Your client stumbles into a meeting room, stained coffee mug in hand. It’s your weekly 1-on-1 and you wait as they take a seat across from you. They begin by asking how things are going — but before you can answer, they launch into their own update.
Last week, your client told you to design a flyer for the upcoming company event. You say “sure, no problem” with a forced smile and proceeded to design the most basic, corporate-looking thing possible because you know that’s what they’ll want.
Now, your client comes to you and say your design is too boring. They want something more exciting that will stand out from the competition. They want something edgier, more modern, and with a lot more pizazz.
You’ve been doing design work for years, but suddenly you feel like a fraud. Now it’s not that your client is talentless. They just don’t know what they don’t know about design.
It is important to remember that your client’s opinion is important, and you should always be willing to make changes to the design based on their feedback.
In some cases, your client may just not be familiar with design terminology and they may not be able to articulate what it is that they don’t like.
This can be frustrating and discouraging, but it’s important to remember that their opinion is just one perspective.
You know what you want, but do they? Here are tips to get your clients on the same page — without losing your cool.
How To Get Meaningful Design Feedback From Your Clients
Take a step back and look at the design objectively.
Are there any elements that could be tweaked or refined to make it more interesting Maybe they don’t like the color scheme or the fonts you’ve chosen. Maybe the layout is too simple for their taste. Is it because there is too much white space? Once you understand what it is about your design that they don’t like, you can start making changes.
Ask your client for specific feedback on why they think the design is boring.
This will help you to hone in on the areas that need improvement. You can show them different types of designs and ask them which ones they prefer. Oftentimes, clients will be vague in their feedback, simply telling you that they don’t like the design or that it’s not interesting enough. By asking them for specific reasons, you can get a better understanding of what elements of the design need to be changed in order to make it more appealing to them.
Get feedback from others like your colleagues who may have a different perspective on the design.
By soliciting input from multiple sources, you’ll be able to gain a better understanding of why your client feels the way they do about your work.
If your client still doesn’t like your design after you’ve made changes, it may be time to consider finding another client. It’s important to remember that not everyone will like your work and that’s okay.
It’s possible that this client is never going to be happy with your work, no matter what you do. They may be too critical or have unrealistic expectations. If this is the case, it’s best to move on and find someone who is more appreciative of your efforts.
Of course, there is always the chance that the client just needs a little more guidance. If you feel like they’re close to being satisfied but just need a little more help, try offering them some additional options or refining the designs you’ve already created.
You’re not “artsy” and they’re not “stupid”.
Graphic design is a tricky business after all. You need to be able to talk to your clients about their vision, while also being able to understand their business.