We’re flattered by the comparison, but in reality good communication is the secret sauce of good design. Clearly describing the results you’re looking for, and giving specific constructive feedback is the quickest route to a great finished product. Along that route there can be many detours spurred by vague and counterproductive feedback. These tend to lead to more speculation and obscure the end goal. To ensure the best outcomes, we recommend avoiding these three common trappings whenever possible.
1. “It looks a bit empty. Try to make everything bigger.”
More! More! More! Wait…Why does my website look cluttered? Many are convinced that bigger is better and less is not more, more is more! While this applies to things like super-jumbo-giant-ultra-mega fast food meals, and hats in Texas, this type of thinking is dangerous in design and potentially revenue-draining for your business. Good design doesn’t need to blast the viewer in the face to draw positive attention and achieve great results. Does the obnoxious person screaming on their phone next to you in a restaurant draw attention? They sure do! Unfortunately, it’s in a way that makes you wish they were sucked into a black hole never to return.
2. “C’mon, it will only take a minute to do it.”
Really? Only a minute? Sweet! As most things of professional caliber, the act of doing something and the act of doing something well are seldom the same. This line usually indicates a hurried or last minute addition to a project. The attempt of downplaying a request like this tends to highlight the fact that it could have been asked for earlier, at a time when it just might have been a simple request. While we always aim to please, we are still bound by the limits of time and space. There are precious few things can be done well in a minute. Examples include: emptying a trash can, starting the dishwasher, watering a plant, giving someone a hug, or building Rome.
3. “Anyway, you are the designer, you know what to do.”
Yes, of course we do! Wait, what just happened? This is one of the vaguest statements a designer can come across in the field. While it appears like a vote of confidence, it doesn’t help get someone what they’re looking for. While we know the principles of design, knowing just what you’re looking for is another story. Knowing what to design and how to design it comes from applying your knowledge of your business, your customers, your competition and your personal tastes. It comes from trial and error, research and development, sifting through aggregate data and good ole’ fashioned blood, sweat and tears. With that being said, as designers we do know what to do. We ask you a whole lot of questions, do a ton of research and then create a large mass of stuff that involves a whole bunch of math and science and psychology for you to interpret in a million different ways. Then we ask you some more questions and do it all over again. It’s a process, but we love it.