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Non-Designers: How to Give Good Design Feedback

Welcome to Episode #2 of BrightTakes, Brightfind's first video series!

In these videos, I'll cover different elements of creative design, along with answers to frequently asked client questions I receive as the Creative Director at Brightfind. If you have a burning question that you'd like me to discuss, leave it in the comments section. Enjoy! 



Hi! I’m Vince Tardy, the creative director at Brightfind, and in our last video we talked about how to promote design thinking within your organization. Part of having a really solid design process is being able to give good design feedback. So a question that I receive a lot of times is, “I’m not a designer, how can I give design feedback?” Well, I’m going to give you a few tips that can help you!

Be clear.

Your initial reaction might be to say, “Oh, I really don’t like it!” or “I love it!” And that’s great to be enthusiastic, but understand that your feedback has to be actionable.

Be objective.

If you say, “Eh, I don’t like purple,” know that you’re filtering your feedback through personal biases, and try to overcome that.

Be confident in your opinion.

If you’re not a designer, you can still give design feedback. All feedback, negative or positive, is valid feedback.

Understand that concepts require exploration.

They don’t emerge fully formed; they might require a good design direction, and understanding of that to be fully realized.

Be positive.

If the person receiving the feedback feels like they’ve been slighted, they may not hear what you’re trying to say, and then the final outcome might be muddled.

Consider who is receiving the feedback.

Understand the level of experience that the person has who is receiving the feedback, and then adjust accordingly. If you receive pushback, and pushback’s okay, use what’s called the Socratic method to illuminate the issue. Continue asking “Why?” until you get to the heart of the problem.

Be clear, but not too prescriptive.

Understand that creativity requires some element of serendipity in order to be fully realized.

And finally, just keep yourself open to the idea that you might be missing something. It could be context or it could be information that’s missing from you or the other person.

So, use those tips and you’ll be giving design feedback like a pro. Thanks, and see you next time!

Vince Tardy

Written by Vince Tardy