If you’re a graphic designer, trying to get feedback from a client can be frustrating. Instead of a constructive back-and-forth, it can become a repetitive cycle of redesigns that eventually end in a subpar product.
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If you’re a client working with a designer, you might have come across something similar. A designer just isn’t producing something that aligns with your vision, and there seems to be a communication barrier which prevents you from illustrating exactly what you want.
Luckily for both sides, we’ve compiled a list of questions designed to make communication between designers and clients easier.
The Importance of Graphic Design Feedback
Before I get into some specific questions to ask, I want to give a quick backstory to what prompted me to put this piece together.
A couple of years ago I had a client that absolutely loved their logo. To put it bluntly, their logo design was atrocious. It looked like it was created in Paint, so I worked with my graphic design team to put together what “I” thought were better options based on my professional experience. They didn’t budge. Basically, we were in a stalemate.
I couldn’t let them self-sabotage, so I got an idea to post all of the logos on Facebook and poll friends, family, colleagues, and complete strangers in a handful of groups. The idea was to let the market do the work for me. Don’t take my word for it. Take the word of hundreds of strangers (a.ka. potential consumers for your business).
My ego was thankful that I ran this experiment because it essentially proved that I was right. People hated their crayon-stained dumpster fire of a logo and loved one of the professional designs that we created. I was excited about the win so we could move forward, but was more intrigued about how people rallied to get behind the designs.
The feedback we received was very well articulated. And it all started with one simple question: “Which of these logos do you like more?”
Sure, some of it was basic reaffirmations like, “Go with number 3!” But other responses brought up issues, concerns, and suggestions that we would have never thought of.
Asking for design feedback from a community is one of the smartest, impactful, and cost effective things you can do. It takes less than five minutes. It provides a multitude of different perspectives. It takes the weight off of your shoulders, making it easier for you to go back to your graphic designer to make changes.
Stuck on a design? Want to provide better feedback to your graphic design team? Join us in our Unlimited Graphic Design Feedback & Tips Group on Facebook. This is a private community of people passionate about unlimited graphic design as a service. Feel free to post your design projects and collect expert feedback and tips from digital marketers, graphic designers, entrepreneurs, and other industry experts.Get Feedback on Your Designs
Questions For Graphic Designers to Ask
Prompt client towards giving feedback
Most clients are not going to have a background in graphic design, therefore they won’t always know how to give the most helpful feedback. Asking things like “I finished the design – what do you think?” is vague and doesn’t provide a client a starting point, so help them get there.
You can start by targeting specific aspects of a design. By trying to pinpoint smaller areas instead of a larger whole, clients will be able to give much more constructive input.
- “How do you feel about the fonts and colors being used?”
- “How do you feel about the placement of these banners?”
Asking how they feel instead of what they think will prompt more thoughtful answers. Again, clients won’t always know what the most helpful information is, so figuring out how they feel will likely provide more constructive feedback.
- “If your main goal is to ____, do you feel this design is helping you get there?”
- “Do you feel that this design will help you attract your target audience? Why or why not?”
- “Do you feel this layout will provide users with easy access to the information?”
- “What parts do you feel are missing?”
Instead of settling for vague comments like “it just needs to pop,” ask questions that will nudge them towards providing feedback that can help you understand what they want.
If you feel as if a client didn’t justify a reason for removing an element or suggesting a change, don’t be afraid to ask why. It’s important to dive deeper into the discussion by asking why they don’t think something doesn’t add up so you can tailor design to those standards. There are ways to frame the “why” without sounding pejorative and offending the client.
- “Why do you feel that these colors don’t work?”
- “Why would these banners be contrary to your mission statement?”
- “Why do you feel this font won’t align with the brand image?”
You are asking “why” to fully understand a client’s vision, not because you feel their opinions do not align with yours.
Ask about parts that they like
Inspiration can come from asking clients about what they liked about a design. This can provide a better stepping stone for how to address the parts that they didn’t like, and overall gives designers a clearer perspective of the product.
- “What did you particularly like about this font?”
- “Why did you choose this color palette?”
- “What about the layout here do you feel will be attractive to your audience?”
Using these questions can incite better dialogue between your clients, and avoid having endless revisions.
Questions For Clients to Ask
Specific questions + why
Given the fact that your graphic designer is a trained professional, it is always worthwhile to get their take on something. Try to pinpoint issues by using a specific list of questions and open up dialogue between you and the designer. For example:
- “What is memorable?”
- “What problem is this solving?”
- “What is confusing?”
- “Did this design appeal to you?”
- “What is missing?”
- “Where would you have put this element?”
- “What could be removed?”
As you’re getting their initial input on the various elements of the design, delve even deeper by asking “why?” after each question.
- “Why was this element confusing?”
- “Why do you think this banner won’t work?”
- “Why is the font choice off here?”
This will start the discussion off to a good start by getting a better idea of the designer’s point of view.
Present the problem (not the solution)
Instead of pulling the designer around by saying things like “I think this graphic should be this color,” state what you think is wrong with the design itself then ask for their input.
- “We need this graphic to stand out. What do you think?”
- “How will (this solution) solve the initial problem?”
- “How do you think people will use this?”
This will incite a more collaborative conversation, and avoid one-sided discussions where you are proposing answers and offering little information about the problem itself.
Provide the type of feedback you want
After presenting the issues inherent in a design, it’s good to be transparent about your goals and vision for the project itself. The designer might be offering general suggestions, but you might want to target a specific component of the designer than the whole thing.
- “What are your suggestions on ____?”
- “How would you approach this specific issue?”
Try to narrow down what the designer thinks of a particular component. If you don’t know exactly what the solution should be, it’s always good to ask the professional for the input.
Limit the options
Presenting too many components to fix or having too broad of a scope can stretch you and your designer thin. Try to ask questions which limit the choices so the designer can get a better sense of your direction.
If you’re unsure about the colors but you prefer them to align with a brand’s color palette, then display those colors only.
- “Out of this color palette, which would you choose for this button?”
- “Let’s focus on just this graphic – which color should we change this to?”
- “I agree this font doesn’t work – which out of these would you pick?”
Designers may also become overloaded with options – go with quality over quantity.
Giving high quality feedback will produce high quality designs, and asking the right questions will leave both you and your designer with the right product at the end.
Get Graphic Design Feedback on Facebook
Stuck on a design? Want to provide better feedback to your graphic design team? Join us in our Unlimited Graphic Design Feedback & Tips Group on Facebook. This is a private community of people passionate about unlimited graphic design as a service. Feel free to post your design projects and collect expert feedback and tips from digital marketers, graphic designers, entrepreneurs, and other industry experts.