Giving Honest Feedback Without Frustrating your Designer

Providing Feedback

Providing feedback to your designer can be a slippery slope. A designer’s world revolves around the ability to collaborate with their clients. Keeping communication lines open, and creating a working dialogue about a project will help keep this process as smooth as possible.

Winston Churchill once said “criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”

The process should include the opportunity to bounce ideas back and forth, coming up with a cohesive vision, and then executing to create the perfect design. We’ve written a few points below to keep in mind when hiring, and working with a graphic designer in the future.

Clear guidelines

Know what you want – come to your designer prepared with ideas, and examples of what you like and don’t like. Keep in mind that missing the mark on a project can really sting. It happens. The client should always outline what they expect, while designers should communicate time, costs, and any constraints. Creating a clear, concise contract comes in handy here.

Be specific

There’s nothing worse than hearing ‘I don’t like it” from the client. A designer can’t do much with that, and it will probably end up costing you more in the long run. Telling them you don’t like what they have designed for you is not the frustrating part; it’s when you don’t tell them exactly what you don’t like about the design that is frustrating. If you leave your designer guessing, you will only end up going back and forth until you just settle for something so you can be done with the project. Tell your designer what you like about the piece. A good designer will work off those elements and switch direction. Too many negatives can distract designers and keep them on the wrong path.


Don’t panic. You hired your designer for a reason. Keep an open mind and know that this process takes time. Your designer knows what they are doing – if something isn’t your first choice, give it a try and you might be surprised at the end result.

Designers want to make this process as easy as much as you do, and want you to be happy with their work! Everyone has the same goal, and building a good relationship will help you achieve that. Keep the tips above in mind and you’ll be collaborating like you’ve done it your whole life!


Do you need some design help? Contact Twenty3Media here!

Necessary elements of great website design

It is well known that content is the most important part of a website, but how you present that content is equally as important. Take a look at the following elements to learn what is crucial in providing visitors with an easy, informative experience with your website.


  1. Meaningful content

Not all content is created equal. Identify your audience, and create content that answers their questions. You should take time to put yourself in their shoes and ask what they would ask – and then answer. Double and triple check for spelling or grammar mistakes – this creates credibility. If your website and content is muddled with misspelled words, no one will take what you’re saying seriously. Organise your content in a way that makes sense – make it detailed and specific to that landing page. Lastly, make sure all content is SEO optimized, and uses relevant keywords so your audience can find it.

High quality content is the gateway to successfully retain visitors and to achieve high ranking on search engines.”

  1. User-friendly navigation

Navigation is the GPS of your website. A good navigation experience will set your website apart from the rest. If your audience can seamlessly navigate through your website, and has no problem finding the content they are looking for, then you have achieved user-friendly navigation. Some things to keep in mind include: the amount of menu items, the positioning of your navigation bar, short and descriptive section titles, and always linking your brand logo to your Home page to name a few.

Navigation and accessibility directly impact your conversion rates. If your website isn’t easy to navigate, visitors can become frustrated (or confused!) which leads to a negative experience.

  1. Good visual design

A website that is aesthetically pleasing, will help keep customers clicking through. Your website should attract visitors, and invite them in. Themes chosen should reflect the persona of your business – colours and fonts need to be balanced and match this theme. Page backgrounds shouldn’t be overcontrolling.

Remember, first impressions matter. If your website has a professional look and feel, your visitors are more likely to stick around. Make sure all pictures are high quality. Use complimentary colors, and utilize white/negative space on a page. This will create a clean, fresh, easy-to-read site.

  1. Credibility

As mentioned above, your website needs to look, feel, and be credible. Visitors need to build a sense of trust as soon as they land on your website. Make sure you display a portfolio and/or client list, and tell explain your purpose upfront. People want to be able to find this right away. Show your physical address, and contact information.

These things will help gain the trust of your visitors and will ultimately generate those conversions you’re looking for.

The above elements are the most important for any website’s design. Making sure you grab your visitor’s attention and keep it for even a small amount of time, as this will help build your customer base.

Before we end this post, there are three other elements that are worth mentioning. These are: calls to action, mobile responsive design, and a search function. Your calls to action can be something as simple as signing up for a newsletter, or prompting a visitor to download a brochure – whatever you choose, this will create a conversion and provide you with a way to keep in contact with a visitor after they leave your website.

Making sure your website is mobile friendly will keep even more visitors on your page. These days, most people are searching using their smartphone, or tablet. Make sure your website can easily fit those screens or you risk losing these visitors because they don’t want to struggle with navigating your website.

Lastly, providing a search function on your website will help keep those visitors that don’t approve of your navigation system. You can’t please everyone – so place elements on your page to help avoid frustration.

If you need help designing your website, get in touch with our team and we’d be happy to get you going in the right direction!

How design plays a role in your marketing efforts

Marketers and graphic designers often have the same goals, but look at them from a different perspective. Marketing creates interest in a brand, and design communicates a brand.

Dan Slagen, VP of Marketing at Crayon explains how involving marketers in your design process is essential to a successful product, or brand. He says that when you hear marketers talk, you’ll hear words like content or copy, conversions, funnel, and brand tone. Talk about the same project with designers, and they’re focusing on hierarchy, purpose, emotion, and experience.

There’s a disconnect between the two teams, and figuring out how to collaborate is key to selling your business. “Focusing on performance can align marketing and design teams to better solve problems together,” suggest Slagen. “You can have clever copy and the best targeting, but if it doesn’t perform, it’s not viewed as a success.”

Creative graphic design is one of the fastest ways to build brand recognition and a following on social media. This in turn, helps your marketing team. A beautiful design will help you stand out from the hundreds of other companies competing for the same audience, and can be the deciding factor in how successful your next campaign will be.

Not only is it important to have strong visual content, but consistency is an equal priority. You want people to come across an image and immediately think ‘isn’t that that one company?’ Your brand should always show similar fonts, photos, colors, etc. Use the same logo – don’t constantly change the color. Each and every single element in a design piece should portray the message you’re trying to send.

Design elements also help build trust with your clients. If a client can see that your website is done professionally, and your flyers, and postcards all look well done, this helps with your credibility. Clients are more likely to trust a brand with professional graphics versus a company that just has a couple images and some text printed out on normal paper.

The most important part about all of this is the conversion. If you aren’t getting conversions, then your campaign isn’t working. Maybe it’s the graphics, maybe it’s the marketing, or maybe it’s both. Conversions are key to propelling your brand forward. A clear, concise call-to-action will help draw people in. Tell them to do something. The mere suggestion to ‘register’ will get them thinking about it.

If you’re company doesn’t have a graphic designer employed, it may be time to look at outsourcing some of your work. Take a look at your past campaigns and evaluate if there are areas that could have been done better. Take the time and invest in your company with well-done graphics that will convert and produce your audience.

If you need help with your graphic design projects or your digital marketing strategy overall, get in touch with us.

3 great resources to sharpen your design skills

Technology is always changing, and our skills need to adapt as new trends arise. Perhaps you are self-taught and don’t know Illustrator or Photoshop like the back of your hand. We are here to provide you with a few resources available to you to learn skills you didn’t even know you were missing!

Some of these programs are paid-for, and some have free options. None of them are the cost of a daylong boot camp. Take a look, maybe there is something for you.

  1. Udemy

Udemy is a global marketplace for learning and teaching online where students are mastering new skills and achieving their goals by learning from an extensive library of over 45 000 courses taught by expert instructors.

Udemy can be your cheapest option. They offer some free courses, and the rest are priced individually. It might be a little harder to find classes you’re looking for, as the lessons can be specific versus an overview of the program you want to improve in.

  1. Treehouse

Treehouse market themselves as a resource for coding (HTML and CSS predominantly), but they have a decent amount of design videos. You can browse through their design library to find Adobe Illustrator Foundations, Photoshop Foundations, and a whole slew of other relative items. Treehouse’s subscription starts out at $25/month. If you’re even remotely interested in learning web design skills, this is the place to do it. $25 is a whole lot cheaper than $1200 for a boot camp you might not even learn from.

  1. Lynda is a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn a business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through individual, corporate, academic and government subscriptions, members have access to the video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts.

Lynda might be the most well-known resource. Lynda pops up whenever you google a skill, and you can often find shortened videos throughout YouTube. Lynda starts at $19.99/month with their basic package.


BONUS: Web Design

If you’re looking for a cheaper option to learn web design, and front-end development – check out Codeacademy. At Codeacademy, you can learn to code interactively for FREE. Check it out now to get started!

With the resources available today, there is no reason to fall behind in your design work. Take the time to invest in yourself and learn new skills to stay relevant in the job pool. We’ve used all three here at Twenty3Media and constantly go back and forth between sites to learn and improve our skillset. If you have other resources that you find useful, please share them with us in the comments section 🙂