So you wish your clients would give you clear, organized feedback on their designs. But all you’re getting is one-word or one-sentence answers and unclear feedback like, “could you make the design pop more?” or “it doesn’t quite feel right”.
Sometimes, getting high-quality feedback on your designs is like searching for a unicorn.
Today, I’m going to break down how you can get top quality client feedback.
I have a question for you: what is the worst or most unhelpful feedback you’ve received?
Someone asked this question in my Facebook group, The Designer Collective, and the unhelpful feedback designers were receiving was:
“I totally trust your design eye, but…”
“I don’t know what I want, but I’ll know when I see it.”
“I want something quirkier.”
Feedback like this isn’t helpful because it doesn’t help us as designers understand what the client truly wants, it’s too vague.
Vague client feedback either leads you to complete revision after revision and still not get the design right, or leads you to ask question after question to squeeze clearer feedback from them, which can take days.
Why do some clients provide vague feedback like this?
5 ways to get high-quality, crystal clear feedback
1. Create a ‘Feedback Guidelines’ guide or blog post and include this as a section on your onboarding page.
If you’ve taken my Organize & Automate course, you know I recommend creating an onboarding page.
Your feedback guidelines can include things like:
- If feedback is from more than one person, then gather it all into one message
- Use bullet points to break up the feedback
- Be honest
2. Create a feedback response cheatsheet for yourself to help you quickly and respectfully get better feedback from a client who provided you with bad feedback.
You’re gonna get a client who does this no matter what you do.
Create a feedback response cheatsheet with scripts that you can paste in to reply to a client's bad feedback and encourage better feedback from them.
For example, the client who prefers to create their own mock up design of what they want instead of providing written feedback on designs.
You could write a script like this:
"Thanks so much for your feedback! While I really appreciate the time you spent mocking up your idea, I work best from written feedback. Here’s a little guidebook I made that will help you write your feedback for future revisions."
I have a free workbook of scripts like this that you can use when prompting better feedback! Download it below.
3. If you use a Project Management tool, write feedback guidelines in the description of the task.
Inside my favourite Project Management tool, Asana, I have a task called ‘Logo Design - Revision 1’ where I upload the logo and me and my client can talk about it. In the description, I always add guidelines.
Want to learn how to use Asana to manage your design projects & clients? I have a free course to help you right here!
4. Don’t ask what the client thinks of the design.
Your responsibility is to ask questions that will prompt helpful feedback, because clients don’t really know what is helpful and what isn’t.
Some questions to ask to get better design work feedback are:
How do you feel about the fonts & colours used?
Your main goal is to _______. Do you feel this design will or won’t help you reach your goal?
Do you feel this design will attract your target market? If not, why?
Asking how a client feels is more effective than asking what they think. You’ll get more thoughtful answers this way.
5. Understand that good feedback takes time.
If you rush clients to give feedback in one day, they’re going to rush their feedback.
They have busy lives. They’re going to impulsively tell you what their initial thoughts were without thinking about how their changes relate to:
- Their target market
- Their goals
Give them time to provide decent feedback. A few days is perfect!
Don’t forget, I made a free downloadable ‘Feedback Prompts’ cheatsheet you can use to reply to bad feedback with a message that encourages better feedback.
It includes scripts you can use to reply to:
- Clients who are sending you mockups, not written feedback
- One-word/one-sentence answers
- Vague feedback
- And more!