Frank McClung

Stop critiquing the design. Focus on strategy and results.

Do you, as a client, give feedback to your designer during a design review on the design itself? If so, you are largely wasting your time and theirs. Your design observations, feedback and possibly directives are likely misguided and ill informed. You are not qualified to comment on design with any expertise. Your suggestions to “fix” or “improve” the design in one area (type, layout, color, etc.) will more than likely “break” the design somewhere else. You’ll create friction with your designer and show your ignorance. So why do it?

Sadly, as designers, we’ve led you into this trap.

In design reviews designers often elaborate on colors, type, layout, balance and white space. In web design we try to wow you with nifty coding tricks and animations and mobile layouts. We talk about design in emotional terms and make evaluation extremely subjective, and sometimes that’s okay.

As designers and clients, we need to be talking about how the design will work to support the business and brand strategy. We need to discuss the copy in terms of positioning and point of view not typography. We need to talk about how user experience produces results. When we talk about typography, layout, functionality, devices, animations, code, etc. it should be linked to strategy and value at the business level. These discussions are critical if you want the design to serve your business and your clients.


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