5 Compelling Arguments for Design Feedback (and Giveaway!)

Categories Articles, Freebies

Getting feedback on your latest design is never easy. Whether it be finding honest criticism or swallowing your pride in the face of negative reviews, it often just doesn’t seem worth the effort. However, despite the drawbacks, the benefits of quality, constructive feedback far outweigh the costs. Here are 5 compelling reasons you should be looking for feedback during every step of your design process:

1. Get a Fresh Perspective

As much as you’d like to think you’re an objective observer, no one directly involved in a design project can have an untainted view of things. That’s where a fresh set of eyes becomes invaluable. Objective criticism can uncover new ideas, better alternatives, or, in an ideal world, further confirmation of your genius creation. Even if it’s your mother-in-law, try to find someone who can review your work before you release it to the world!

2. Correct Mistakes and Confusion

I can’t count the number of times I’ve sent out a “final” project with a misspelled word or missing punctuation mark. If it gets caught before it goes live, not a big deal, but if your client’s billboard ends up with the wrong phone number, you can bet you’re not getting another job from them. In addition to simply acting as a filter, a quick outside review can reveal any deeper, underlying confusion. Sometimes a concept just doesn’t make sense to people outside of your circle of friends or co-workers.

3. Increase Concept Performance

Feedback can help you improve the experience your client, customer or audience has with your design. It leaves you with a final product that better communicates your value proposition and what you would like the user to do next. Whenever you improve someone’s experience, you are also increasing your chance for a conversion (a sale, phone call, email, etc.).

4. Develop New Skills

Good feedback challenges a designer, pushing him or her beyond their comfort zone. If you want to be stretched to the limits and grow as a professional, you need a group of people who can give you brutally honest feedback. The more you can take (and stay motivated), the better. I promise you’ll become a better designer and a stronger person because of it.

5. Build your Network

As you begin to reach out to friends, co-workers and the community for feedback, you will start to develop a network of people you can trust and learn from. Oftentimes, and most importantly, these will be individuals different from yourself – people who can give you a fresh perspective, correct your mistakes, increase your performance and push you to the limits.

Giveaway

concept

To give you a headstart, Concept Feedback, a free feedback community for designers and developers, is offering Inspired Mag readers 5 free premium concepts (valued at $9.99 each)! Premium concepts put your design in front of thousands of qualified professionals willing to give you quality, actionable. For a chance to win, leave a comment letting us know your favorite method or technique for getting design feedback. Good luck!

The Authour

andrewAndrew Follett is a small business marketing manager and founder of the new design review community Concept Feedback. You can follow Andrew on Twitter.

Catalin is the founder of Mostash - a social marketing boutique - and he's always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.
  • Great post Andrew. No-one likes to face critism but you’re right , it’s needed for growth. This is especially good advice for new web designers. Learning to accept critique from a community of peers will help to prepare them for dealing with clients in the future.

  • Nice post… Really useful tips. Thanks for the article…

    -Deepu

  • Steve Robillard

    My favorite method is setting up near the campus coffee shop and asking people to do a quick review while in line

  • AJ

    I really appreciate not just feedback, but a good nourishing discussion on a design. Both negative and positive (totally subjective on the designer and how they view this) feedback is great for the designer who’s work it is, in order to progress, as well as complete a design that they can present confidently and be happy with. There is almost always something that you forget or a fresh set of eyes can add to a design.

  • Hi, I am submitting my layout versions to designerscoach.org – an online community of designers. We change opinions, and review each others work.

  • I think my favorite way of getting design feedback is through other designers as they know the “language” that I need to hear to make actionable changes.

    I’ve been working on articles for UX Booth and Six Revisions talking about Usability and have been using various usability applications, and love using them as well when the client has the budget to afford their use.

  • tj

    Email has always worked nicely. But this would be WAY simpler

  • Mihai Neacsu

    I have a list of friends who always willing to have a look over my designs.

  • It’s a funny thing, I have always ebraced the idea of feedback and criticism. I think part of it is the personal challenge of getting to such a point that there are no negative comments, no ‘buts’.

    I have two other designers in my classes, and we meet once a week or every other week in a nice, yuppie-esque Mom & Pop local coffee shop with big chairs and a fireplace. We discuss everything in person… even though we use Google Wave every day together!

  • I love getting quantitative data on a design through AB testing, and taking the emotional factor out of it. I find it often yields the best results.

  • Nathalie Werlberger

    I tried it, I love it, I will use it for sure from now on! Thanks!

  • Going to use this as a checklist for feedback. If I don’t get three of those five things I’ll be disappointed, or look at again at the critique.

  • This such a great piece about something that is so often skipped or ignored in the design process either out of laziness or fear. I made this one of my three links of the day at my daily design blog “Design Thought of the Day”:
    http://designthoughtfortheday.blogspot.com/2009/12/bad-attitudes-great-css-design-good.html

    All the best, Ted

  • Please! :)

  • Yeah! I love it =)

    Thanks

  • As a 1 person economic developer trying to do design in house getting feed back consist of calling friends and emailing files. Trying to explain the concept is often more difficult and time consuming than its worth. I tried to pay for feedback from a professional once, but that didn’t work so well. Now I am just going at it alone.

  • In school we get feedback whether we want it or not (but it’s usually best to have it). I once worked as a sole web designer and the isolation was unpleasant. So, when I leave school I hope to work within a team of designers such that feedback is the default.

  • I always asking a critique from another designer / artist every time I finished an artwork to improve my works in the future and this helps me alot on getting more knowledge about art & design.
    To get those feedbacks, one of my method is post new work on social networking sites and discussion forums. So far this is the best feedbacks related to my concept and style.

  • J

    Great post! will definitely use those tips!

    Add me if you would like:
    http://twitter.com/j_donato