Basic Graphic Designer's Guide to Decoding Client Feedback

Let's learn how to decode client feedback and understand their perspective to improve your graphic design service and business. Check this out!

Working as a freelance or company bond graphic designer comes with many fun and challenges. Other than working with creativity and engaging activity, designers also need to communicate and guide their patrons. It is not a surprise, but the task can turn into a difficult challenge to fight. It is especially true when you consider the range of habits and personalities. 

One thing that makes communicating with clients is decoding their feedback. As a designer, you are bound to receive criticism upon graphic tasks or jobs. However, sometimes the reviews or feedback are so hard to understand. It can be hurtful, helpful, or questionable. So, what should you do and how to decipher the cryptic response?  

Giving reaction is not rare in the graphic design realm since it can also guide the working process. It is not once or twice. You might have to meet with a lot of customers with different types of feedback and responses. To help you decode client feedback, here are the guides that comprise some common scenarios where you need to think further than just the review. 


1. I Hate It 

Some patrons might blatantly tell they hate your project. The hateful client feedback decoding can mean a positive review or guide for graphic designers. How so? Sometimes, the hard to hear (hurtful) facts are harder to tell. Maybe your work is indeed lacking. Their honest hate or negative feedback can reveal the real nature of a graphic designer's job. 

The best decoding guide for the negative, hateful comment is to understand what they dislike about the graphic work. Don't let your emotions take over and get angry. Be a professional graphic designer that is willing to hear. It is the best time to ask and look for better confirmation about the feedback. The guide will help you a lot when decoding the information.

Sometimes, your client does not say they hate it. Your client might say that they don't like or don't understand the work. At the same time, it is hurtful to hear, decoding the feedback aid a better result. The idea is that the graphic designer patron says the feedback clearly, which can turn into a strong guide for you to do better work. 

As a designer, a clear guide can make your work easier. Rather than decoding an absent-minded or no-idea client, hate reaction means they know what is going on. The decoding means the patron understands what they hate. Your customer already identifies what the elements or graphic ideas that did not resonate well with them are. Take this guide for decoding client feedback.

1.1 Ask The Point 

So, the first decoding guide that you need for this kind of feedback is to ask their point. Since they can say hate or dislike, that means your client already knows what element should not be there. Ask what kind of element or part that did not fit their preferences, so you can fix it right away and decode it better. 

Is the problem or the pet peeve the layout, image, color palette, or something else? Try to understand the grounding behind the client feedback. There is a time that you will get a better guide than you thought. Such as a unique point of view, insight, or ideas that you never learn as graphic designers. The best example scenario is using the wrong image or message. 

You might work in a certain field or business, such as medical or education. However, you choose the wrong imagery or graphic. If your patron shows negative feedback, it can mean you make a fatal mistake in it. Try to ask further about the details. So, you are decoding client feedback easily. After that, get the idea and guide yourself to do a fitter job. 

1.2. Flip It Like A Mirror

Since you get very clear client feedback that says hatred, it means you can do the opposite. It is a simple guide for graphic designers that face the scenario. Just try to mirror or flip the design work, and the designer will know how to suffice the patron's wants. However, try decoding it by asking the grounding criticism. 

The best guide to decoding your client response is to put the different or the opposite process. If you find the main reason for the users' hate is the dark color, then make it brighter. When the picture is too childish, then the designer can adjust it or choose the more serious one. The primary idea is to mirror it and make it a guide for a better one. 

But it does not mean you can mirror everything. When the hate feedback refers to the not satisfactory design, then you need to ask more about the preferred details. In this case, designers need to go back to the project brief. Try to re-read and understand the brief guide given or made by the client. So, it makes decoding criticism easier. 

You might find the preferred or nonpreferred points, which can be your guide in the graphic work. If what you did contrasts some information, it is no wonder if your patron says so. In other words, sometimes, you need to get back to your work process to decode client feedback. The guide can take time, but it is better than changing the design over and over again. 

1.3. Don't Let It Ruin Your Motivation 

A professional graphic designer did not let the negative feedback to their heart. Instead, designers will take the feedback, decode it, and improve work. It can hurt like hell. But at least, the client is brave enough to tell their honest review about your work. It also gives you a clear guide and detail of what not to do. Take it as an advantage to improve your work. 

Graphic designers might feel down after hearing a hate acknowledgment. However, a graphic designer needs the review as social proof. It will help you in your future career and get more customers. It is not the best time to cry over a hatred of client feedback. It is one of the steps, guides, and challenges that every designer needs to face in their career. 


2. The Quiet Client 

Hatred feedback is not the worst. The worst one is a quiet or silent client. How so? There are many cases where patrons did not want to leave any comment about your graphic design work. As a graphic designer, it can be a double-edged sword since it does not help at all. At some point, professionals will try decoding it as negative feedback. 

The underlining decoding idea goes to the fact that maybe the designer's client is dissatisfied with the work. The designer did not follow the brief as the guide or merely did whatever they wanted. In the end, it creates unsatisfying work that makes consumers feel like not saying anything. Leaving you in silence can make people make the worse out of the guesswork. 

Decoding client feedback makes it harder to understand when there is nothing to say. In the worst case, the silence means your graphic design work is simply not worth commenting on. It is way more hurtful for designers that are trying to build up their career and experience. No, feedback can make your work meaningless. That is why silence is the worst feedback to get. 

So, what should you do? In this case, the best decoding guide to handle the client feedback is to receive it wholeheartedly. Take a deep and long breath to help you accept reality. It is the best time for graphic designer to evaluate themselves. Try to figure out whether you did the best or you flopped? If you sure have done the best, accept the comment or guide, and move on. 

Sometimes, accepting reality is better than overthinking and decoding the client's feedback. Being a graphic designer requires more than just a creative mind. They also need a strong mentality. If you did good, maybe your customer is too busy to leave their feedback. The best guide for the criticism is to use it as positive reinforcement and don't ruin your motivation. 

If you do badly, it is the best time to reflect on yourself. Designers need to be open-minded and also creative. Think long and hard about what you should do to fix the mistakes or graphic work. If you are still in the graphic project working process, try to fix or create a completely new design. Sometimes, the best meaning to decode client feedback is a guide to work harder. 


3. Not My Style 

If you hear client feedback that says it is not my style, try to understand that it is not a negative point. The comment sounds pretty harsh and annoying. However, many are decoding it into something more positive. It will eventually help you create better or more sufficient work based on the client's preferences. 

The takeaway point from this feedback is that the graphic designer did a good job but slightly missed the point. Try to take the fact that your client did not 100% say they hate the graphic project. It is frustrating to hear, but it means you hit at least some positive points from the project. So, what should you do? When decoding it, you can try some of this guide.

3.1. Re-Read The Brief 

The first thing you should do when you hear the client comment is to re-read the brief. The idea of decoding the feedback is that the designer misses some points. And you can see or learn those points from the graphic project brief or guide. Most of the time, the graphic designer brief comprises all details about the project. 

It can include the goal, imagery, message to delivery, and many more. See whether you miss some points, and try to fix them. One thing is for sure. Patrons mostly hate a designer that asks a question that is already answered in the graphic project brief. From here, you can alter the design and ask for more feedback or guide. See if you can improve the graphic or not.

3.2. Confirm The Problem 

If the first guide did not give a better comment, the designer needs to decode client feedback even more. The best thing that helps you figure out the problem is confirming points that ticks your client feedback. Ask them what did you miss, and tell them that you have followed the designer brief. It will increase the customer's impression of the graphic designer. 

Most of the time, the pet peeve is the graphic personality. Graphic designers can learn from the brief and ask for a more detailed guide to the client. Is it a formal graphic project or a fun one? Do you need to make it down to earth design or a more glam detail? Some details might not be written in brief. If so, asking the customer will make the decoding process easier. 

3.3. Ask For Example 

If the designer thinks the guide or explanation is not enough, ask the customer to provide an example. It is the best way to explain what one has in mind. Try to follow the client feedback, the confirmation, and the example. It is easier when decoding it if you work with a good communicator client who can describe the graphic style or personality. 

But if you don't, you can be the proactive one. Try to learn the brief and look at two or three design styles that fit. You need to decode client feedback and find suitable examples. Show them to your patron, and see their new comments and information. If you can strike the preferences, it will be a better guide for your graphic designer job. 


4. Great, But. 

The But or Except in the client feedback can mean a lot. When decoding this kind of comment, you need to consider two guide options: Small tweak or Large alteration. The best example is changing fonts. A graphic designer can simply resize the font. But if the font alteration affects the entire design proportion, it means a more complicated graphic tweak. 

In this case of decoding client feedback, you need to be proactive to find the real reasons. Most of the time, the problem is not big. However, it can turn into a bigger problem if your mistakes are pretty apparent. Understanding the root of the problem from the graphic work, guide (brief), and the criticism also make the work easier. 

Instead of changing the font size or scale, graphic designers might need to improve the readability. Ask your client for clearer feedback and a guide for the fix. Changing the design with a similar font, altered height, or kerning is easier than editing all design graphic work. After a small edit, you can ask for more feedback and guide. 

However, if decoding the client feedback means a bigger change, you need to explain to them. Tell them that the major change can affect the whole design. As a graphic designer, you have a right to show and educate them what will happen if following their guide. Try to point out the client preferences from the original graphic design to find the real issues.  


5. The Micromanaging Client

It is not a new occasion that patrons tend to leave a comment that virtually or physically micromanages the graphic designer. In this case, designers tend to get pushed to start redesign or work under the comment. To decode client feedback, you need to consider two scenarios. 

5.1. An Over Managing Client 

If you meet a client that forces you to do a lot, your graphic work is more frustrating. In this case, the helpful decoding guide is to accept reality and be patient. Designers tend to avoid this kind of patron, but sometimes it is unavoidable. They will micromanage every designer move. Try to cope with them and move on.  

5.2. Try To Fix Them Alone Client

The second scenario is better. The designer has to cope with the customer guide, criticism, and command. At some point, the client might make their way to fix the project. In this case, the best decoding idea is to ask for a more general opinion of the design. They can get more frustrating. But if a graphic designer can get the root of the problem, everything will be fine. 

The best idea to decode client feedback is to fix everything according to the detailed comment. Try to learn what they want and don't want. Asking for that kind of reaction tends to provide more high-quality information for your graphic project guide. It will help designers elevate your work, create something better, solve the problem, and satisfy both parties. 



If you are anxious to decode the client feedback, try to understand their point of view. Some patrons might not have adequate knowledge about your job, which makes the situation dry. It is important to educate them and ask for more useful feedback. Giving an offer, ideas, and guide can make graphic designers' work easier.

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