Table of contents
Creative Ops

How to give better feedback: Show and tell

April 27, 2022 · 3 min read

Effective collaboration requires direct, opinionated feedback. Giving truly useful feedback isn’t always easy, though, particularly in a remote workplace. I’m specifically talking about people who don’t work visually (copywriters, marketing managers, even developers) giving feedback to the people who do (designers, photographers, videographers).

“Make the logo bigger. Change the colors. IDK, the vibe is off.” Not very helpful feedback, but we’re all guilty of doing this. Writing it in emails, saying it on Zoom, dropping it in 83-response Slack threads.

There’s a better way — here’s how people who lack a full vocabulary and knowledge of visual work can better translate their feedback into action items for their designers, photographers, and videographers.

Annotate your visual assets right where they already live

Say you’re launching an ad campaign with tons of visual collateral. The crown jewel of this campaign? A big billboard, your company’s first. You’re a Marketing Director working with a big team, spread across the Marketing and Creative departments, to get it done.

First draft hits your inbox and you “have a few comments.” What’re you gonna do? Write a detailed email (or even Slack) reply with lines like “The banana in the lower left corner, just to the right of the model (third from right) is too bright and distracting from the actual product. Please lower brightness.”

Nobody wants to read that, nor do you want to write it. What if you could just open up the image, in the same platform it was stored and delivered, circle the part that needs work, and write “This is too bright and distracting. What can we do to de-emphasize? Lower the brightness on it, maybe even remove?”

It’s not a “what if.” You can do that in Air.

Leave your comments on the image itself, so your designers know exactly what you’re talking about. Mark it up with a pencil tool or leave sticky notes, just like you would with an IRL printout. Reply to other collaborators’ comments in threads right on the asset.

Marketing and creative work is all collaboration; collaboration needs good communication. That’s what this tool enables. Leave clearer, more precise, more effective feedback. Run through approvals processes faster. Get shit done.

How to use freeform annotation commenting

Open up an asset — image, video or PDF — open the comments menu, find the annotation toolbar in the bottom left, and annotate to your heart’s content. (Here’s a proper step-by-step guide).

Here’s what the feature actually offers:

  • Pencil functionality to highlight, draw, or markup assets

  • Choose pencil color and line weight

  • Can toggle on/off, undo, color choices

  • Sticky note commenting, not just drawing

  • Works on images, PDFs, and videos (pause to comment on an individual frame)

Editor’s note: This is literally my favorite Air feature. You have no idea. I’m not a designer, I don’t always know how to communicate what I want. This has made my life way easier.

Related posts

Unblock creativity.

Everything you hate, we automate

Need to talk to a human first? Request a demo →

Air workspace