How Do You Handle Design Feedback You Disagree With?

How Do You Handle Design Feedback You Disagree With?

In the nuanced world of design, handling feedback is an art in itself. We've gathered five insights from Founders and Designers on how to gracefully navigate feedback you might disagree with. From developing clear arguments to balancing intuition with user insights, these professionals share their experiences and strategies.

  • Develop Clear Arguments Against Feedback
  • Explain Disagreements with Visual Aids
  • Defend Design Choices with Statistics
  • Filter Feedback That Enhances User Experience
  • Balance Intuition with User Insights

Develop Clear Arguments Against Feedback

It's crucial to stay calm and objective when receiving feedback. Often, there's a factual basis for your disagreement (remember, you're the expert in this field), but you might struggle to articulate it. Take the time to develop clear, rational arguments for why you disagree with the feedback. If you can't pinpoint a reason immediately, step back and reconsider if there's a valid reason to disagree at all. If you feel the feedback is incorrect but can't explain why, do some research.

For example, let's say a luxury watch brand asks you to enlarge the logo on a design you've created. You might respond with: "Your target audience appreciates elegant brands and has an innate sense of what looks 'right.' Elegance relies heavily on visual hierarchy and balance. An oversized logo can disrupt this balance, making the design appear aggressively commercial, which could negatively impact sales."

Thomas Strobl
Thomas StroblFounder, Fugoya

Explain Disagreements with Visual Aids

Part of being a designer is handling feedback that you disagree with; part of being a great designer is explaining why.

I have found that explaining why I disagree is huge and often helps with the decision-making process. Pictures and sketches help tremendously and often, but not always, sway the outcome. Remember that the client pays the invoice, and you work for them.

Eddie Rider
Eddie RiderInterior Designer, Eddie Rider Designs

Defend Design Choices with Statistics

This issue comes up occasionally. When I get feedback that I disagree with, the first thing I do is get my notes ready and jump on a call with the client. During this call, I ask them to elaborate and defend their position. Then, I clearly and calmly explain why I disagree, citing any statistics or case studies I have on hand.

I recently had a client who wanted changes opposite of all CRO and UX best practices. They wanted the entire hero section to be a slideshow with no text. I explained to them that when people land on a site, they immediately need to understand where they are and what they can do. I asked the client to look through the eyes of a first-time visitor and think about the experience they would have landing on a page like this. After that, and showing some examples, I got the client to agree to the original design.

Gabriel Bertolo
Gabriel BertoloOwner, Gabriel Bertolo Web Design & SEO

Filter Feedback That Enhances User Experience

As designers, we take feedback from stakeholders, end-users, and internal team members from time to time. Some feedback enhances the experience; others don't. This is the tricky part as a designer: you choose to go forward with only the feedback that matters. Here are some ways you can try:

1. Have all the feedback laid out and ask all members to vote for their favorite. Choose the ones that work. Why?

2. Lay out all feedback with pros and cons for the same. Share it with the team for approval. The ones with fewer cons will be immediately discarded.

3. If the feedback is provided in an ongoing meeting and you cannot say no right away, ask for some time to think it over. Then go ahead with any of the above options.

We designers deal with so many direct/indirect users throughout the product lifecycle, each providing some insight. But only designers have the ability to filter out and move forward with the decisions for the betterment of the product. So take a deep breath and start finding your way.

Neha DudhalkarSenior UX Designer

Balance Intuition with User Insights

Feedback is crucial, even when it challenges your vision. During a redesign of Online Solitaire, a suggestion was made to alter the interface significantly. Initially skeptical, I engaged in a dialogue to understand the perspectives involved and conducted A/B testing to gather data. This approach revealed preferences I hadn't considered, leading to a hybrid design that increased user satisfaction. This experience reinforced the value of balancing professional intuition with user insights to refine and elevate the final product.

Holger Sindbæk
Holger SindbækFounder, Online Solitaire

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