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Instead of Feedback, Ask for Goal-Based Critique

It can be difficult to make design decisions. It is a field that, contrary to popular opinion, does more than create something pleasant to look at. Art and science both come into play here. Not only should the final product be aesthetically appealing, but it also needs to work well.

True, subjectivity is hard to discard when you evaluate a design. Nonetheless, it is of utmost importance to hear what other people think. But how do you ask for feedback that will actually enhance the design?

Over the years, I have figured out a technique that has enhanced my body of work. Instead of asking for feedback, I look at the goals. When we are working on a project, there is always a problem that needs to be solved. Realistic goals must be set from the very beginning as they will guide the design process.

I always ask my clients for their goals based on these three factors: usability, features, and functionality. While working on the prototype, these are the qualities that will shape the design. Instead of relying on personal preferences, we can now discuss possible revisions with these things in mind.

Remember that arguments are not always bad. In case of disagreements, we can always return to our goals. Even if we have different means of achieving them, everyone will be reminded that they have similar objectives. In my experience, the best designs always come from good collaboration between clients and designers.