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How to give feed back

One of the things that I hear a lot and experience myself is poor feedback from a client.  When you are in the process of any kind of design there will always be feedback and its not always positive.  The client will always have things they want to change, and its our job as the designer to make a marketable, pleasing web site, its also our job to make a web site the person writing the check is happy with.  We have to make sure that not only will the web site accomplish our business and marketing goals, but also is something the customer is happy with.

When giving feedback to your web designer it is important to be specific on both what you like/dislike and what it is that you have a concern with.

Here is an example of what I consider poor feedback from a client: “I don’t like the front page“.  In actuality the problem was with one box on the front page, the client didn’t like that this particular image had square corners, they would prefer rounded corners.  The problem with this statement is they didn’t specify what they didn’t like and why they didn’t like it.    This caused a lot of extra time and e-mails going back and forth.  The best response would have been “I don’t like the square corners on the animated box on top of the front page.  I would like to see those be rounded.”  That is good feedback, because with that information I could have easily responded with justification for the design or simply provided an alternate mock up of the page with the rounded corners.  Instead it resulted in a couple e-mails and finally a phone call.

Providing accurate and descriptive feedback is critical, it saves time and ultimately money for everyone.  A lot of times customers just expect their designer to understand what they’re saying with the least possible information, almost as though the designer has a bit of ESP.  This is especially difficult for designers who are working on multiple projects at once (as most do).  There is an old saying “garbage in, garbage out” you only get out of something what you put it into.  As I stated earlier it is the designer’s job to provide a good solid marketable web site that the customer can be proud of, it is the customer’s responsibility to effectively and clearly communicate their thoughts, vision and opinions to the designer.

As with any relationship, communication is key.  Communication should be clear, concise and frequent.   A design project of any kind whether its a print ad, web site or a house under construction will require constant communication between the customer and the designer otherwise a lot of wasted time and effort can be spent on something that doesn’t please the customer and delays the overall end result.

Just my $0.02 on the matter.

Happy Webbing.

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