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Giving website design feedback

At the risk of stating the obvious, design is subjective. Blue really works for some people but for others… meh. Same with Arial, or circles, or ‘flat design’, or fullscreen background images, or … you get the picture.

Getting something designed is an exciting collaboration between you and the designer. But what’s the best way to give your feedback? Here are a few tips I’ve learnt from many years on the receiving end…

1. Give feedback thinking about the overall aims for the project

The best feedback is specific and focussed on the aims for the project (“I think the ‘Join Now’ button should be more prominent so we can get more signups”), rather than vague (“It needs to feel more, I don’t know, relaxed”).

2. Trust your designer

Of course I’m going to say that, aren’t I? But the reality is that you’re paying someone for their advice and experience and you should trust them. Good designers care about the end result and they’ll strongly argue their case if they believe a decision is wrong.

3. Remember websites aren’t fixed

Websites aren’t like printed documents – text and images change all the time, different browsers and operating systems display things in different ways. In the smartphone age responsive designs scale and change on different devices so there is no fixed ‘this is how it looks’. Good designs are flexible enough to change gracefully – at some times there might be three columns, at others just one. Keep this in mind and focus on the overall look and feel.

4. Design by committee doesn’t work

You’ll achieve nothing but a confusion if you tell your designer that “some of the committee really like the blue but but some hate it”.  Have one point of contact with your designer and make sure this person is authorised to make a decision and communicate this to your designer. Keep in mind that you’ll never please everyone and that making a compromise often ends up pleasing no-one.

Steve is Go4's fearless leader. He designs, codes, project manages and wrestles with his inbox.

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