Tips on feedback

Tips on feedback
21 February 2022     2510

Tips on feedback

One of the core aspects of design is feedback as it allows us the opportunity to improve our product.

Considering the characteristic of modern graphic design the value of product is determined by the evaluative judgements of the user at the end of the project

But even for the reasons associated with misunderstanding between the two parties, the users have a hard time grasping the reasons offered (or not) by the designers and the results that follow from particular strands of reasoning.

In worse cases we have to deal with problems stemming from the fact that the user does not have a clear picture of the finished product; as a result, changing their mind often.

A picture of a clock

The aim of this blog is to offer tools to both the designers and the consumers in order to make more effective communication possible. Consequently improving the product.

Specificity & Timing

Whenever either party offers some criticism it should be as specific as possible in order to avoid misunderstandings between the two.

"I just do not like it" or "It is impossible" are very rarely satisfying to hear for the respective parties. Even if one side is all right with trusting the other, it is better to reserve the trust for more dire situations.

Otherwise clients might start doubting the expertise and the professional integrity of the designers; or the designers could start considering clients an unwelcome nuisance.

Attention symbol

It is also important to find the right time for voicing criticism or asking for changes. If you are about to finish one part of the project or the project itself then you should already have warned the client about the problem you do not seem to be able to address. It is a very bad look to dump this information on them at the last possible moment. Best to soften the blow through time. But of course there are unavoidable circumstances, as well.

But even in these cases it is better to explain in detail why you had not warned them beforehand. If your reasons are adequate and your clients sensible then the damage should be much less severe.

Same goes for the clients. Asking for complete overhauls in one area when most of the work is done thoroughly complicates matters. The first and foremost reason is the fact that the code has already been written, resources spent, time wasted. Secondly, this decision might reflect poorly on you and as a result make the relationship more tense.

Additional tips

  • When you inevitably have to confront miscommunication it is imperative that you do not make the issue personal. If you have to offer any criticism make it about the product not about the person. Otherwise it might be harder to navigate the relationship.

Five stars

  • Whenever offering advice, either party could do worse than employ a lot of examples whenever discussing this or that subject. If you are a client and you want some design element incorporated in your website then you are better off showing the designers that particular website. Rather than trying to paint an abstract picture of what it is that you want. The same applies to designers. If you think the clients decisions are problematic in one way or another, point out the possible complications, tell them stories about your experience or the experience of someone else.

  • Offer alternatives. If you really like some design elements and there is no way for it to be configured in a satisfactory way on your website, it is better to start thinking of alternatives instead of zeroing in on the missed opportunity and trying to make it work. Again, the same goes for designers. Humans, in general, like being given different variants to choose from, especially when it comes to design. Or it reconfiguration. Even if the scope is limited some ability to choose is better than no ability whatsoever.