How to Give Feedback to Your Designer
We've all been there...our design project comes back from the designer and it isn't what we had envisioned at all. There's a pit in our stomach and our gut reaction is to throw it out and find another design team. One who "gets it".
Pump the brakes there amigo. All is not lost. Keep in mind that designers are not mind readers and what you see may not actually be that far off from what you want if you can just articulate your vision with some solid feedback.
In the video below I am going to show you a real live example of just that. When our client, Matt, came to us to design his Cafe Mule brand, we came up with 3 initial concepts based on his intake form. As you will see, Matt was realistic about the task at hand, gave us very constructive feedback, and we worked out a design that he loves. And even though it appears that the final logo is very different from the initial concept, the foundation was there and all we had to do was refine his vision based on his feedback.
If you know how to give feedback to your designer, you are ultimately going to save yourself a ton of time and dough. In a nutshell, the key to great feedback is twofold:
- Identify not only the things you <em>don't</em> like, but also the ones that you <em>do</em> like. This is very important. It lets your designer know what to keep and highlights points of focus to work on. The worst feedback you can give is vague statements such as "I don't like it" or "You need to make it pop." If you really don't like anything about the design that's ok, but in most cases its really just minor points that people don't like which in turn colors the whole design. Make sure you aren't throwing the baby out with the bath water.
- Once you've identified the things you do and don't like, give as specific feedback about the points as possible. One caveat: keep in mind that you hired the designer because of his or her expertise and understanding of fundamental design principles. He/She may do things a certain way because it follows a good design structure. When in doubt, you are best off deferring to their judgement.
Above all else, remember that your designer is on your team. They want to create something awesome almost as badly as you do. After all, this project will reflect on them as a designer as well, so it's in their best interests to make it look great.