A woman working as a designer on an iPad.

How To Improve as a Designer Without Getting Any Feedback

As a designer, you’ve spent hours perfecting your latest creation. But now, as you prepare to take the stage, you glance into the audience and find row upon empty row staring back. It’s time to think outside the box, write your own reviews, and give your all without a single voice in the crowd. Even without feedback, improving is possible when you get creative. Let’s explore some proven strategies you can use to enhance your skills without external opinions.

What To Do To Improve As A UX Designer Without Feedback

Getting feedback from others is very helpful when you’re learning and improving as a designer. It gives you a fresh set of eyes to look at your work objectively. But sometimes, it isn’t always possible to get feedback. You may just be starting out and don’t have many design contacts yet. Or you’re working on a solo project with a quick deadline.

That doesn’t mean you can’t keep improving, though. There are ways to review your own designs, teach yourself and improve without needing other people. Let’s look at some ways you can improve your craft without input from others. 


One of the best things you can do is learn to evaluate your own work critically. Even without others, you can become your own harshest critic by objectively analyzing your designs.

Take time away from your project before reviewing it. Give yourself some space, then come back to look at your design with fresh eyes. This helps you see it like someone experiencing it for the first time.

Use evaluation worksheets to guide your review. Look at every part of the design step-by-step. Ask yourself questions about navigation, layout, colors, features, and how easy they are to use. 

You can also test your design on yourself. Pretend you know nothing about it and use it like a new visitor would. Time how long tasks take and note where you get confused or stuck. Then, write down everything you think could be better and why. 

Learn from Others Remotely 

Even if you can’t get feedback directly from other people, the internet allows you to learn from designers all over the world remotely. Staying educated on new techniques is vital for growth.

Browse design blogs and subscribe to channels of professionals you admire. When you seek out reputable sources, it exposes you to fresh ideas and trends. When you join online communities, you can get advice on forums from people in different industries and time zones. Take online courses and earn certificates to help you practice and build a resume.

Invest In The Best Design Tools

The right design software can be like having your own personal teaching assistants. These powerful tools make it easier to explore ideas, test solutions, and get creative without input from others.

Look for programs used by top designers in your field and learn one platform inside and out rather than dabbling in many. Using industry standards can help your work look polished.

Invest in a UX/UI design suite that allows visual prototyping. Being able to make interactive mockups helps you test the user experience without needing real coding. Also, get photo editing software to explore graphics like prototypes and assets you see online.

Test Your Designs on Users

Design prototype on a piece of paper
Test your design prototype on users before you finalize it.

You can gather user input through solo testing methods even without a full design team. Real people should experience your work before you finalize it. You can ask trusted friends/family to review prototypes as if they were strangers to your project. Record their clicks, tasks, and comments without interrupting them.

Create an informal survey for testers to complete, rating ease-of-use, navigation, and clarity. Learn where people struggle when there’s no direct supervision. Analyze where people click most/least to spot the issues before problems arise. Note anything that surprises you or goes differently than expected during testing. 

Apply The Lessons and Iterate

The final step in any process of self-improvement is taking action. Reviewing and testing alone are valuable, but growth only happens when you actively apply what you’ve learned. Analyze all your notes from self-evaluations, research, prototypes, and user sessions for recurring themes. What kept coming up as a problem?

Brainstorm fresh solutions to the weaknesses you identified previously. Sketch out new designs to address any consistent concerns. You can then re-test the updated versions with users to see if the changes helped. If it didn’t, keep experimenting until you get the right fit. Iteration is how you can independently evolve your talents. 

Explore Diverse Styles

Designers who only work in one style risk getting stuck in a rut. You can only grow creatively by branching out. Even without others’ input, exploring new genres can challenge your abilities. Browse websites across industries like travel, fashion, health, and more. Take inspiration from layouts, animations, and interactions you admire.

Follow designers creating diverse work, from sleek minimalism to playful illustration. Don’t be afraid to experiment far from your comfort zone. You might also decide to pick international trends and cultures to interpret. If you’re interested, you can enter design competitions to motivate you to interpret strange briefs. Rising to unfamiliar challenges expands how you solve problems.

Build a Portfolio

A portfolio showcase is crucial for any designer, even when working alone. It serves as your online resume and a way to continue learning. You can compile personal or paid projects to display your range. Think of local charities or small businesses needing free logo design or websites, and volunteer to build your experience. 

Create experimental personal projects simply for the portfolio. Pieces made just ‘For fun’ can attract attention from prospective employers or clients. Thoroughly document your design process and choices for each piece. Explain your research, prototypes, and how you addressed issues discovered.

You can ask your non-designer friends to review your online work. But ensure you update your portfolio regularly to showcase continual learning over time. 

Mentor or Tutor Others

Teaching what you’ve learned to novices solidifies your own knowledge and exposes any areas that need more practice. Without feedback from peers, guiding others fills this role. You can also mentor by volunteering design advice in public forums and communities. Responding to beginners clarifies your ability to break down complex topics simply.

Offer local youth programs free introduction lessons on interface building or web design principles. It would help if you prepared the lesson plans focusing on your full understanding. You can also tutor family/friends informally who want website help or career mentoring. Explaining technical skills to non-designers shows how well you relate concepts.

Solicit Anonymous Reviews

While it may feel vulnerable, asking for anonymous critiques opens you up to valuable outside perspectives. With the proper precautions, strangers can offer you honest insight about your work. You can share your portfolio website links on forums that permit anonymous feedback and ask pointed questions to get helpful commentary.

You must also prepare for harsh opinions by focusing on patterns in the reviews, not individual comments. Notice which issues multiple reviewers mention to identify areas to improve. You can also do in-person testing events with surveys that don’t collect names. Distributing these keeps people’s opinions private and low-stress.

Anonymous input is important because people don’t have to worry about hurting your feelings. They can point out both good and bad things, honestly.

Set Goals

Black and white typewriter with Goals written on paper
You must set actionable goals for yourself to stay motivated.

When you’re working alone, it’s easy to lose focus or motivation. But setting clear goals keeps you on track. Start with short-term goals like learning a new tool skill or finishing 1-2 projects each month. Achieving these small wins will inspire you.

Set learning goals like researching a design trend or usability principles. Make an outline to guide your self-study. Additionally, create process goals like doing user research or iterative prototypes for each new design. Practicing these steps rigorously strengthens your process over time.

For long-term motivation, set career goals like advancing your portfolio, finding mentors online, or entering a design contest in six months.

Write down these goals where you’ll see them to stay accountable and ensure you reevaluate them monthly. 

Consistently Practice

It’s easy to lose momentum if you don’t practice regularly. But consistency is the key to improving with time. Aim to design for at least a few hours daily, even if you’re just sketching ideas. These frequent sessions can help solidify your skills. Break big projects into small daily tasks so you feel a sense of progress. 

To stay consistent, schedule your design times on your calendar like it’s an important meeting. View it as your job to stick to it as a habit-forming routine. You can take on one side project each week as homework separate from major work. The variety will challenge you creatively.

How To Ask for Feedback as a UX Designer

Here are some ways to get useful feedback about your designs or projects as a UX designer:

Be Specific and Choose the Right Time

When asking others for feedback on your design work, it’s important to be clear about what you want help with. Being too vague won’t give you helpful feedback. Clearly state which part of the design you want to be reviewed. Is it the layout, colors, wording, or something else? Being clear about the feedback gives a better response.

Define specific questions you need help answering. Things like “Is this text clear?” get better replies than just “What do you think?”. Talk to people right after you’ve shown them a prototype while it’s still fresh in their minds. Their first impressions are most valuable. However, avoid asking for feedback at the end of a long day when people may be tired and less patient.

Identify Your Audience

It’s important to ask the right people, your intended users. Start by defining who will use your design. Is it for all ages or specific age groups? What interests or needs do they have? This helps to shape the right types of questions. Students could review school project sites, parents’ family tools, etc.

Consider the diversity in identities like gender, culture, and abilities. Account for the different perspectives your design may see. You can also reach out to planned user groups directly through social media or community forums. For websites, ask desktop and mobile users about design issues across platforms.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Open questions that can’t be answered with just “yes” or “no” provide richer feedback than closed ones. They encourage detailed responses. Ask how someone feels about the design overall rather than just liking it. Inquire what people think works well and why instead of a simple thumbs up/down. 

Also, ask what could be improved and how rather than just asking if changes are needed. Ask them to describe their experience using your prototype in their own words. These suggestions can help you target specific areas that need updating. Ensure you invite any other thoughts they have rather than only answering your questions.

Use Multiple Channels

Person holding pink sticky notes
Using more than one channel is the best way to get the most accurate feedback.

It’s good to ask people in different ways to get the most helpful feedback. Using more than one channel reaches a wider audience. Post your prototypes or surveys online so remote users can respond freely without meeting in person. More people means more views.

You can have face-to-face interviews or usability tests for a smaller group. Seeing people’s reactions in person clearly points out specific issues. Send emails with your questions to colleagues and friends for quick written answers. Share on social media to seek open reviews and get wider attention for diverse perspectives.

Encourage Honest Opinions

When getting reviews, you want people to feel comfortable sharing what they really think, both good and bad. Be open to all opinions. Explain that you’re asking different people to improve, not to hurt feelings. Constructive criticism makes your designs better.

Assure your respondents of their anonymity if you’re sharing digitally so no one fears their name being attached to negative comments. Make it clear that you value all their thoughts, even those who feel the design missed something. Say there are no wrong answers, and you just want to understand different takes. Accepting all views lets people speak up candidly.

Listen Actively

When someone takes time to give you feedback, it’s important to listen carefully without interruptions, especially if you’re doing it in person. Make eye contact, nod, and use engaged body language, such as facing the reviewer. This shows them that you’re interested in understanding their perspective.

Repeat what they said in your own words to confirm you understand correctly before responding. Clarifying their opinions can prevent confusion down the line. Hold any questions you have until they’ve fully shared their thoughts. This shows that you respect their time and prevent sidetracking.

Document Feedback

People have taken the time to give you feedback, so it’s important to write down what they say so you can remember it later. Documenting feedback helps you use it to improve. Ensure you have a notebook or use your computer to take notes during interviews, tests, or online reviews. Write down key points.

Write down specific things people liked about the design and why. These compliments show what worked well. Note any problems or concerns people mention and their suggestions for fixes so you can use the details to guide helpful tweaks. Another important thing to do is to date all feedback so you can look back and see how the design evolved overtime.

Follow Up After

After people have reviewed your work, it’s polite to let them know how their input was useful. Following up shows you care. Send a short email thanking everyone again for contributing. Express how appreciated all opinions were for improving.

Share a brief summary of the changes being made based on common feedback you identified. Explain how specific insightful suggestions will enhance the design experience and give credit where due. You can also take it a step further and publicly post an update about the revised versions to acknowledge the role of crowdsourced wisdom. 


While feedback from others is invaluable as a designer, it isn’t the only way to grow. Where feedback is limited, focus inward, and your creative skills will find a way. So, keep learning, experimenting, and pushing boundaries on your own terms. Feedback or not, your vision will evolve if you commit to honing your craft. And if you ever need a group of other UX designers to work with on designs on projects, iCreatives has a pool of talents for you to select from. Simply contact us at (+1) 855.427.3284 to get started.

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