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A speech bubble saying "I'll know what I want when I see it"

Giving good design feedback so you get what you want. This will help you to provide feedback to our team that builds better designers and therefore together we can build the best website possible.

Tangible and constructive feedback facilitates improvements. Good feedback empowers a designer and can lead them to think about how they work as a whole. Poor quality feedback can demotivate, stunt, be irrelevant and even antagonistic.

Here are some tips to avoid a pitfall:

1. Be honest

It's difficult to be honest, but it's about the work, not people's feelings. Holding back won't advance things. By all means, be kind, but say what you really think.

Example: I like what you did on this page, but I feel you used this colour too much; it's here, here and here and is dominating the page.

2. Ask questions

If you're unsure of why a designer has done something, ask. Ask if (and where) they referred to the user research or user journey to create the solution they have. They should be able to explain what problems they've attempted to solve, and perhaps it will clear things up, or it won't. Either way, you'll have somewhere to work from together.

Similarly, our designers will ask you questions that should evoke specific answers:

  • What do you think of this?

  • Does this make you feel anything?

  • Is it a positive feeling?

  • Does it have enough impact?

  • Is this bit more important than this bit?

  • What do you see first?

  • What doesn't feel right?

3. Tell us who is giving this feedback

Different stakeholders have different opinions and will focus on different issues. For example, the project sponsor probably isn't going to talk about layouts or typography, but an educated user or another designer might.

An example that you, as the client, could give based on your understanding: I feel you're capturing the branding perfectly, including the correct use of our colour palette. It is consistent with our marketing materials (or, perhaps it isn't). Offer a copy of your brand guidelines, if you haven't already.

4. Avoid narrow comments

This one is difficult to avoid, but narrow comments such as "I don't like it", or "that looks dated" aren't workable.

Try this: Something feels off in this section; I'm not sure the user would know how to find X/Y/Z, based on the button style.

5. Give it the appropriate time

If you're giving feedback on the building of your company website; it deserves your time. Rushed feedback won't have the level of detail it needs. Worse, it could come across as though you don't care, and that's demotivating.

6. Trust the designer

Let them show why they're the experts. If you're offering things like "move this here" or "change that colour" then you're effectively commanding a robot, rather than allowing them to do what they're educated, trained and experienced in doing. Creativity needs freedom. If you've collaborated well in the discovery phase, you can trust that they're acting in your best interests.

All these things can make a tangible difference in how you give feedback, and how it's received. Ultimately, we're all working to create something incredible together.

Hopefully, that's provided some food for thought for the next time you communicate what exactly it is that you wanted or expected.