Those four words combine to create a phrase that no designer, developer, or creative never wants to hear. It isn’t because it will hurt their feelings. It’s not because they can’t deal with rejection. Nor is it because they grow attached to the work they create and take criticism personally. No, it’s because that little four-word phrase does not allow them, the designers, developers, and creatives, to make the work that they do for you, the client, as good as it can possibly be.
Design is, at its core, a series of carefully calculated decisions based on a set of aesthetic preferences that are used to help achieve the goals that your firm has set. Those aesthetic preferences are not one-sided and while the people doing the work certainly know what they like and what they believe looks good, those decisions are not absolute. After all, these designs are being created for the client, not for the Creative Department.
To take those designs to the next level, creatives need feedback. Responding to that request with “I don’t like it” and following it up “I don’t know why I don’t like it, I just don’t” does not help anyone, least of all the people trying to ensure that you, the client, ultimately likes the work that you are paying for.
Design is much like a maze and from ground level, even in full daylight, it is difficult to reach the end (in this case: a polished, finished design) without taking a few wrong turns and walking into a few walls. Now, imagine someone hitting the lights. Getting through that maze is going to get even more difficult, if not impossible.
Good, constructive criticism that isn’t necessarily positive is a lot like having a map for that maze. It may not be able to guide the designer the entire way but at the very least, it provides a starting point and a good direction to move in. Telling them what about it you don’t like and why you don’t like it. The work that they create is meant to be an extension of your firm.
- Are the colors not working for you or is it the typeface?
- Is an element too big or too small?
- Do the photos fit your staffing firm’s demographic?
The more information that you can provide about what it is that you like and dislike, the easier it will be to create something that will help your company achieve its goals either directly or indirectly.
Just please don’t tell them that you don’t know why you don’t like it.