How to give your designer useful feedback
November 16th 2020

Custom web design projects achieve the best results when there’s a dialogue. Fact

Communication between you and your designer is really the key to getting the most out of a custom web design project. This doesn’t just mean being clear and communicative with your brief at the start - you also need to be forthcoming with your thoughts and feedback at key times throughout your project. 

Many of us find it hard to initiate these conversations because we don’t want to criticise the hard work that web designers do. It’s an awkward feeling, but you absolutely need to voice your concerns if you’re not fully happy with how things are going. You don’t want to miss out on the full benefits of hiring a custom web designer because you were nervous to voice your feedback. 

However, that being said, you should time these conversations carefully. We’d definitely not recommend giving a continuous stream of criticism to your web designer because it’s bound to put a strain on your relationship. Instead, schedule in dedicated time for feedback conversations. If both you and your custom web designer can dedicate a session to work through feedback, you can openly discuss your comments and talk through tweaks without either of you feeling awkward. Make sure you plan for these sessions and put together specific feedback as this will help your web designer to isolate problems and resolve them in the best possible way. 

Struggling with where to start? Here are a few tips to help you organise your thoughts. 

Remember your briefRefer back to your original custom web design brief and what you were looking for in the first place. It’s easy to get side tracked along the design journey, so reminding yourself of what you were initially after (and what your web designer has been working towards) can help you to structure your feedback. 

Be specificLink your comments back to the design brief rather than voicing your feedback as a personal opinion. This can help to isolate where the problems are and how they can best be resolved. Think about aspects of the design brief such as the overall feel, colour palette, structure and layout, and brand vision - is your concern related to a specific aspect of the design? 

Be mindful of placeholdersMany custom web designers use lorem ipsum text and stock images as placeholders during projects. This is to give a feel for how things will look later on, before specific copy or graphics have been decided. Check which elements of your custom web design are temporary before feeding back that you don’t like them! 

Avoid using the word “like”Be honest about your thoughts, even if they’re just small tweaks! If you avoid using the word “like” in your feedback, it’ll help you to isolate exactly what you do and don’t feel happy with - right down to the finer details. Avoiding “like” also helps to keep your comments objectively about your business and your goals, rather than slipping into personal opinion. 

Ask questionsBe sure to question things that you’re not sure about. You can also use questions to help frame your feedback. A good way to be constructive about things you don’t like (or wish to change) is to question their effect. For example: “does that logo stand out enough?”

Accept problemsUnderstand and accept that your designs won’t be perfect first time, but give your custom web designer the opportunity to do their job and fix the problems. Rather than go into a feedback conversation with solutions to problems, open up a discussion with your web designer and give them an opportunity to make suggestions. After all, their expertise is part of what you’re paying for. 

Be responsiveTry to strike the balance between being specific and vague. Don’t go into a web design meeting with a pre-drawn plan of exactly what you want your project to look like, but equally, try your best to avoid describing your goals for the project using cliches. Be descriptive about what you’ve got in mind and think about the how and why as well as the what.

Be selective with opinionsIf you’re checking with your team about what they think, host a feedback session of your own and produce a summary of the responses. Passing lots of individual responses straight on to your web designer will overload them with information. Also, if you’re wanting a single set of honest opinions why not ask your custom web designer for theirs! They have got the experience of past projects and what works in the current web design landscape - let them help you to make the right decisions with your project. 

Are you looking for a web designer or web developer to work with on your next custom web design project?

Take a look at the Kartogram portfolio and blog to get a better idea of what our team can offer you. 

If you want honest conversations, helpful feedback, and friendly advice on anything relating to web design, get in touch with Kartogram today.

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