Endless revision: top 3 ways to avoid the “vicious cycle”

posted on February 20, 2018

Endless revision: top 3 ways to avoid the “vicious cycle”

Ever wondered why you can’t seem to get the result you want, even after spending a lot of time back and forth with a designer/agency? Here’s how to avoid the troubling situation.

Of course a huge chunk of responsibility for good design lies on the designer. It depends on how they interpret your brief and revisions into a visually pleasing composition.

Just to balance things out, we prepared these tips that you can follow for better communication, a more efficient design process and a good working relationship between you and the designer, which all eventually lead to great results for you and your business.

Compare the results to the brief

In order to get more efficient design process, try referring back to the brief and design references that you gave to the designer at the beginning. Doing this ensures that the changes you request bring the designer closer in line with the project’s goals.

Keeping revision discussions aligned with the brief helps prevent unnecessary changes based on spur-of-the-moment opinions.


State your hesitations early on

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are already deep into a design project, yet you still feel that the designs are not quite 'there'?

If you are unsure about some things, it is better to communicate them early in the process than later when the concept is already applied to multiple items or pages. You will save a lot of time and be able move on quicker to other tasks.


Focus on the problems, not the solutions

You might have given your designer this kind of notes: "move this a couple cm that way, enlarge this by XX percent, reduce transparency by XX percent" with the thought of "here are the things I would do if I were you."

And here is what mostly happens after: you see the result, it's not as you thought it would be and, next thing you know, the process becomes an endless loop.

Now, instead of doing that, why not focus your feedback on “what’s the problem with the design”: whether it feels too crowded or too empty, whether there is not enough emphasis on certain parts of the layout, etc.

You can also give a few hints if you think they’re necessary, and leave the rest to the designer. Trust them (and their art director, if any) to solve the problems visually.


Design is a collaborative effort between clients and designers, and communication is as big a part of it as design skill and management are. If each party hold their end well, it’s a win-win.

After all, everyone is working towards the same happy ending: one that involves efficiency, great results and a sustainable working relationship.

Starting with the right steps also helps in preventing the dreaded endless revision process. With the same goals in mind, we have posted another article containing 7 vital things to communicate during a design briefing session.

If you’re still early in the planning process, we also have a guideline on how to choose the ideal provider for your design projects: an in-house designer, a freelance designer or a design agency. HINT: There may or may not be a fourth option that combines the advantages of all three.

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