Crowdsourced Feedback On Our Logo Design
We are pretty new to the world, and are just establishing our brand and voice. Considering our mission is to revolutionize how professional feedback supports the creative process, we’d like to share a few learnings from crowdsourcing our logo design to professionals for their feedback.
It all started when our rockstar designer and creative strategist, Anja, convinced the team that the current logo (the orange and blue thingy with two triangles) the founders created was, well, a bit tacky and that she could put a few concepts forward for us to review.
Within the week, she had dozens of great designs. The team then gathered around and collectively reduced the number to 3. 1 was safe. 1 was modern. 1 was extremely representative of what we did. The conversation was cordial, heated and ultimately divided. The language being used to produce arguments was also limited by the fact that only one of us in the room was an actual creative (trained and experienced). So, we did what we recommend to our clients: we crowdsourced feedback to 30 professionals via our digital Sense Check product. Here are some of our learnings:
Asynchronous Feedback is Key
Before we had the obvious (but genius) idea to use our own products to collect feedback from professionals, we tried the old fashioned way: tapping colleagues on their shoulders and convincing them to drop what they’re doing, sending messages on real-time chat tools like Slack and WhatsApp, and shooting over an email to our significant others.
Although we were able to get feedback the ole’ fashioned way, it was obvious that there was no consistency in how it came back. Some feedback was a quick burst (“I love #2!”), some was more in-depth but ultimately it was very hard how to make sense or a final decision on it.
By using a survey with a longer deadline (48 hours) we were able to allow the professionals more time to consider the brand we are building. They were able to reflect and provide comments that seemed more informed than they might have given if we shot over a quick email or asked for feedback in a real-time chat room.
Research Methodologies Are a Must When Collecting Feedback
Asking for feedback is often very uncomfortable and so we typically resort to open ended “Whatcha’ Think?” approaches which, as we discussed earlier, yields unstructured and uncomparable responses. Because we used a survey approach, with some light qualitative research methodologies, we were reminded how important a questionnaire design can be in teasing out respondent bias, probing deeper into answers and focusing the respondents on the bigger concerns we were trying to solve for.
Professional Feedback > Non-Professional Feedback
Well, let’s be clear here: we are not slamming creative feedback coming from non-professionals. BUT… it is unmistakably refreshing to get paragraphs of responses from professionals that are able to articulate concepts of emotions, feelings and technical design suggestions. There is little need to have to read between the lines with professionals as they are trained to critique and guide during this process and can also use metaphors that cut straight to the point.
The respondents gave us very actionable ideas of how to change logos, what specifically they didn’t like about others and how certain options made them feel by using descriptive adjectives.
We could go on and on about the power of this type of qualitative feedback, but for now, it is safe to say, we got what we were looking for.
Reduce Risk Through Crowdsourced Feedback
Organizations, by design, often create bubbles that keep teams, departments and brand owners away from interacting with the outside world and people on the street. Often breakthrough ideas come from a piece of information from outside that everyone missed. The same holds true for risk.
It only took one of our panelists to surface the fact that one of our logos was 98% identical to one of their clients’. By using professionals when testing creative concepts and campaigns, you are getting access to minds that are working on dozens of clients, reviewing hundreds of other pieces of information that your team might not have access to and thinking about problems and opportunities in a different way than you.
Defending Your Work
Critical feedback is tough to receive, especially when you are the author of the work being evaluated. We were all a bit nervous about how Anja, our designer, would react to opening her work up to people she’s never met.
The opening response was nothing less than brutal, which didn’t help. Overall though, Anja eventually opened up to the feedback and her natural instinct to want to defend her work (and her favorite logo) ended up being a healthy desire to simply want to probe deeper into why some of the panelists were saying what they were saying.
Although our Sense Check products have a “Round 2” element where we go back to the panel to try and solve any problems they identified, this finding is leading us to explore more ways to use technology to extend the typical feedback process beyond the initial survey while fostering more engagement between decision maker and the giver of feedback.
Last, but probably most important, was a reminder that getting feedback is not about telling you what to do nor about outsourcing the decision making process. The person, team or brand asking for feedback is accountable for making the final call, using all the insights, information and data that was collected during the process.
Interesting enough, the feedback we received created a divide internally between two logos (the modern and the safe). Unlike the initial conversation we had as a team though, this time we had the language to better communicate our positions and were comfortable deciding on the modern logo because we understood why others were choosing that direction.
Providing clarity in thinking and removing emotions (as much as possible) during the decision making process allowed transparency and trust in our colleagues opinions, ultimately guiding us to a decision that we are sticking with.
If you’re interested, you can see the 3 logos below.