What Makes Good Feedback
Here's a guide to help clients understand what makes good feedback.
When giving design feedback it's important to be descriptive - not prescriptive.
When you're provding feedback on our designs, these steps - in order - will lead to quick and effective resolution to ensure we're working towards the same outcome:
- Contextualise it in the scope of the project.
- Does it work towards the project goals? Does it work against them?
- Does it serve the people using the site? Question things from their point of view rather than yours.
- Does it work within the project constraints?
- If you don't think we've succeeded in point 1, ask us for an explanation about why we did it this way.
- If you're not satisfied with our explanation provide an honest and specific explanation about why we're wrong in our explanation - and then leave it with us to think about the solution again.
There are common "feedback gremlins" that seem as though they should be helpful but actually disrupt a project and derail the creative process. Things like:
- Involving others in the feedback process. When we ask for your feedback it's important that it's your feedback. Democracy and good design are incompatible.
- Prescribing solutions. These introduce new constraints on the project; at which point the project changes. Warning-phrases include:-
- "How about..."
- "What if..."
- "Could we just..."
- "What would it look like if...?"
- "I've seen this site..."
- "Our competitors do it like..."
- In the same vein, providing drawings of yours or others ideas complicate matters - we're no longer designing solutions, we're just finishing yours - that's not our job.
Everything we design is made to fit the agreed goals within the constraints of the project. Our job as your agency is to balance the project brief, the requirements of the people who will use it and your opinion.
Making sure you're happy with what we produce is important - but no more important than meeting the agreed brief and the requirements of the people who will use it. So we won't always act on your feedback. If we don't, know that we're not rebelling - we're doing what you hired us to do.
We are committed to designing and coding a site that will work for you and your business.
Based on Andrew Fairlie's Getting Good Feedback.