In the past, software developers used to tell designers what they wanted in an application or product. Today, that’s no longer true, as design skills have become invaluable to all aspects of programming and application development. If you are going to work with a designer, it’s important to be able to give them useful professional application design feedback and get the information you need from them without hurting their feelings or being rude.
This guide will walk you through some tips and strategies on how to give professional design feedback that makes your designer more efficient and ensures you get what you want out of the product or application you’re creating together.
What Does It Mean to Design?
The ability to combine several elements (i.e. colors, textures, sounds) in a manner that not only stimulates an emotional response from people but also leaves them wanting more. It’s as simple as that. If you’re considering hiring someone for your mobile application design, look for examples of great work, then go through and critique it like you would a final piece in art class or a novel before it goes off to be published.
Look at why you liked each element and consider how they were used throughout your experience with their creation. Did they pull everything together or just get lucky? That is what you’re looking for here – somebody who knows what it takes to create great applications and knows how their time is best spent getting there.
How to Give Professional Design Feedback
1: Review the Submission Guidelines
Before you begin, make sure you have a clear understanding of what it is your client has asked for. Review submission guidelines and ask questions if there are any gray areas. The goal is to get a crystal clear vision of what your client expects from you before beginning an application design project. (If your client doesn’t have any specific directions in terms of style or look, review their website and find a handful of sites that utilize a similar color scheme or layout as a guide.)
Once you know exactly what they want, try sketching out a few mockups of different designs based on your conversation with them. You can use these rough sketches to help gather more information about how they want their application designed—but be careful not to waste too much time on detailed sketches at first! Remember: every extra minute spent refining designs is time that could be spent working on other aspects of your application design.
2: Do a Qualitative Review
The best way to provide feedback on an application is through a qualitative review. The idea behind a qualitative review is that you evaluate each screen in depth as you move throughout your interaction with it. It’s hard enough for designers (of any field) to thoroughly cover all their screens, so for now I’ll focus on an example of how professionals would do a qualitative review in Application Design.
First, take five printed screenshots from your design (the number will vary based on how much time you have). Second, get out a pen and paper and make notes as you go through each screenshot in turn. That might mean putting title text too small on one screenshot and I like it! On another; whatever works best for you.
3: Use Specific Examples
You can use specific examples in your post. But it is important that you use specific examples, such as, We do Mobile App Marketing and design for banking and I have given feedback on these 4 things or Our company specializes in application design.
These are few of our projects. Do not use too many examples. For example: We do mobile application designs for 5 industries (banking, travel, etc.) and I have given feedback on these 50 things. This is an example of overusing specific examples. The thing to remember here is less is more! More words don’t mean more readers or more traffic on your website/blog. Keep it short but make sure you point out a key idea and provide a link at the end with additional information.
4: Give Designer Feedback
It’s amazing how a little detail here or there can make all the difference. In most cases, designers will gladly offer up their expertise on application designs. They want you to look great! However, in order for that cooperation to work properly, it’s important for designers and developers to understand each other’s roles. Also, note that I said designer; not artist. It may seem like there is no difference between art and design, but there is – a big one.
The more mindful you are of these differences during interactions with your designer team members, the easier your development process will be in general. So what exactly do we mean by designer? Well, a designer is someone who creates things that solve problems. Designers are problem solvers first and foremost. Their goal is to take something complicated (like an app) and break it down into simple pieces (navigation bar, content area, header).
Once they have done that, they begin working through iterations until they get to a solution that works well enough for them to move onto another task. Designers use tools like wireframes and mockups to help visualize those solutions, so others can see them too. This makes communication much easier because everyone knows what everyone else is talking about without having to go back-and-forth over email trying to clarify vague statements.
5: Communicate Effectively
One of the most important skills you can have as a designer is being able to clearly articulate your point of view. That means more than just being able to explain why a decision was made, but also explaining why that decision is right for your project.
It’s not enough for you and your client to agree on what’s best; it needs to be something others can see (and ideally understand) as well. Even if you’re working with an internal team, effective communication will help everyone work together effectively toward a common goal. In short: get good at communicating! Here are some tips to help make sure you’re getting your message across clearly: –
Get in touch with your emotions: By connecting with how you feel about a piece of work, rather than just talking about it rationally, you’ll be better able to describe why it works or doesn’t. If something makes you angry or sad or happy, say so! If someone points out a problem, and you feel defensive or confused by their reaction, let them know. This sort of emotional connection helps other people really get where you’re coming from. And this often leads to much better solutions down the line. Be honest and direct: Try never to sugarcoat anything—even when telling someone they’ve made a mistake.
Ask any designer and they will tell you that giving constructive feedback on someone else’s work is extremely difficult. It can be even harder when both designers are at different stages in their careers. As a senior designer, I’ve given tons of design critiques over my career. In fact, critiquing other people’s work is how I improve my own abilities! However, there are many dos and don’ts when giving design feedback.