Ever twirl your fork into a plate of shrimp scampi, anticipating that first garlicy, buttery, slurpee bite – then, uhhh, … blands-ville?
You immediately start to recognize what’s missing. Salt? Perhaps parsley. How about a dash of red pepper for some heat? Or hey, let’s squeeze a little lemon for a burst of tang.
You know it needs something, you THINK you know what that is and you’re going to help it get there.
What you don’t say is “Hey, the pasta looks nice, but can you make it taste good?”
Offering suggestions on how to improve a design is very similar.
Reviewing design work and offering direction is more than just giving positive or negative feedback.
Stay clear of saying “this is GREAT!” just to avoid an uncomfortable feeling. Designers have thick skin and are used to critiques.
Offer words more meaningful than “make it pop” – or you might end up with illustrated fireworks in your new logo design.
As creative director, I review, art direct and provide feedback everyday. I have to remember to think of the goal, consider the steps it took to get to this level and to be clear with suggestions on how to get to where it needs to be.
If you can immediately sense that it’s somewhat ‘bland’, do yourself and the designer a flavor – oops… I mean favor.
Offer constructive, specific and clear guidance so your feedback will be effective, deadlines will be met, products will be designed, work will be seasoned with mastery!