You’ve found that web designer that’s your perfect fit—the cherry on top of your sundae! Everything is going great. Now it’s time to see that first draft! It’s time to impress your designer. Yep, you heard right! You will be such an expert at giving strong, actionable feedback after reading this post that your designer will jump for joy.
That expert feedback will help you save time, money, and headaches. And help your designer deliver a product that you are head over heels in love with.
How do you give all this amazing feedback? In this post, we walk you through some things to know and work towards while reviewing your brand new shiny site designs.
1. Check back in with your goals.
At the beginning of your process, you probably set some sort of goals or objectives with your designer. These can come in many forms—a creative brief, a scope document, or a discovery document, but whatever form it takes, it gives you something to work towards, that inspirational north star.We know you’re excited, but before you even open up that first draft, review those goals. Refresh your memory on where you want your site to end up. You might also consider keeping those goals in front of you as you review the designs.
2. Be Honest—early and always.
You chose your designer for a reason. You trust them, Now is the time to take a trust fall, and be honest in your feedback.Be brutally honest. It’s not about pleasing your designers and saying what you think they want to hear. They may not always agree with what you say, but they will be honest with you in return and justify their decisions. While your designer may give you another perspective, the decision is ultimately yours. This is your site—hear them out, and truly consider their honesty just as they considered yours!Honesty isn’t always about what you don’t like. It’s also about what you like. Don’t forget to share what really made your mouth hang open in awe. As designers, we love to hear about what made you excited and what caught your eye. Although we do love that you love it, it’s not about our ego. It’s about learning what’s working in the design, and doing more of that!
3. Think about your audience.
You are not your customer! We can’t say this enough. This isn’t about you, or your parents, or your spouse, or your best friend, or even your cat. It’s all about your audience.Refresh your memory on what you discussed at the beginning of the project with your designer about your audience. Put yourself back in the shoes of those visiting your site. Will this resonate with them? If not, why not?
4. Share ideas, not directives.
Remember, you hired your designer because they are the expert. We love it when you share your ideas, but when you try to tell us how to execute them exactly or direct us what to do, things tend to get a little sticky. We want you to be open to hearing all the possible ways we can make the idea come to life together.Be open, and so will we!
5. Get specific!
Don’t be vague. The more details you can give, the better. Don’t stop at things like “I like it” or “this is bad” and “this is good.” Tell us why! We know this can be overwhelming, and you might not even be sure exactly what to ask yourself to provide the type of context your designer needs.First things, first, let your designer know specifically what piece of the site you are thinking about when you give your feedback. That helps when putting all the pieces together and making sense of everything. Be super clear about it. Many designers use feedback tools that allow you to comment directly on the site in the exact place you give feedback. But if your designer doesn’t use a tool like this, make sure you mention what element you commented about.We suggest starting with some of these more specific questions for different areas of your site. We’ve created this handy Feedback Flow sheet for your reference.
When discovering things that might feel off to you, try phrasing your feedback to make it more actionable for your designer. For example, if a photo feels a little off-brand to you, you might say, “I wish this photo has brighter colors and wasn’t so washed out.”
6. Talk it through.
Ask questions often. Clarity helps everyone. If there’s a particular strategy or direction, the designer took that you don’t understand, ask! Collaboration is a huge part of design, we want to talk through the decisions we made, and where our thinking came from, so we are all clear and can move forward together.
7. Gather all the feedback.
Getting feedback can already be like drinking from a firehouse. Imagine if your designer was trying to drink from 20 firehouses at once! Make sure you consolidate any input from your team before sending that feedback over to your designer. One voice is the best voice in this case!Please gather all those toppings into one cup and then hand it over. We want them all we truly do, we’ve been craving those toppings, but it’s better that we get them all in one cup.
Always start from a positive place. If we assume positive intent and begin there, the path to success is paved more smoothly. Don’t assume your designer did anything with malicious intent or didn’t listen to you. Respect your designer and respect the process. Your designer respects you as a client and will give you the same courtesy.Humanity isn’t optional, even in design. We are all human and sometimes need to take a step back and put kindness first. That doesn’t mean you sugarcoat your feedback, always be honest, but do it with humanity!
Follow these 8 steps to streamline the entire feedback process!
Make it smooth. Make it sweet. And get to success together.