More on criticism
Once the work is launched, it’s another story – even if they were to agree with incoming criticism, the prospect of going back to a client to say “we did this wrong” is an uninviting one.
I agree that criticism is rarely going to be about salvaging something.
[...] if an agency is making shoddy work, then the likelihood is that they’ll either realise and get their act together, or lose all their clients / talent and eventually go out of business.
This I’m not so sure about. It’s a sad fact maybe, but great work does not always equal success. Mediocre work sells if it’s marketed well.
My anxiety about this stems from the fact that what constitutes “great work” is not obvious. It’s very easy to be distracted by flashy graphic design, and it’s harder to communicate things like usability, accessibility, optimisations for speed and file size, and security. It’s our responsibility to educate clients about these things, but also sometimes to educate each other.