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Free advice on design problems, hints and tips from Hello Lovely Graphic Design, an affordable agency based in Cambridge

Top ten tips to help you give great design feedback

Who is right? The designer or the client?

Great feedback matters and, along with the brief, is fundamental to the success of a great graphic design project. Here's a few tips to help.

  1. Recognise the purpose of the design. Remember the reasons for the design and the purpose of the product or service that is at the heart of the design. Evaluate team responses against the intended audience.
  2. Understand that the feedback is about identifying issues rather than gaining solutions. Solutions is the task for the designer! Issues are your job. 
  3. Your group might agree that the blue button needs to right align. Why does everyone think the button needs to be on the right? Be aware that your designer should research the reasoning behind this. Thinking about the underlying issues prevents change based on whims. 
  4. Don't be afraid to speak out if you have evidence that the button should be left align.
  5. Be constructive with your criticism. Telling the designer that the text format is awful isn’t good feedback. Identifying the problem ‘white text on a solid background is difficult for me to read’ and why it matters ‘could this affect the audience too?'. We can find out together.
  6. If the designer has missed the brief completely, check it was clear and discuss. They should have clear, factual reasons why the brief wasn’t suitable. 
  7. Be openminded about about new directions.
  8. Give facts. Working in a global market, many decisions in my concepts are made for cultural reasons and these are factual. Saying ‘I hate green’ because your mum made you eat sprouts aged seven, isn’t factual. Or relevant! 
  9. Include your designer in audience research and consult with them on suitable exercises and workshops. 
  10. Avoid personal agendas, rarely is a design only about your likes and dislikes.