Client Management

7 Ways to Give & Get Better Creative Feedback [Punchlist Video Features]

Sometimes it’s all in the ask. How you ask for feedback — whether it’s from a client, teammate, or stakeholder — can make all the difference on the quality of feedback you receive. Creating that ask is something that deserves your time and attention, as it impacts the relationship with the person delivering feedback, the review cycle timeline, and the overall quality of the work.

By framing your feedback request in a strategic manner, you can move past the “I like it” or “I don’t like it” phase, and get into a more productive conversation around granular pieces of the creative. Plus, you’ll save time and cut down on back-and-forth conversation.

At Punchlist, we’ve developed two key video features that allow you to give (and get) clearer feedback, so you can avoid project delays and get better work done with your team.

Less friction. Fewer follow-ups. Clearer communication. More focus on what you do best.

What are Punchlist’s video feedback features?

The Punchlist app has two video features, Page Overview Video and Record Video Feedback, which allow you to personalize and pre-frame exactly what you want to convey.

Think of this like a built-in “Loom style” tool inside of Punchlist. It allows you to sum up, verbally, what you’re trying to get across and what you’re looking for.

Page Overview Video Feature:

Video Commenting Feature:

Why share creative feedback on video? 

  • [Before sending for review] Outline what kind of feedback you’re looking for
  • [During review] Add context and nuance to specific comments 
  • [During review] Soften the blow on delicate feedback 
  • [After review] Synthesize the main theme of your feedback, then send back to the creative team 
  • [After review] Inspire and motivate your team around the changes 
  • [Any time] Add a personal touch and maintain a positive relationship 

When to use video feedback

1. Tee-up “what kind of feedback I’m looking for” when sending creative work for review.

Briefing your client or collaborator on what kind of feedback you’re looking for is the main reason we designed this Punchlist feature. You can use video to communicate more clearly, and ultimately get the work done faster.

Before you share a design, landing page, website or PDF for markup, it’s helpful to let the person know what kind of feedback you want them to give.

Is it one specific element you’re looking for comments on? The entire design? Reactions to two different concepts? Or is it only final QA tweaks you’re looking for, such as typos and bug fixes?

Pre-frame your feedback request with a quick video, and ensure no wasted time on either side.

A great example of this is when new stakeholders come into the mix late in the game. Let’s say copy and content were approved long ago. At this point, you’re only looking for final tweaks to get the design project across the finish line – the 1% polish items before going live.

In this case, you might consider recording a Page Overview Video before sending the final version for review, to make sure the team understands that they are not meant to comment on the copy at this point in the process. The only thing you’re looking for is a final set of eyes and glaring errors.

This lets you keep the project moving forward efficiently, not backward.

2. Add context during the review process, when you’re marking up nuanced feedback.

There may be times when text annotations alone just don’t cut it – especially with asynchronous communication. To avoid having your feedback misunderstood, give context as to exactly what you mean by recording a quick video directly inside the comment.

Maybe there is some nuance to what the reviewer is asking. Or perhaps you have a client who just prefers to “talk through it” with you on a call. Now you don’t have to schedule that extra meeting. They can simply record a video snippet and attach it to their annotation. And you both get to move onto the next thing. 

This is especially helpful when creative collaboration takes place across timezones, and meeting schedules don’t align. (More on that later in the article.)

For now, you can quit being a mind-reader, and focus on your main job: the creative work.

3. To soften the blow on delicate feedback. 

“Creativity may be hard to nurture, but it’s easy to thwart.” – Adam Grant

Creative work is fragile. Whether you’re working with a designer, writer, marketer or even a student, giving constructive feedback on something after they’ve poured their heart and soul into a creative project for hours (even days), can be a sensitive matter.

We all hold our creative work very close to the chest, and for that reason, it can feel like a personal attack when someone is marking up negative comments. Video and voice helps remedy this, and you can avoid friction amongst teammates.

Add context to your feedback with a Page Overview Video. Ensure your feedback is well-received and not taken the wrong way.

You may consider leading with a bit of positivity or gratitude, before digging into the constructive comments, record a quick message:

“First off, thanks so much for all your creativity and efforts on this. You clearly put a lot of thought into the brief, and came up with an innovative concept. After talking with the team we have some specific things we’d like to see changed, which you’ll see throughout our comments. You’ve done an amazing job though so far, and this change of direction is on me.” 

When you’re handling a delicate matter that you know might be taken personally, you can express with voice how you want this feedback to be received, and keep your collaborative relationship on good terms.

Studies have shown that video feedback can even result in better work in the long run.

4. Synthesizing feedback after reviewing the work, when you’re sending it back to the creative team. 

The Page Overview Video in Punchlist helps you give effective feedback, by summing it up right before you send the marked-up project back to the creative team.

Let’s say you’ve designed a long-form sales page and you’ve quickly amassed 50+ annotations in Punchlist. Three different stakeholders have weighed in: the marketing strategist, the copywriter, and the project manager. Some of their comments may be redundant, or even conflicting with one another. How do you quickly digest everything and get to work? 

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed, and that’s when project delays happen. (Not to mention, gray hairs.)

The project manager has the opportunity to record a Page Overview Video summing up the feedback given, indicating priority for the next round of revisions, and positioning themselves as the ultimate “source of truth” for next steps.

By synthesizing the feedback from different stakeholders and giving direction via video, the PM has just saved invaluable time, cut out unnecessary back-and-forth, and freed the team up to hit the next project milestone faster.

This also works great when a client team has many stakeholders (at Punchlist, some of our agency customers have 20 people on their client team alone). These larger brands may need feedback from stakeholders at all levels, from the intern to the C-suite.

This Page Overview Video feature gives them a chance to add context to the designs, give an update on overall progress, and build enthusiasm internally.

5. To inspire and motivate your creative team on the big picture. 

A key job of the creative director or small agency founder is to inspire their team, and get people rallying around the challenge. It’s the leader’s responsibility to motivate, mentor and empower their team to achieve something better than they ever thought they could.

Recording a video to add that creative-kick-in-the-pants to your brief can make all the difference in the quality of work it generates. Not to mention, we all know that you shouldn’t micro-manage creativity. The big-picture direction can help guide better solutions to the granular comments.

Yes, play-by-play feedback is important. (It’s what Punchlist does best!) However when dealing with creative problem solvers, sometimes it’s more important to: 

  1. Assemble the right brains 
  2. Frame the creative challenge 
  3. Get them excited 
  4. Get out of their way 

This leads to a far better outcome than you could have otherwise done with micro-managing.

“If each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.” – David Ogilvy 

6. When collaborating remotely or internationally. 

With 45% of Americans working from home either part-time or full-time, we don’t have as many chance encounters with our colleagues as we once did.

In a remote work environment where many are moving towards asynchronous communication, even the most inspired feedback can feel dull and dry in writing. Sending video messages is a game-changer.

This is especially true when collaborating across international timezones, where language barriers can cause crossed wires. Certain creative feedback can literally get lost in translation. By giving feedback in video form, in addition to text annotations, you can get crystal clear on the context and avoid any misunderstandings.

Plus, sometimes it’s nice to hear our collaborator’s voice and put a face to the feedback – especially after working remotely for so long. Asynchronous communication doesn’t have to mean we’re confined to email and Slack.

Cheers to more creative collaboration that feels like we’re all in this together. Because we are.

7. To maintain positive client relationships.

Giving good feedback with Punchlist’s video features can boost relationship rapport with your clients and teammates, too. After all, we’re in the business of client management and retention. Relationships are everything.

When you’re a small shop focused on delivering big creative work, it can be a tricky balance to also keep your clients happy. Client management is an art form, and communication skills run both ways.

By getting clear on what feedback you’re looking for, and empowering your client to be heard, you can eliminate the friction and lost threads that used to happen in emails.

Not to mention, in a digital world where we barely interact outside of email and text, there’s something to be said about the relationship building power of sending a personalized video.

Feedback doesn’t have to be cold and transactional. Why not inject a friendly voice?

Send video feedback with Punchlist

Whether you call it a video brief, a pre-frame, a page overview video or simply video feedback, these Punchlist features are bound to help you achieve clearer communication and speed up your creative workflow.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on Twitter (@Punchlist) – let us know how you’re using this feature. Happy commenting!

Zack Kinslow

Zack Kinslow

Zack Kinslow is the Product Marketing Director at Punchlist. Formerly the Education Production Lead at Foundr, Producer at Skillshare, and Zack-of-all-trades at the Art Directors Club, he has a passion for creativity and entrepreneurship. Zack has produced over 100 online courses serving 500,000+ students worldwide.
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