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5 Tips to Speed Up Your Creative Review Cycle

Posted by Michaela Green on August 07, 2015
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Reviewers, is your feedback not producing the results you expected? Production Designers, are you revising files 4, 5 and 6 times? Hang in there, this is all too common. All of you can achieve better results.

Being an effective team through the review and approval process - a team that gives and receives clear and actionable feedback - is vital in producing a successful, final, design file on time.

These 5 tips will help you to achieve better results.

  1. Give the File Context

Start with a creative brief and keep it front and center for everyone involved. Sometimes people providing feedback are viewing a design file for the first time, across the globe, in a different time zone, during a chaotic day. Make sure you’ve provided some context on how the design file meets those predetermined objectives. Creative briefs are used to give everyone involved on a creative project a clear and concise framework.

Without one, many projects will start off in the wrong direction or with different parts of the project being worked on by many different people without focus or common goals, and with poor results.

  1. Keep Your Feedback Simple

Bullet points are best, ideally one for every item that needs to be addressed. No one has time for a paragraph-based dialogue on what needs to be changed.

Use one general comment to cover a change that spans several areas – there’s really no need to identify the same change in each and every location.

Screenshots or sketches are helpful and sometimes help explain ideas that can’t be put to words.

  1. Provide Guidance with Specifics

Feedback like, "I don't like it," or, "This isn’t accurate," aren't constructive and they don't provide the detail and guidance to effectively make changes to a file. Why don’t you like it? What part isn’t accurate?

Attempt to understand why you don't like it. It can be challenging to put reactions into words especially if you're not used to providing feedback, but if you take the time to articulate emotions or questions, you'll have a better chance at reducing the number of revisions on a file.

  1. Control the Number of Revisions

First round: Identify major issues and provide feedback to address them. Use the first round to get the file to a stage where you think you have met the objectives in the creative brief. This should give the file the best chance of success.

Second round: Confirm that the changes made have resolved the issues identified in the first round; provide clarity if they don't. Consider this your last chance to give feedback. If the file delivery is time sensitive, how many rounds of revisions do you want Production to rush through to meet the deadline?

Final round: Approve the design file and move on.

Ideally, major issues should be discussed immediately, minor tweaks can be provided at both the first and second round. Round three should be near perfect if you have thoroughly reviewed in previous rounds. When a design file reaches a 4th, 5th and 6th round of revision there is clearly a problem that needs to be addressed.

  1. Be Timely

When will Production receive your feedback? Are you aware of the due date for the project? Do you need a reminder? Does Production need to provide an expected turnaround time to receive your feedback?

There you have it… 5 tips for giving and receiving effective feedback on design files. You don’t need to be an expert to start seeing better results. We’ve seen, first hand, effective teams get to an approved final file after just one revision.


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Topics: Review Process, Asset Production

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