If you’re in the business of creating things for other people – whether it be brochures, websites, T-shirts, videos or sexy firefighter calendars – you’re familiar with the great conundrum that is client feedback. Their ability to communicate their ideas and your ability to accurately convey them is central to you having a successful business model. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done, though.
The best kind of client feedback is clear, concise and actionable, and while many clients rise to the occasion, many others give you a puzzle you must decipher. Creatives do the best we can to translate these coded messages into something we can take direction from. Below, we’ve gathered some expressions clients seem to be particularly fond of, and provided our best translations.
ClientTranslate: From Client Speak to Plain English
1. Make it POP! (Related: It needs to be more exciting.)
Translation: “The design is fine. I simply have a very short attention span.”
2. Take it to the next level.
Translation: “I understand that I am paying you for this level, but what if you leveled up – at no expense to me, of course?”
3. Make it more creative!
Translation: “Do you remember WordArt from the 2000s? Just do that.”
4. Can you just show it to me this way?
Translation: “I know you said that this would look bad, but I don’t believe you, and I’m pretty sure I can do this job better than you can.”
5. It won’t take long.
Translation: “What I’m asking you to do is absolutely going to take long.”
6. Just a few small changes…
Translation: “Change everything.”
7. I have one more request…
Translation: “I do not have any concept of project scope nor did I read over the proposal you had me sign.”
8. Do what you think will look best.
Translation: “I don’t want to take time to actually think about what I like, but I definitely won’t like whatever you do.”
9. Make it stand out more.
Translation: “Make it bold, but not too bold. And bigger! But not too big. And more colorful – the more obnoxious the better.”
10. It just doesn’t feel right. (Related: I’m not vibing with this.)
Translation: “This design has misaligned my chakras, and nothing will ever be able to make this right.”
11. Make it classic but modern. (Related: Make it new while traditional, fresh but conservative or any other oxymoronic phrases.)
Translation: “I’m going to throw some keywords at you to sound like I know what I’m talking about. I don’t, though.”
12. Just try to come up with something.
Translation: “Can you just understand our brand and what I want and what our CEO and marketing team want without me having to tell you anything?”
13. This looks too corporate.
Translation: “We want to be professional but still approachable – maybe add some comic sans?”
14. I’ll know it when I see it.
Translation: “I have terrible taste, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit it. I’d rather you just accidentally stumble upon my aesthetic.”
15. This doesn’t really say “us”. (Related: This isn’t on brand.)
Translation: “It definitely fits the brand standards we gave you, but I don’t like it, and I can’t figure out why.”
Make it Make Sense With Ashore
Unfortunately, when it comes to fostering constructive communications with your clients, there’s no easy fix. However, you can at least give them the ability to provide better feedback. Ashore allows your approvers to put their ideas in context on the proof – whether it be a PDF, an audio recording or a video. Threaded comments and markup tools help them get their point across with ease, and proof options, custom checklists and version stacking keep you sane throughout the process.
By putting their feedback in context directly on the proof, you’ll have a clearer idea of what your clients are trying to tell you. This will reduce the number of revision cycles you need to go through, and increase approval rates for your projects by up to 50%. Instead of spending time deciphering what your clients actually mean, use Ashore and let them tell you. Sign up for free today!