Feedback: The Fast-track to the Website You Want
Giving design feedback: What does it do for you?
When working with a web designer, giving feedback is crucial to receiving a product you love and embodies your brand! We designers will work hard to align with your brand and capture your vision for the project before we start. Sometimes what we make is exactly what you’re looking for, but most of the time it needs some edits. Without your feedback, you are likely to end up with a product that you are not happy with.
Without your feedback, you are likely to end up with a product that you are not happy with.
What should you do to get a product you love?
When we develop an initial design, we’ll ask you to review it. If it doesn’t match what you had in mind, tell us! Many people think that the word “designer” means we get it right all the time. Design is an art more than a science, and as our client, you are 50% of this relationship! We need your feedback! Please don’t finish the project with a product that doesn’t meet your needs. If you let us know what you think of the design regularly and honestly, we can match our design to your vision. You would be surprised how many clients hesitate to tell us when they don’t like what we’ve done. If you ever find yourself in the situation of not wanting to hurt our feelings or not wanting to come off as a “bad customer,” remember how much you are paying for the product we are providing! We want to give you our best work. We are eager to hear your ideas for edits.
There is one caveat in this process: If we think the changes will negatively impact your user experience, site performance, or anything along these lines, we will let you know and can discuss viable options. In the end, though, we are providing you a service and part of that service is making the design to your specifications. You have the final say!
Design is an art more than a science, and as our client, you are 50% of this relationship!
Why doesn’t my designer just “get” it?
Clarity is key! If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, that’s understandable. But keep in mind, if you’re unsure of what you want, we probably don’t know, either. Below are a few steps to help you articulate what you have in mind.
Take some time when you receive a draft from us and ask yourself:
- “What are specific things I like about this draft?”
- “What are specific things I don’t like?”
- (most importantly) ”Why do I like/not like the draft?”
Your “why” is the most helpful answer for us as designers. Our goal is to have a unified vision for your product, and allow the vision to drive all our design decisions. We do our best to align our vision with yours at the start, but sometimes seeing a draft will help you know what you’re looking for.
Once you have answers to those “why” questions, tell us! Tell us what you like and don’t like. Tell us why you like what you like and dislike what you dislike. This kind of focused feedback will leave you with a product that we can both be proud of.
Why won’t my designer listen?
There is one more facet of giving feedback to address. Some designers will not welcome your feedback. If you’ve ever created something and have had that creation criticized, you may already know why this is. When you create something, you put something of yourself into your work. The same should be true for your designer. No matter who we are, we all produce our best work when we put something of ourselves into that work.
Some designers can take this too far. They may take your constructive feedback as criticism of their treasured project. You can always try to be more tactful or less direct, but if they still do not respond well to your feedback, you would do well to find a different designer. There is normally some way to terminate a contract, though that will likely mean you losing your deposit. However, it is generally far better to pay a little extra money to find a designer you can actually work with than it is to receive a mediocre product that will not meet your needs. As designers, we are professionals. Our goal is to make a product for you, the customer, based on mutually-agreed-upon specifications, and we need to be able to put our heart into our art without becoming detrimentally attached.
If your designer doesn’t recieve your feedback, find a different designer!
Finally, back to feedback. Barring a few bad apples, we designers want, even need, to hear your feedback. We want to work with you to make a product that is worth the money you are paying…a product that meets your needs. So please let us know. Let us know where our vision differs from yours. If you do, we can correct our vision and give you a product you love!
The best part of web design, for me, is the marriage of problem solving and creativity. I love the feeling of breaking through a roadblock, and seeing the solution come to life on the screen.
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