The Power of Feedback; The Good and the Bad

This post, like most others is a bit dear to the heart for me.  With each new project that gets completed, there’s a sense of jubilation for all the hard work and effort that went into it.  You think back at all the revisions and feel like it was all worth it since the client is happy which  in turn makes you the designer happy. However what about the true criticism and feedback on the completed project? Were there some missing dots on some “I’s” or “T’s” left uncrossed? Could some of the icons have been better chosen? Different page background?

I personally work with a small group of designers when it comes to my projects. We all bounce ideas back and forth on our projects to get each others feeling on what they see. Sometimes friends can be a bit softer and eventually develop the same eye that you have because they get used to your style. This may not be a good thing after a while because usually each project you are working on is different from others.  There’s also a cool website called Forrst were you can post your designs in a way that other members can rate and respond with their opinions and thoughts. It may be a bit humbling in an arena like that because it’s not just your personal peers judging your designs and creations.

Positive feedback is great. Gives you that warm fuzzy feeling all over. Kind of like when you deposit that final payment in your bank account after a completed project. But how many times do you go back and have other eyes on that “great project” you just finished? It’s important to have even a good project critiqued by another pair of eyes. They can identify broken links, spelling or grammatical errors, concept designs, or even browser compatibility issues.  All of these and more could be things you missed along the way.

Well, no one really likes negative feedback. It’s hard to hear bad things about your work. It may sound like a direct stab at your creative intellect. So what do you do? You dust off your shoulders and take notes. Write down the comments and criticism and take a real look at your project to see if in fact improvements could be made. If they’re coming from your clients, stay professional. Some clients may try to get you to lose your cool only to get you to comp them for the work or get things completely redone for no additional charge. The last thing you want to happen is you to lose your cool and your invoice at the same time.

There’s always room for improvement. Anyone who says different may be delusional. Fact is we should be moving forward in our capabilities and not remaining stagnant. Every month there’s new codes, new plugins, and new apps developed to push boundaries – so let’s put ourselves out there in the hopes of providing the best product to our customers.

4 replies
  1. Zaid
    Zaid says:

    Well said my friend, feedback is one of the most important things that a blog or a website should (must) have within. After all, all what we doing is for our readers and visitors, therefore, their opinions are most important.
    I have just asked my developers to create a feedback form last week to include it within the company website. I got a really interesting sentences and we working on them now!

    • jpDesignTheory
      jpDesignTheory says:

      Thanks for commenting Zaid! I too plan to spend some time reflecting on our customer’s feedback over the holiday season. It will help prepare goals and things to improve on for 2012.

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