3 Tips For Getting Quality Feedback on Your Graphic Design and ArtworkEditorial Team
By Dave Batchelor, one of the creators of Helpfull.
Feedback is a crucial component of growth. This is true for writers, developers, businesses, politicians – and it is true for artists as well. While getting critique on your work is necessary for your growth as an artist, it is oftentimes difficult to accept feedback; even finding the right audiences for your work can be a challenge.
Online feedback platforms enable artists to gather quality feedback in real-time on their creations. When you’re working within tight deadlines, getting that fast second opinion on your work can be.
Why Getting Feedback Matters
Constructive feedback can be defined as comments or suggestions that serve to promote success or positive outcomes in any given scenario. Constructive feedback might not always be positive; in fact, it may tear apart elements of your art and perspective. Ultimately, the nature of constructive feedback is to promote positive outcomes; that kind of feedback is most reliably derived from neutral third parties.
Friends, co-workers, relatives – these individuals are typically your primary source of feedback. This kind of feedback – while useful in many regards – is often imperfect. When giving and receiving critique from those we have a history with – emotions can often lead to clouded decision making. These interactions can lead to bitter resentment, and inhibit one’s ability to identify meaningful feedback when it is given, as well as their ability to incorporate it into their work.
Getting your feedback from outside sources can not only save your relationships; it is a process that generates powerful new insights for your art. Online platforms place your artwork right in front of dozens (or thousands) of other artists – letting you get the feedback you need to be a more confident creative.
Tip #1 AB Test Your Design Iterations Online
AB testing graphic design or artwork variations is one of the most valuable activities available to freelance artists. Online feedback tools (Like Helpfull) offer users the ability to create short-form surveys and tests that are then shipped to thousands of panelists across the United States.
Putting your work in front of new audiences can shed powerful new insights on your work. Panelists provide critique in the form of comments, votes, and anecdotes about their own relevant experiences. The insights generated on these digital feedback platforms are useful to rapidly evaluate concept variations, color palettes, and all other elements of your artistic design.
The emotional distance between you and the neutral panelist allows for a more productive dialogue to form; one that isn’t charged by strong emotions or past history. Practicing open-mindedness when receiving critique from others allows you to more effectively incorporate these changes into what you do.
Feedback tests are often completed in real-time – meaning you are given access to the results as soon as they’re submitted. This enables professional artists and graphic designers alike – both who are subject to tight deadlines and crunches – to quickly work in audience feedback into their designs. Multiple tests can be run over the course of a single day – for a fraction of what a traditional survey would run.
Tip #2 Test The Right Audiences
Finding the right audience to survey for your artistic pursuits isn’t always easy. That is why it helps to have a process for identifying the perfect audience for your needs.
The first step is to identify the goal of your artwork test. Are you looking for constructive critique or consumer feedback? The knowledge level required to give you the kind of insights you’re looking for is going to be a deciding factor in who you ultimately choose as a panelist.
The second step in cultivating your very own panelist group is to note your time constraints. While gathering feedback from professional artists can be an extremely fruitful endeavor, your surveying website will have an easier time reaching 100 undifferentiated pollsters than it will 100 professional artists. If you’re running short on time, consider reducing the number of panelists you’re trying to reach; otherwise, consider testing an undifferentiated group.
Tip #3 Make Your Changes Meaningful
What makes a change meaningful? A meaningful change means that your actions have a purpose, a goal. When you are designing your feedback tests, do so with the intent of gathering actionable insight into your work.
Avoid creating tests that serve only to affirm (or destroy) your ego. Tests like, “Do you like my work?” will do very little to change the way you tackle your artistic process. Instead, ask questions that will provide you with new perspectives and genuine critique.
Good examples of questions for artists to ask:
- “What parts of my anatomy can I improve on in my sketches?”
- “How can I improve the consistency of the brush strokes in my paintings?”
- “Which elements of my color mixing need improvement?”
Good examples of questions for graphic designers to ask:
- “How can I make this logo design look more professional?”
- “Which of my three advert designs look the most appealing?”
- “Which layout do you prefer between these poster designs?”
The key to creating clear and meaningful questions is to focus on one subject or theme with each test. Asking questions with multiple subjects (also known as double-barreled questions) will only confuse your audiences and muddy the results of your test. After each test, you’ll find yourself with an invaluable mix of helpful comments tailored to your unique specifications.
Getting quality feedback online is one of the easiest ways to transform your art overnight. When artists in your area are few and far between, getting professional-level feedback on your creations is not always easy. Creating meaningful AB tests – putting your artwork in front of thousands online – is the affordable solution. In just a couple of minutes, you could find yourself flooded with more positive critique and helpful comments than you’ll know how to handle.
Published in partnership with Helpfull.com.
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