Skip to content

May 30, 2024

Tips on Providing Constructive Feedback to a Designer

By Danielle Matthews 2 Minute Read

As a client, providing feedback to a designer is an essential part of the creative process. Clear, constructive feedback can help ensure that your vision is accurately translated into the final design. However, giving feedback can sometimes be challenging, especially if you're not sure how to effectively communicate your thoughts. Here are some tips to help you give constructive feedback to your designer:


Be Specific: Instead of saying, "I don't like this design," try to pinpoint exactly what you don't like. For example, you could say, "I think the color scheme is too bright for our brand."

Provide Examples: If you have a specific vision in mind, provide examples or references to help illustrate your point. This can help the designer understand what you're looking for more clearly.  Other helpful things to include are things your competitors are doing that you may or may not like, as well as any brand assets or guidelines you have that will help shape a design.  Providing examples of what you don’t like is sometimes just as powerful as what you do like, especially if you are not sure what you like to begin with.

Focus on the Design, Not the Designer: Keep your feedback focused on the work itself, rather than criticizing the designer personally. Remember, the goal is to improve the design, not to make the designer feel bad.  Chances are, they meant well and did their best based on the information they had. It may just take a few conversations to get it right.  

Use Clear, Objective Language: Avoid vague or subjective terms like "make it pop" or "more modern." Instead, use clear, objective language to describe what you want, such as "increase the font size" or "use a minimalist style."  

Be Open to Suggestions: While it's important to communicate your vision, also be open to the designer's suggestions and expertise. They may have insights or ideas that you hadn't considered. If something they did isn’t making sense at first or resonating, ask them to explain if there was a reason why they did what they did. An explanation into the thought and reason behind something could make you see it in a new light.

Provide Feedback Early and Often: It's easier for a designer to make changes early in the process, so don't wait until the final design to provide feedback. Give feedback at each stage of the project to ensure that you're on the same page.  

Keep Feedback Organized, Succinct and from a Single Point of Contact: While many organizations need approval and buy in from multiple parties, nobody likes the “death by committee” approach.  Collect your broader organization’s thoughts internally and appoint a project champion to do the bulk of the communicating with the designer. This prevents multiple sources reaching out asking for different changes.  By compiling an organized list of edits from your organization, you can help avoid conflicting feedback that may undo another person’s edits.  Additionally, compiling succinct lists of feedback will prevent you from using up unnecessary rounds of revisions with one-off or top of the mind changes, keeping your project within scope and budget.

Be Respectful: Remember that design is a subjective art form, and your designer has put time, passion, and effort into their work. Be respectful and courteous in your feedback, even if you have criticisms. It’s never okay to be disrespectful or rude, no matter how unhappy you are with something. 

Focus on Solutions, Not Just Problems: If you have a critique, try to offer a solution or suggestion for improvement. This can help move the project forward in a positive direction.

Acknowledge What Works: Don't forget to acknowledge the aspects of the design that you like or that are working well. Positive feedback can be just as valuable as constructive criticism.

Communicate Clearly: Finally, ensure that your feedback is communicated clearly and effectively. Avoid vague or ambiguous statements, and be open to clarifying any points if needed.


By following these tips, you can provide clear, constructive feedback that helps your designer create a design that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations. Effective communication is key to a successful design collaboration, so take the time to provide thoughtful feedback throughout the process.  

Danielle Matthews
About the Author
Danielle is VDG's Senior Art Director. Whenever she gets a minute to herself she enjoys binge-watching Netflix, reading, obnoxiously loud music, fishing, drinking obscene amounts of coffee, and probably being an all-around nerd.

Explore More Great Expertise by Topic