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Freelancing

10 Steps to Mastering Design Feedback as a Freelancer

August 27, 2021

Being a freelance designer is not an easy job, especially when it comes to dealing with clients. A good design can take weeks to create, and clients can often be too demanding. After getting design feedback from a client, it’s important to understand how to handle their suggestions. While you have one idea in mind, they could be thinking differently. Take a look at our list of 10 simple steps to mastering design feedback as a freelancer.

The importance of mastering design feedback

There is almost no creative work that doesn’t require certain feedback. When working as a freelance designer, it’s important to create a trustworthy relationship with a client. Good communication and mastering feedback are usually the best paths to the final product. Working together with a client requires patience and open communication. Every design project implies revisions, so mastering design feedback is the key to honoring a client's wishes. No matter how demanding the client is, the designing process should always focus on their goal and vision.

The first impression is important

Sending the first version of your design to a client will make the biggest impact. Upon revising it, the client could say one of two things. They could be satisfied but looking for a few changes, or they could demand a completely new design layout. Either way, a freelancer should be ready to work in both situations. It’s not a simple job, and it could be stressful. Luckily, there are some steps you can take in order to master design feedback like a pro. Take a look at some techniques that will help you plan this process.

Give context

There are plenty of clients who offer freedom to designers to create with their own vision in mind. As simple as it sounds, this decision can be a two-edged sword. Without proper instructions, complete freedom to design can stand in the way of the client’s long-term goal. Unfortunately, plenty of them are not sure what they’re looking for before seeing the final product. If you are a freelance designer and you lack instructions for your first design layout, here’s what you can do.

  • Ask about the purpose of your design. What will the client need to achieve with it?
  • Don’t take your client by surprise. If you think about a smart solution, make sure it follows their needs.
  • Provide context. Every decision you make in this process should have a solid reason.
  • Provide feedback to your client. If they are looking for an impossible or less-functional design, don’t be afraid to provide an opinion.

Creating a great design requires patience, but it also needs to serve its purpose. In order to handle the design feedback for a client, keep in mind that their needs will come first.

Ask specific questions

While working on this process, plenty of different obstacles can occur. More often than not, there is no one simple solution for the design. For example, if you are designing a website, your client could ask for too many features without knowing if they will work. Asking the right questions will help you and your client understand each other better. These could be yes and no questions, but also some brainstorming ideas. Depending on how open-minded the client is, you can always suggest a few different design solutions.

Focus on different aspects of your design

When asking questions about the design feedback, you should make them short and simple. For example, you can ask the client for an opinion on a certain section of the design. Also, it’s good to ask about possible improvements for different areas. Asking the right questions will show your client how serious you are about your work, but also show that you are open-minded. Make sure to avoid short and blunt answers. Instead, it’s always good to answer a client with an idea.

Think positive

There are times when feedback from clients can bring designers down, especially after receiving negative comments. However, there are ways to get out of this situation. It might not be easy, but a freelancer should always try to stay positive until the solution is found. Different clients react in different ways, which is why you should make sure to stay open-minded. The only way to do this is to focus on your client’s goals. In the end, everything they want is to grow their business and make a profit from your design. If you succeed in creating something they like, it will be a win-win situation.

Send feedback regularly

At the first meeting with a client, you will probably understand most of their goals. Once you send the first design brief, your client might expect to see most of their vision completed. Since this is usually impossible to do, you will have to be ready to send feedback on a regular basis. Some clients require feedback for every small change you plan to make. Others will trust your judgment and ask for a simple adjustment. The main thing you should focus on is to explain the purpose of every element of your design. If you keep your client posted regularly, you will get to an agreement much easier.

Focus on the goal

Being a designer requires a lot of creativity. This is why working with clients is everything but easy. The most difficult thing in this process is finding the balance between visual and functional aspects. While you might feel like one is more important than the other, your client might disagree. Keep in mind that positive criticism is a way to understand each other's ideas. If a client is too demanding or has unrealistic expectations, it’s ok to tell them. Ultimately, honoring their wishes will be the ultimate goal, whether it’s a good decision or not.

Great communication is the key!

The best thing that could happen to a freelance designer is to have great communication with a client. Every project is different, which is why it’s important to master the communication process. Talking openly about the project and different ideas will lead to creativity. If you are lucky, two heads will be smarter than one. However, if you disagree with your client, you will have to adjust your design and honor their needs.

Your patience will pay off

Being a designer has never been an easy job. The client who ordered your design will decide whether it’s good enough or not. So, it’s important to set your ego aside and realize that this project is made purely for specific needs. Make sure to have great communication from the start and your client will be grateful for your work.

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