When I ask (colleagues or other professionals) for critiques for design works/projects, I’m oftentimes not sure how to respond to it if I can’t (honestly) say that I will implement the changes suggested by the critic. Often I can’t do so (for several possible reasons, for example the project is already finished and changes are no longer possible), but I still find the feedback useful. Of course you could say there’s no point in asking for feedback on finished work that I won’t change anyway, but I still find it very helpful to get some criticism so I can learn from it for future projects.
But if I get some solid feedback, I’m at a loss at how to respond to it, since I want to get across that I did indeed find their input helpful, even though I won’t be implementing any of it. If I just say exactly that and thank them (and maybe tell them why I can’t change the design at this point), it feels dishonest.
How can I deal with such a situation? I’m not looking for a text that I can copy-and-paste, rather some advice on how to ask for or receive critiques and accept it without necessarily agreeing with/implementing all of it. Personally, I prefer to not argue about the criticism I receive at all (except if I didn’t understand what they mean et c.), because there’s nothing to be gained for either me or the person I’m asking. They told me their opinion, which I am grateful for, and it’s up to me to agree or disagree with it, but they have no personal stakes in it so I don’t have to ‘defend’ my design. However, not responding at all is of course suboptimal as well …
EDIT: Since some people seem to have misunderstood, I do not mean asking clients for feedback. Rather asking collegues and other people with a professional background.
a detailed analysis and assessment of something, especially
a literary, philosophical, or political theory.
evaluate (a theory or practice) in a detailed and analytical way.
“the authors critique the methods and practices used in the research”
To answer bluntly, there is no implication that a designer will or should apply any suggestions that arise from a critique. The best way to satisfy the critic is to have a genuine dialog with said critic about your work. Recognize that their feedback is of value (unless it’s absurdly malicious) by engaging in thoughtful discussion, adding your own ideas that build off of their notes. Since you are the designer, it’s completely up to you if you want to explore any of the suggestions that come out of a critique.
Always keep in mind that design is subjective by nature, polarizing at times, so if you’re looking for constructive feedback, try steering the conversation to more of the technical aspects of the work (execution, layout, color theory, etc.).
All of that being said, do not ask clients for critiques! To paraphrase Paul Rand, solve their problem and get paid. If somebody outside of the project, or you for that matter, recognizes something that could be executed better, carry it into the next project or explore that direction in your spare time.