At some point in your startup life, you are going to have to work with a designer, even if you're a designer yourself. Knowing how to give good design feedback is a useful skill in that context.
Here are the key points:
- Make sure you're giving the right feedback. Don't give feedback on the content when it's all filler content.
- Evaluate based on whether it achieves the design objectives, not whether you like it.
- Not knowing anything about design doesn't stop you from seeing whether the design meets your business goals.
- Don't try and spare the designer's feelings. When the design doesn't work, say it.
- Be direct. Don't spend 5 minutes to say "This design sucks".
- Start with general feedback over the whole design and then drill into specific elements.
- Relate feedback to goals and user needs. Don't be subjective ("I don't like this") or prescriptive ("Move the buttons over here").
- Don't redo the design in photoshop and send it to the designer as feedback.
- Ask questions as the design is being presented.
- Don't give contradictory mandates.
- Set up a time to go over the feedback in a structured way.
- Break any of these rules sooner than accept a design that just doesn't work.
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