Having dealt with some large organizations and different kinds of personalities in my past work, I thought I would share a tip about how to share feedback effectively with your web design firm. Admittedly, this post is not for the do-it-yourselfer, but the company that hired a web design firm to design their web site.
The design phase of any web design project solicits lots of back-and-forth communication between client and designer. The key to a successful project is to communicate in a meaningful way. Here's what I mean:
To be effective, the designer should share why they made certain design choices and ask the client specific questions that help the designer compile good feedback. The designer should interpret client feedback and create user-friendly solutions, then document the decisions that were made and why.
The client, on the other hand, should communicate the "big picture" without being too specific. For example, designers don't usually respond positively when told to design something a certain way. For example, telling your designer to place specific clip art on your web site will probably make your designer mad. Designers like to hear what you want to achieve, then figure out how to best design it. Hint: this probably doesn't include cute clip art.
I encourage clients to provide a general idea of what they want, and that I reserve the right as an expert to create a few designs that a) solve your problem in the most attractive, user-friendly way and b) solve your problem in a way that I'll be proud to display in my portfolio (and won't embarrass your CEO at the next networking event).
Communicating effectively with your web designer and being open-minded to their design concepts will produce a design that works better and is finished quicker. Oh, yeah, and you and your designer will be happy with the end result.