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Resourceful Designer podcast: Offering tips, tricks and advice for starting and growing your graphic or web design business.

Why Specific Questions Lead to More Valuable Feedback

I want to discuss a topic that immensely transformed my approach to seeking feedback—from podcasting to designing. Let’s explore the crucial art of asking the right questions to get the best responses. Be sure to listen to the podcast for the whole story.

The Inspiration: A Moment of Clarity

It’s funny where inspiration finds you. Sometimes, an idea blossoms after meticulous contemplation. Other times, it hits you out of nowhere. This episode is born from such a spontaneous epiphany. I was engrossed in a friend’s podcast unrelated to design or business. Yet, a single, incidental sentence halted me in my tracks. I fired up Evernote and jotted down the seed of today’s discussion.

As creatives, we often experience such serendipities. Whether it’s a tiled floor’s geometric patterns or a sunset’s vibrant hues, the world is a mosaic of inspiration. This phenomenon made me ponder the power of precise questions and their relevance to our design work.

A Journey into Podcasting

Before Resourceful Designer, I ventured into podcasting as a TV show fan podcaster. My playgrounds were shows like Under the Dome, Orphan Black, The Expanse, Rings Of Power and The Last Of Us. It was an exciting niche brimming with listeners hungry for detailed analyses and discussions about the TV shows they love.

Initially, my format mirrored other TV fan podcasts: rallying listeners to submit feedback. In those early days, gathering feedback was a slog—3 to 5 submissions were the norm. Frankly, it wasn’t enough. I didn’t have a cohost to discuss things with, so I needed more feedback from listeners to keep the content dynamic.

The Double Take Revelation

Fast-forward to Season 2 of Under the Dome. I revolutionized my feedback strategy by introducing the “Double Take” episode—a short podcast episode with pinpointed questions about the show. Instead of a vague “What did you think?”, I asked things like, “Did this character make the right decision?” or “What do you think is behind that locked door?”

The impact was immediate and astounding. Feedback soared from a handful of submissions to numbers that astonished my peers—sometimes up to 70 for a single episode. The precise questions eased the audience’s burden of forming a general opinion, allowing them to focus on specific aspects and provide richer, more actionable insights.

Translating Lessons to Design

You might wonder, what does this have to do with design? Everything. As designers, how often do we present our work and ask our clients, “What do you think?” This is not just ineffective; it’s counterproductive.

Instead, target your inquiries: “What do you think about the colour choices?” “How do you feel about the font selection?” “Does this layout align with your brand’s messaging?” By guiding the client’s feedback, you make it easier for them to respond and ensure their answers are valuable and informative.

Key Takeaways to Garner Valuable Feedback

  1. Be Precise: Like in podcasting, ask specific questions about your design work.
  2. Facilitate Constructive Feedback: By breaking down feedback into focused areas (colour, font, layout), you help clients provide valuable insights.
  3. Refine Your Process: Precision in questions translates to precision in revisions, leading to more efficient and effective design processes.

Call to Action

Armed with this knowledge, it’s time to elevate your feedback game. Start by downloading Episode 15 of Resourceful Designer, where I share “50 Questions to Ask Before Every New Design Project”. It’s a treasure trove of precise questions designed to refine your approach and ensure you extract the most valuable feedback and insights from your clients. Trust me, this could be the game-changer your design business needs.

Remember, asking the right questions is not just a strategy; it’s an art. Perfect it, and watch your work’s quality and clients’ satisfaction skyrocket.

Stay Creative!

CLICK HERE to download a PDF transcription of this episode. This transcript was created with the help of AI and transcription tools. It has not been edited for errors or accuracy.

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Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business, please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

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Resourceful Designer podcast intros are performed by the amazing Wayne Henderson of MediaVoiceOvers.com. Wayne is available to help you with any voice-over work you require.