Learning how to take and give critical feedback is an essential skill for any designer. In this episode of The Business Of Design, Robin and I discuss some common phrases used to give designers directions and feedback, and how to respond in a powerful way that benefits everyone.

  1. Daniel

    Hey thanks for this John and Robin, really helpful and practical advice.
    The ‘Align and Re-direct’ advice is so good, really nailed it down for me.

  2. Brett Perry

    Great episode guys. I learned a long time ago that if you need to critisize someone’s work to keep it constructive. just saying that their work “sucks” isn’t going to make them happy and isn’t going to get you the results you want. Plumb the depths of what a client wants and don’t be afraid to push them for specifics. I did a whole ident package for an outlet in a pink color that they had selected. Over the course of the project, thay made several changes to the design. When time came to deliver the package, “Can you change the color scheme from pink to sky blue,” thay wanted to know, “it should be easy.” Literally hundreds of elements needed to be changed. I explained the process to the client and the time it would take (and additional cost) and asked if they still wanted blue instead of pink. They opted to pay the price to switch from pink to blue. I made better money and the client got his blue, everyone was happy! Communication is key. Don’t take a client’s criticism personally, but don’t be pushed around. Do your best to educate your clients so they have a better understanding of your workflow and make them feel like the’re part of the design process. People seldom criticize there own work.

  3. Matt Sich

    This is why I think everyone working in the media industry (even the project managers and developers) need a fair amount of design training.

  4. Ricky

    Well, really interesting podcast people!
    It’s really hard sometimes to cope with feedback, both if you’re the receiving or giving it.
    Personally, the “hidden comment, among lots of compliments” technique works best, both ways :)
    Or maybe it’s just me that I like when people really appreciate what I’m doing for them! :)

  5. Anthony

    This is very informative video! I hoping to pursue the industry as an aspiring motion graphic artist and already finding it to be very competitive.

  6. Jessi

    So I’ve been working for a client who has given me 100% control over my work and I did not realize it was a double-edge sword. I’ve made a few motion design projects for this client and so far I received good feedback from both the client and it’s customers, unfortunately recently there was a project the client did like but their customers utterly hated (for different reasons). Since day 1 of working w/ this client I have asked for what they expect but they just keep giving me all the control w/ no certain standards or expectations. Now that this negative feedback occurred they continue to give me all liberty… am I over-analyzing the situation or is there something I should do to perhaps avoid another negative feedback and even lose the client?

    • John Dickinson

      Hi Jessi,
      If the client is not the final decision maker I suggest building in a clause in your contract that states that any changes after agree approval steps will be charged for. Some changes are inevitable but it’s amazing how agreeable a client can be when it’s their money on the table. Best wishes, John.

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