Jul 2022

9 Tips for Providing Your Web Designer Better Feedback

Designing a website? These tips will garner more productive feedback sessions with your web designer

Feedback is a critical part of the design process. Providing feedback can be difficult for anyone, but providing feedback on a website design is especially challenging if you aren’t familiar with the process. With that being said, providing productive feedback to your website designer is the only way to ensure that the end product is exactly what you want. Without productive feedback sessions, your project may experience a longer design process and sometimes too many back-and-forth edits between teams. Because everyone involved wants a simple, smooth process, we’re breaking down our best tips for providing your web designer better feedback so we can bring your vision for your website to life. Let’s get started!

Tip 1: Be Specific When Providing Feedback

Giving specific feedback provides clarity in the design process

Design Feedback Tip: Be specific. Instead of saying "This needs more color," try saying "I think we should add a brighter color above the fold to attract the visitor's eye"

It’s easy to say, "I don't like that," or, "That looks too bland.” Without giving suggestions on how to improve what you don't like, it can be challenging for web designers to interpret what needs to be changed. 

Design is subjective. Something that looks great to you may not look as good to your designer or vice versa. To best inform your web designer of your needs, be sure to tell your designer exactly what you like and dislike throughout the design process. 

Tip 2: Provide Examples Where Applicable

Specific examples in feedback help your designer understand your vision

Design Feedback Tip: Provide examples.  Instead of saying "I want something more formal," try saying, "I would like the design to look more formal. Here are other designs that follow the look I have in mind."

During the design process, it is always helpful to give your designer examples that show elements of the site that you do like. This allows your web designer to know what you like and can give inspiration on how to incorporate it into your own website. We know that expressing your opinions about the design can get confusing, which is why examples can be a great visual aid for both you and your designer. Providing examples also ensures that time isn't wasted for both of you since your designer will have a clear visual reference of your vision.

Tip 3: Appoint One Team Member To Give Feedback

Designate one person on your team to consolidate feedback from your all stakeholders

Design Feedback Tip: Appoint one team member to give feedback.  Graphic of 5 people icons pointing down to one person

Although many team members may have feedback about the design, it can get confusing for the designer to receive input from multiple team members. When multiple people on your team give feedback, those ideas can sometimes contradict each other and cause many back-and-forth edits. We suggest your team appoints one member to conduct communication with the designer. Feel free to gather all feedback from your team before meeting with your design but be sure to have one designed member as the focal point of communication. By consolidating feedback from all stakeholders, it will guarantee to make implementation more straightforward and faster. 

Tip 4: Remember Your Audience

Don’t get caught up in your personal opinions—keep your audience at the forefront of your feedback

Design Feedback Tip: Remember your audience.  Instead of saying, "Those colors don't really fit my style," try something like, "Those colors seem too bright for our target audience. Can we try a more muted design?"

For most people, it can get easy to get caught up in what you personally like and don't like, but it is always important to remember who you are designing this website for—your audience. Try not to let personal opinions get in the way of design elements that may be a good fit for your audience. No matter how much you like a design, it won't matter if your audience doesn't like it. 

Tip 5: Keep the Focus On Strategic Goals

Remember the primary purpose of your website

Design Feedback Tip: Keep the focus on strategic goals.  Instead of saying "I don't like that button," try, "I noticed that the call to action was hard to recognize at first. Is there any way we can make that stand out more?"

When in the midst of a project, it can become easy to lose sight of your strategic goals. When working on any big project, it is always important to remember your primary purpose and the outcome you hope to receive from it. While the little details are important to the whole picture, always keep in mind the bigger picture. 

Tip 6: Provide Additional Context

Context makes feedback more impactful

Design Feedback Tip: Provide additional context.  Instead of saying "I don't like the design of the social media icons," try, "I feel like those social media icons don't align with our brand image. Here are some examples of what I would like to see instead."

As we all know, the may be easy to point out to your designer something that you do or don't like, by going one step further to provide context will save both parties valuable time. Providing your designer with a clear explanation will allow for better clarification and knowing what you like in the future. You can provide context by showing competitor examples, an explanation, or an illustration of the internal process being communicated. It never hurts to explain why you think your solution is better and more fit for your audience. 

Tip 7: Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask your designer questions throughout the process

Design Feedback Tip: Ask questions.  Graphic of two text bubbles with questions

Never be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions not only keeps the conversation flowing but can also help to clarify anything that might be confusing during the design process. If you need clarification on something your designer did, don't be afraid to ask why they did it. This shows your designer that you value their work and are invested in making the project even better. Questions also allow you as the client to understand things better and let your designer know that you are just as invested in the project as they are. 

Tip 8: Answer “Why”

Explaining why you want something changed helps your designer understand your perspective

Design Feedback Tip: Answer the "why"  Instead of saying "I don't like the layout of this page," try, "I would like to see a different layout of this page because the current organization of information may confuse our audience."

Instead of just stating your opinion of the design, try and go the extra mile to explain why you do or don't like something. Answering the question 'why' allows the designer to understand where you are coming from and better adjust the design to what you will like. By simply adding “because…” to the end of your statement, your designer will have much more clarity on what you want the end goal of the design to look like. Don't ever be afraid to speak up and justify why you want to change a part of the design. It is all a part of the process. 

Tip 9: Share What You Like

Feedback shouldn’t focus only on the negatives—be sure to include positive feedback, too

Design Feedback Tip: Share what you like.  Graphic of balanced scale with a thumbs up and down on either side

When providing design feedback, it can be easier to express everything you don’t like about the design—but letting your designer know what you do like is a huge part of the design process as well. Provide feedback that balances both praise and criticism. Positive feedback helps your designer understand the parts of your website that are on the right track and is a great way to keep your working relationship healthy. 

It can be easy to get caught up in feedback. With that being said, adopting these 9 tips will ensure a smoother design process for both you and your designer. Ready to get started with your website design? Contact the Responsival team to see how we can help bring your vision of your website to life. 

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