions.