How to Give Useful Feedback to Your Creative Team

  • by Shala Graham
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The only thing worse than getting no feedback from a client is getting feedback we can’t use to make their project better. Our goal is always to help the organizations we serve to get the attention they need, and form the kinds of impressions they’re looking to create.

To accomplish that, we use our talents and abilities as best we can. But we can’t read minds, and we can’t know the nonprofits we work with as well as their executives do. So we come up with drafts and layouts, submit them, and wait for feedback.

When things go well, that’s when the magic happens. To make it easier for our clients and ourselves, here are a handful of tips for giving useful feedback to your creative team:

If possible, respond in a relatively short amount of time.

When we send you a new layout or concept, we are excited to know what you think. If you wait too long to get back to us, we’re going to assume you weren’t pleased with our work. And, more importantly, quick feedback allows us to respond while the original inspiration is still fresh in our minds. That leads to stronger successive versions.

Find a consensus of opinions within your organization first.

All opinions are valuable, but some are more valuable than others. That’s especially true in big organizations, where everyone might want to have input on a creative project, but only a few people can make final decisions. Rather than burying your creative team with dozens of impressions, pass along the strongest few, or the ones that matter most, and let us revise based on those.

Try to give feedback in useful terms.

Occasionally, we have clients come back to us with something like “It’s close, but I don’t like it,” or “I wish it were more energetic.” Those aren’t bad sentiments, but they aren’t exactly actionable, either. Better feedback falls along the lines of “I’m not sure this makes it clear what we do for new visitors,” or “I wish the call for volunteers was more prominent.”

Be open to hearing both sides.

Occasionally, clients will ask for something that isn’t in their own best interests. On the rare event that your creative team pushes back against a change or concept, be willing to hear them out and see if they can sway your opinion. They may not be able to convince you, but at least you’ll hear the rationale for their advice and will be able to make a more informed decision.

Contrary to what some new clients believe, we actually do want your feedback and input in the creative process. But the more you can make it clear and actionable for us, the easier it is for us to translate your vision into something that works.

Are you looking for a branding and design consultancy that understands your needs? Contact SW Creatives to find out how we can guide you through the design process.

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