Critiquing creative content can be a frustrating experience for the reviewers and designers. To avoid being one of the 8 types of bad creative critics, follow the five tips below. You’ll have happier content creators, and get projects done faster.
- Remember the purpose of the content
Before you start marking up a piece of creative work, remind yourself why it was solicited to begin with. What is the goal of the content? Who is it for? What is the appropriate look, feel, or tone of the content? Frame your feedback in terms of where and how the piece is missing the mark.
- Give feedback appropriate for where you are in the review cycle
Your review should start with an assessment of whether the creative is moving in the right direction and accomplishing its goals, and in later versions move towards polishing details like word and color choice. Don’t wait several rounds of revision in to start questioning the fundamentals – you’ll lose valuable time and momentum.
- Be specific
When requesting a revision, if you’re unsure what you want it is you would like at least be clear about what you don’t like. Vague instructions like “make it pop” are difficult if not impossible to interpret and can result in undesired changes. If you can’t explain what you mean, then how will the creative figure it out?
- Provide justification for your requests
Unless you’re pointing out an error, then it can be helpful to explain why you’re making your revision requests. In addition to giving your creative team more detail, this helps to keep your feedback objective. Your personal preference may not align with the content’s objectives (see tip #1) and it’s often a good idea to leave the subjective design choices to your experts.
- Show appreciation
Remember, your content creators are people whose work is up for daily critique. Mentioning things you like about what they’ve produced will help preserve a healthy, friendly working relationship as well as make it easier for them to create content to your taste moving forward.
Creatives – what advice do you have for reviewers?