How to Evaluate Creative Work
April 20, 2011 3 Comments
I work in a creative industry. In many ways, advertising and marketing serves as a pinnacle of creativity. Each and every day folks within the ad agency world develop creative work. Whether digital experiences, web sites, online advertising, social media campaigns, television commercials, radio spots or inventive outdoor installations, there is no lack of creativity. With all these creative works, the question becomes what criteria should we use to evaluate them? It isn’t a question many folks stop to ask. In fact, evaluating creative work is often very subjective.
Here are a few tips for taking the subjectivity out of the evaluation and fairly critiquing creative work:
- Does the creative work answer the problem you set out to solve?
- Is the style of the creative work well suited for the audience?
- Is there something unique and memorable about the creative work?
Does the creative work answer the problem you set out to solve? There are endless ways to express something creatively. While many folks judge creative work based on personal tastes and preferences, one way to remove some of the subjectivity, is to evaluate the creative work based on how well it answers the problem you set out to solve. Regardless of whether you prefer the font, headlines or imagery, take a step back and ask yourself, “Does this solve my problem?”
Is the style of the creative work well suited for the audience? Once you’ve answered whether the creative work solves your problem, the next step is to look at the element of style. But, here’s the catch. Don’t look at it from an audience of one. Rather, evaluate the style of the creative product based on its intended audience. A good way of figuring out how well the creative product fits with the audience is to hold a focus group, or to informally ask members of the intended audience. While you may not personally prefer bold colors and loud music, it may work for a teenage audience.
Is there something unique and memorable about the creative work? Lastly, take a step back and evaluate the distinctiveness of the creative work. One of the reasons you set out to do something creative was to stand out from the crowd. Don’t stop now, evaluate how unique and memorable the creative work is.
If the creative work you’re evaluating falls short on any of the criteria, don’t throw it away. Take the time to identify what can be improved.