I see it happen all the time. Someone values good design enough to consult a professional and get the job done properly, but when it comes to finalising the design they suddenly seem to think their best friend or cousin’s dog is the right person to consult for valued feedback.

For some reason this doesn’t seem to be as prevalent in other industries. When was the last time you went to a doctor to have your illness diagnosed only to decide your brother’s mate probably had a more accurate diagnosis? Or have you ever paid the cash and time to consult a nutritionist just to throw away everything they have said because of an article your mum read in the paper and decided to tell you about? I’d guess not, and as ridiculous as these scenarios sound it is just as ridiculous to ask someone inexperienced to comment on your newly created design.

Unless the person you are consulting understands marketing and design from real experience, and they have taken the time to understand your business, then you may as well be asking the pool man how to make a creme brulee. Design is not art and it shouldn’t be treated as such. It is not so much about if you (or your friend) ‘like it’ but more about if it works for the intended audience, how it fits in with the existing style and how it positions your company. No offence, but it is unlikely that your neighbour is able to understand the brief involved and the intricacies of your market and is therefore unlikely to be able to add anything of value.

The same goes for public opinion. You only need to open the local paper to see that anything left to public consultation never gets finished. Different people have different opinions and opinions are just that – one person’s view based on the limited amount of information available to them. Creating something that every member of a group agrees upon is impossible.

When we are commissioned to create a design we spend a lot of time researching the market, our client’s company and we have experience and knowledge to know what will and won’t work. We spend a great deal of time creating every design and we only show the client what we know is going to work for them. As soon as we try and implement changes to a design just to please personal preferences and varied opinions it falls apart and loses i
ts value.

I say if you are going to spend the time and money asking a professional for their opinion then listen to it, implement it and watch as it works.