Best Practices For Giving Feedback to Your Designers

Have you ever caught yourself watching a football game and thinking to yourself, “Wow, this coach doesn’t know what they are doing? If they put player x at this position, then the team would do better. I would do so much better than that coach at getting this team to win.”?

If you are wondering what that has to do with knowing when your Designer knows best, then this blog is the perfect one for you. In this blog, my hopes are for you to learn the right time to give feedback to your Designer. And also, when it might be the right time to let the Designer do what they do best: design.

Why are you talking about football coaches–I thought we were talking Designers?

The reason I brought up the football coach is that although Designers and coaches are two completely different careers, they both deal with the scrutiny that someone other than they can do their job better than them. While you might believe that to be true, you are sadly mistaken.

Similar to a head coach, a Designer spends countless hours doing research to back up their ideas in a way that solidifies the growth of your company. Neither a coach or Designer is hired without having a substantial amount of experience in each of their fields. The same way a football coach will never play a game with the intent of losing the game–a Designer will never go into a project with the goal of creating something horrible.

A Designer always wants to “win” for your company and for themselves. In all, you might have some great feedback as to what should be done, but you probably couldn’t do as well as the Designer because of their experience in the field and countless amount of time spent researching on design. 

But I want to give feedback to my Designer…

So you want to give feedback to your Designer as to what you think needs to be fixed and want to know when is the right and wrong time to step in. Well, first of all, that is a great way to start the conversation with a Designer for when to give him/her feedback. There is a right and wrong way of giving feedback to a Designer.  Below are a couple of options as to how you can best approach that conversation.

Don’t be afraid to provide your Designer with constructive feedback

A Designer loves getting feedback–being open to new ideas is one of the greatest qualities a marketing designer can have. So don’t be afraid to provide it constructively. Feedback offers the Designer the chance to correct any wrongs they have committed and allows the Designer to see the design from a different point of view.

State your feedback as an opinion, not a command to your Designer

This means when you do give you feedback to your Designer, you shouldn’t make the changes mandatory. You should allow the Designer to take your feedback into consideration and to work within their expertise to decide if those changes either help or diminish the value of the design. Now, this is very different if those changes are a copy or verbiage changes. Those changes are requirements and a Designer should be okay with that.

Present Designer feedback not as “I don’t like it,” but as “I don’t like it because...”

Just telling a Designer that you don’t like the way a design looks without any good feedback doesn’t allow the design to grow. You should always accompany the disapproval of a design with constructive criticism because that allows the Designer to see where he or she has made a mistake in your eyes and allows them to improve on it in the future.

Feedback for your designer shouldn’t include personal preferences, rather changes that will help the overall success of the design

The goal in design should always be to convert the viewer into doing something. So, changes should come from a place that believes they will better the design to help with conversions rather than you not thinking it looks good in your eyes.

How TO approach your Designer with feedback

“Hey [Designer Name], I have a few ideas on how to fix the design and was wondering what’s your opinion.”

“[Designer Name], my team came back with some changes they think will help the design. Do you think they will work?”

“The copy for the last page has changed. Can we please change that with the new copy?”

How NOT TO approach your Designer with feedback 

“I don’t like the way this looks. You need to change everything.”

“My team doesn’t think the way you placed the type on there is a good idea.”

“The colors on this design aren’t very flattering, so change them all.”

“We don’t think this is a good idea. We think you should start over.”

So back to the main question. How do you know when your designer knows best?

If you trust your Designer, then your designer will always know best. The Designer you have chosen will always have your design and company’s best interests in mind. Now if you do have some feedback on the design, be sure to follow some of the tips listed above and give great constructive criticism without pigeonholing your designer into a corner and not allowing them to use their knowledge.

Need a Designer or creative partner to help with your marketing efforts? Take our Agency Fit Quiz to determine what kind of marketing help will fit your business’s needs, goals, budget, etc.

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