Five reminders for providing design feedback

The best design work is done when it consists of many diverse opinions. But providing critical feedback to another designer can be tricky, particularly when the one receiving the feedback is less experienced. To ensure ad-hoc critique is well-received, consider:

  1. Establish trust: Before diving into feedback, cultivate a relationship based on mutual respect. It's far easier to be receptive to feedback when you know the person giving it is a partner.
  2. Be specific: Vague feedback can be confusing. Instead of saying, "I don't like this color," explain your rationale and concerns. "The blue shade feels a bit cold; perhaps a warmer tone might align better with our brand?"
  3. Focus on why over what: Always accompany critiques with reasoning. By explaining why a change might be beneficial, you allow the designer to understand the broader context and goals.
  4. Make it a conversation: Feedback is best when it's understood and actionable. Part of what makes this possible is enforcing a two-way conversation. After sharing feedback, ask for thoughts and be open to counterarguments or alternative solutions.
  5. Stay objective: Aim to be as objective as possible, focusing on the design's objectives rather than personal preferences.

In conclusion, mastering the feedback process in design collaborations is crucial. With trust, specificity, and open dialogue, designers can elevate their work and strengthen their professional bonds.