Giving effective design feedback

We are on the same side, we just might not be on the same page all the time. The following tips will help to ensure that your vision is not getting lost in translation.


Collaboration is the key to a successful project. And design feedback is a good way to make sure that your new website is on the right track. Critiquing is hard. No surprise there. But we are all on the same side here! We just might not be on the same page all the time. The following tips will help to ensure that your vision is not getting lost in translation and the best possible results are achieved in a shorter time.

Allow enough time

Don't put off the design feedback until 30 minutes before the deadline. Off the cuff comments tend to be based on gut reactions, which makes them too vague or too specific. Allow yourself enough time to give your full attention to formulating the response.

Keep the project goal in mind

Design isn't about personal likes and dislikes. Our main goal as designers is to contribute to solving your business problem. And we come to you for the feedback, because who knows the business better? Otherwise, we could ask advice from our moms, friends or the cleaning lady that happens to walk by.

At the end of the day, this project is for your audience. Putting yourself in user’s shoes will make your feedback more purposeful and useful for the designer.

Give Examples

If you’re having a hard time finding the right words, use visual examples to illustrate your point. Attach a link or a snapshot to your comments. A picture is worth a thousand words, and design jargon can be confusing even for designers. We are visual people after all :)

Leave design to designers

Now you are ready to sit down and make an educated guess of what your perfect design should look like, right? Yeah, don’t do that. Sometimes, what seems like a fast small fix can set off a domino effect. And after endless iterations we will still end up with a Frankenstein monster for a result.

Instead of presenting a solution, frame the issue that the new design causes for your users and your brand. Bring value through your expertise. Your feedback will be constructive if you show how it affects the area you specialize in.

For example:

“The font on the button should be bolder” – ok, seems easy enough. But sometimes such a straightforward solution can be like forcing a burning up pneumonia patient into an icy bath. Treating a symptom doesn't solve the problem.

Instead, try:

“The elements that get customers excited about the demo seem to be underplayed in the new design” – that’s something we can work with! Maybe you are right about the font size. Or, perhaps, adding some colour to the CTA section will provide a stronger connection with the brand and result in better conversion.

Designers are not pixel-pushers. We do our homework and build a coherent solution based on users' needs with the business goal in mind. And with your constructive feedback we'll make sure that it's spot on!

To sum up

  • Allow enough time for the feedback.

  • Keep your project goal and your users in mind, and put your personal preferences aside.

  • Use visual examples to illustrate your point and avoid confusion.

  • Be specific describing the issue, and leave design decisions to designers.

Remember these tips the next time you communicate with your designer and you’ll create a partnership that is strong and effective.