Illustration by Lauren Kolesinskas

How to Give Kickass Feedback

Five tips for giving useful feedback (that keeps creatives on your side)

So you were shown or emailed or slacked or carrier pigeoned a deliverable… now what? You know it’s your turn to chime in, but maybe you’re not sure where to start, how to evaluate the work, or what to say. Don’t worry, we got you!

The first order of business is to plainly name the truth: The creative process can be emotional! There’s give and take, and everyone’s got something riding on it. There may even be a little sweat (but hopefully no tears).

Our advice? Trust the process. It’s a journey that starts with a spark and ends with impact. There will be some chats and changes along the way — it’s highly collaborative.

Put simply, you get out of it what you put into it. That’s why feedback’s so important! So with that…

Here are Plato Design’s tips for providing constructive feedback.

1. Stay focused. You may be working with creatives on multiple streams of work. To stay on track, focus on feedback for the deliverable of the moment.

2. Be specific. From visual design to messaging, the more specific you can be about what you like or don’t like (and why), the better.

3. Build on it. If there’s something you don’t like, make a suggestion about what you think could help improve it.

4. Consolidate. If multiple people are reviewing work and providing input, make sure you’re all on the same page before sharing feedback with your creative partner. This helps creatives avoid becoming mediators. But if you get stuck or it comes down to a vote, we’re happy to be your tiebreaker.

5. Be nice! (please) Feedback should be actionable and considerate. We are human, after all!

This is what works for us, and we hope you find it helpful. Now go get your creative reviews on!

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