Giving Effective Feedback

Web design is a combination of science and art – and an important part of our work together is how we communicate feedback. 

Your input is important and will guide the work we accomplish together. 

At Maple, we use an iterative process that abandons any attempts to get things perfect in the first try. Our work together can (and probably will) have many layers.

Here’s how you can provide feedback that is most effective when communicating with us, me, or any designer you are working with. The magic happens where your skills, perspective, and expertise overlap with ours.


Good Feedback

  • Be honest. If you don’t like something, let me know – now, when I have time to make changes.
  • Be specific. Point out what, exactly, is not working for you, and why it’s not working.
  • Ask why. If you aren’t sure what I was thinking, I’d love to explain the reasoning. Everything I will do or have done for the project has a purpose.
  • Refer to your goals. Relate every piece of criticism back to your goals.
  • Relate to your audience. Your audience should be top of mind for every decision or critique that you provide. What do they need? What will they love?

Not-so-good Feedback

  • Involve everyone you know in the creative process. I work best when you alone serve as the expert on yours and your audience’s needs. Art made by committee is rarely successful.
  • Taking things personally. If I totally missed the mark, we need to figure out why and move closer to our mutual target. And if I disagree with you, it’s because I’m thinking about your goals and your audience, not because I don’t like your idea.
  • Do my work for me. Please give written or verbal instructions about what isn’t working; don’t redo my work to illustrate your point.

Prescribe fixes. You’re hiring me to provide solutions. Explain the problem and I’ll provide potential fixes within my area of experience, research, and skills.

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