Giving feedback on design can be hard, especially if you don’t have a design background. You have a specific idea of what something should look like, but you can’t quite put it into words.

We don’t expect you to be an expert in design processes and terminology, but we do hope for value in the feedback that we are given. Here is a list of not-so-helpful funny feedback notes we’ve received through the years that made us scratch our heads and wonder – what are you looking for?

Let’s try and bridge the gap when it comes to communicating with your creative team and talk about the type of feedback that makes your creative cringe.

“Can you make this pop more?”
Like, literally pop in a three-dimensional way or…? That would require some special skills.

“It’s just not jazzy enough.”
Jazzy defined: bright, colorful, and showy. So, basically you think it’s boring.

“This needs to feel more original, I want it to feel more like us.”
Honestly, what does this even mean?

“The design is screaming at me.”
That’s impressive that I made that happen – what does it sound like?

“Really let your creative juices flow on this one.”
As a creative by profession this just isn’t something that needs to be said.

“Take it to the next level.”
Truly one of the worst and most over-used phrases ever. Please don’t say it – it literally means nothing.

“Can you make this look more like *insert previous designer’s name here* work?”
No, I can’t. Each designer has their own style and voice – trust and embrace their talent and process!

“I have a few changes…it won’t take long.”
Are you sure about that? I don’t know if you really know that.

“I’ll know it when I see it.”
Taking stabs in the dark hoping something will stick isn’t a winning design strategy. We need a little more direction than this in order to succeed.

“I’m in the target market and I don’t like it.”
…This is not feedback. This is a statement.

“Can we dial up the fun factor?”
Of course! What ideas do you have?

What to Say Instead
If you’re looking at this list and thinking, “I have said that!” and now are cringing yourself, you aren’t alone. Here’s what we suggest you say instead to get the most out of your creative team.

Any time you are giving feedback – whether it be to a designer or a writer – ensure you are infusing detail and value into your critique. Simply saying, “this needs to pop more” isn’t feedback. Offering suggestions, examples, and specific ideas will make a world of difference if you want something to change or to look a specific way.

Need something to pop more? Suggest changing the color palette. Think something needs to be jazzier? Include ideas behind what you think makes a ‘jazzy’ design. Even including examples of graphics you’ve found online that you like would be a helpful frame of reference.

If you take away anything from this, let it be this: Just say no to vague feedback – your creative team will thank you for it!