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Why bank website designers need honest feedback
Have you ever wanted a sneak peek into the mind of a graphic designer during a bank website design critique? Here’s a report from one of our talented staffers:
“When I’m presenting layouts for websites, printed materials or any other projects — either internally with the BrownBoots team or with a client — I usually begin with a recap of key points discussed at past meetings, bringing out marketing materials and/or the style guide that I used to make some of the design decisions. This gives everyone the same starting point and reminds us all of what the project goals are.
“I explain why I chose to do certain things or why I decided to leave certain things out. I try to be as upfront as possible so that I don’t leave any confusion behind once I’m finished.
“The work I do is more than art. I really couldn’t even classify it as art at all. My design is for the client. It’s an assignment. Of course, I have little personal touches here or there, but really, the design is based off of the client’s initial instructions. So when it comes time for the critique, it’s not a measure of my personal artistic skills, it’s more a measure of my listening abilities.
“After I finish presenting the layouts, it’s time for some feedback.
“Here are some of the thoughts running through my mind as I wait for the first brave soul to give his or her opinion: Did I interpret our past conversations accurately? Was there something I missed? (They said they liked the color green, not hated it…right?)
“Are there any spelling errors anywhere? Any inconsistencies? I pushed things a little further then what they asked; how will they perceive that? If I were coming to this website for the first time, would it be easy to use?
“Sometimes I’ve been looking at the layouts for hours, days, maybe even weeks. I absolutely need feedback, even if it’s criticism. There is nothing worse than a silent room full of people after a presentation.
“I can honestly say I’ve never been offended by anyone’s feedback of my designs. Many people don’t know what they want until they see it. I fully understand this (I’m a visual person, people!), and that is why feedback is so vital to a project. When it comes to our custom websites, it’s also much more efficient for me to change the layout while it’s still in the design phase vs. the development phase, where a programmer would have to go back and adjust something after the site has already been built.
“The client is the expert on their brand and audience. I am the expert on graphic design. The account executives here at BrownBoots have spent much more time interacting with the client than I have, so they’re experts on the project as a whole. We are a team.
“At the end of the day, I want the client to be proud of their website, I want them to feel like it was dollars well spent, and I want them to feel comfortable contacting any of us at BBI if they ever have a concern, need help with something, or just want to say “hi.”
“So never be afraid to say what needs to be said. We all want the same thing: the best look possible!”