How to Really “Make it Pop”

Have you ever twirled your fork into a plate of shrimp scampi, eagerly anticipating that first garlicky, buttery, slurpy bite – only to find it disappointingly bland? You immediately start analyzing what’s missing. Salt? Maybe parsley. A dash of red pepper for heat? Or perhaps a squeeze of lemon for a burst of tang. You know it needs something more, and you think you know what that is.

This scenario is not unlike offering suggestions on how to improve a design. As a Creative Director, I often find myself in the position of reviewing design work and providing direction. It’s an intricate dance of art direction and constructive feedback.

Offering vague comments like, “This is GREAT!” to avoid discomfort doesn’t help. Designers are resilient and accustomed to critiques. Similarly, avoid the clichéd “Make it pop” unless you want literal fireworks in your logo design!

At Liger, we often joke about this notorious piece of feedback. However, it’s a perfect segue into discussing the value of thoughtful, specific feedback.

Key Takeaways for Effective Collaboration

Understand the Project Goal: Whether you’re a client or an advocate, grasping the desired outcome of a project is crucial. Knowing the target helps in providing relevant and useful feedback.

Provide Constructive, Specific Guidance: Vague feedback is the enemy of progress. Saying a design is “bland” isn’t helpful. Instead, be specific. For example, instead of the ambiguous “make it pop,” try something like, “The header section doesn’t stand out as much as it should. Could we explore different colors or font choices?” This approach ensures your feedback is effective, deadlines are met, and the final product reflects expertise.

Open Communication and Space for Creativity: A successful collaboration involves open dialogue and allowing designers the space to exercise their creativity. Ask questions, and offer clear guidance, but also trust the designer’s expertise and give them room to work their magic.

Effective Feedback in Action

Picture this, you’re reviewing a new website design. As you navigate through the pages, something doesn’t quite click. The design is good, but it lacks that certain je ne sais quoi. Now, this is where precise and articulate feedback becomes crucial.

Identify the Specific Element: Begin by pinpointing what exactly feels off. Is it the color scheme, the layout, the font size, or the imagery used? For instance, let’s say the issue lies with the color scheme.

Align Feedback with Brand Goals: Consider how the design element aligns with your brand’s goals and personality. In our case, if your brand is known for its vibrant, energetic personality, but the website’s color palette is subdued and soft, there’s a mismatch. This is a great starting point for feedback.

Suggest Concrete Alternatives: Instead of vague phrases, offer clear alternatives. You might say, “The current color scheme, while elegant, doesn’t quite capture our brand’s dynamic and lively essence. How about we explore a palette with more vibrant and bold hues? This could help in better representing our brand’s energy and appeal to our target audience.”

Explain the Rationale: Providing a reason for your suggestion adds depth to your feedback. You could add, “Vibrant colors have been shown to evoke excitement and engagement, which is what we want our audience to feel when they visit our site.”

Wrapping Up

Remember, working effectively with designers isn’t about dictating every detail. It’s about partnership, clear communication, and mutual respect for expertise. The next time you find yourself offering feedback, pause and think about how you can make your words as flavorful as that perfect bite of shrimp scampi. Trust me, your design team – and your projects – will thank you for it!