Reviewing Design Work
"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things."
As a client, when reviewing creative work, it is important to give constructive criticism. When reviewing a print ad, logo design, web design etc., what is the best way to provide feedback? Here are some guidelines on how critiques should be made to get the end products you want.
1. Be objective
Who is your primary audience? Will the design draw their attention? Sometimes we confuse our personal taste with the needs of the target market. By setting aside your own preferences, you can better review a designer's choices on color, layout, visual imagery and typography.
When I worked at a bank as a graphic artist, I handled the pre-to post-production of an audio-visual presentation of the Philippine National Anthem and also the official hymn of the bank. When I was reviewing the shots of the videographer, I thought that we should have gone with a more aggressive style. But, since the audience was bankers, I needed to remember their perspective, which is more conventional and conservative.
Recently, when I drafted a new look for our website for a specific segment of customers, Kelly Glass initially said she wasn't sure about putting the navigation in an unexpected area of the pages. So I created a second version for comparison and she ended up preferring the non-traditional approach because she felt the overall layout would best fit with the priorities of these customers. She kept an open mind and we ended up with a more effective design.
2. Focus on the big picture
Ask yourself if the visuals communicate your vision clearly. Will they appeal to your audience? Do they use appropriate imagery, graphics, fonts and color schemes?