Have you ever noticed that as soon as someone presents work they’ve created, opinions come out of the woodwork? But are those opinions rooted in facts or fancy? The next time you are given the opportunity to review a creative project, whether it be a logo for your company or your colleague’s new website design, think about the “why.”

The pitfalls of “I don’t like blue.”

One of my most valuable lessons from my college critiques was turning “I don’t like that” into “it doesn’t work because (fill-in-the-blank).” The professors were quick to lead the critiques into more productive, valuable lessons just by having students shift their perspectives.

The same holds true for any business decisions you need to make, especially when it comes to those regarding design, which can easily become subjective. Instead of leaning on what appeals to you, go back to the why behind the design.

Focus on the Goals

Keeping your goals, your target audience in mind will keep the discussion grounded in facts. If your goal is have an image of strength and stability, then discussing why light green may not be the best color selection is much more production than stating “I don’t like light green.” Focusing on your intended audience also helps to avoid the dreaded design by committee. If you set about getting feedback from your spouse, your mother or your neighbor, ask yourself if they are in the target audience you want to reach. A website for a skate park may not appeal to a 70-year-old and that’s OK.

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