Ever received feedback that didn’t quite hit the mark?
We are a bunch of creatives working with creative clients, and giving and receiving feedback on our work is something we live and breathe.
Here are six simple ways to give good feedback on design projects:
1. Start with something positive about the design.
Whether you loved someone’s work or hated it, always begin your creative feedback on a high note. This is easy to do, and it can go a long way to building a solid relationship with your creative team.
2. Be specific.
Broad feedback doth not good design changes make. Broad feedback won’t help direct and push a creative person toward the final outcome. If you’re giving notes on an animation, instead of just saying “Can you speed it up here?”, try and specify what exactly you feel needs speeding up – is it the character movements, the dialogue, or the music? Specific feedback helps to shape and mould a project, while general feedback can get messy and lost in translation.
3. Focus on your common goal.
You and the other party both agreed to aim towards a certain outcome. You feel that what the other party has presented does not quite achieve that mutually agreed-on outcome. Thinking about this way takes the focus off the individuals and puts it back on the work.
4. Try to package your communication with solutions.
Make your communication about what’s missing with one or two constructive solutions or suggestions. Keep in mind that if you’re not across the discipline of the person you’re talking to, so you’re more likely to be able to identify a problem than you are a solution.
5. Respect the deadlines set on feedback.
These are there so your creative team have time to make all those changes, and so that they have the time to upskill in any areas they need to as well (the tools are forever changing and updating – this is a good thing). This means that as you progress through feedback stages, try to reply on time and not make massive changes at the last minute. (If we had a penny for every time we hear ‘this is just a small change’, and it turned out to be much more complex… we’d be pretty well off 🤣 ). Bottom line? Be respectful of deadlines set, so that you can all finish the project within the timeline you need.
6. Not everything will be to your taste.
This reminder is here so that you don’t give feedback on your project based solely on your personal tastes. Unless it’s for personal branding, not all the creative work has to resonate with you (or everyone on your team). Taking personal taste out of the picture is super helpful because then the whole team can focus on whether it hits the brief for the project.
Giving good feedback is chef’s kiss. We love to see it, and we love to share how to do it.
Share this article with your team if you think this would be helpful to them!