Getting design feedback can be a daunting task, especially if you're new to the design process. Not only do you have to find the right person to give you feedback, but you also have to figure out how to get that feedback in a way that's both effective and manageable. The first step to solving any problem is to initially identify the problems, therefore in this article, we'll outline some of the challenges that designers face when getting feedback. This will help you be better prepared for your feedback journey. We have broken down the potential problems into 4 main categories in the feedback process.
Problems due to lack of preparation
- Getting feedback from the wrong audience and/or target market. This may lead to inconsistent results when you finally showcase your design.
- You might receive general feedback that is not actionable. This happens due to a lack of direction from the feedback seeker.
- Putting the direction for your original idea/design at risk due to bad communication with your feedback providers.
Problems getting feedback
- Feedback providers may hold out their honest opinions because of their fear of sabotaging their personal relationship with you and hurting your feelings.
- Reluctance to open up because they may feel they don't have the authority to give feedback on the subject and think that they might end up embarrassing themselves in the process.
- Feedback providers are often afraid of being rejected or judged. When they give feedback, they're essentially putting their trust in the feedback seeker to take them seriously. If the feedback seeker doesn't respond in a positive manner, it can hurt their feelings and demotivate them from giving feedback in the future.
- Different personality types may be more comfortable providing feedback through different methods. Some individuals may do better in person or in groups than they do online. Forcing people into one method may limit the amount of feedback they provide.
- Low or low-quality responses due to a lack of motivation or reward for providing design feedback.
- Lack of motivation or reward to give you feedback.
Problems with the received feedback
- People tend to use the "Sandwich method", that is they mix in cons with a few pros to soften the blow. The problem is that they have a hard time being truly constructive. This isn't productive in the long run.
- Feedback is unclear because they had trouble communicating what they were truly feeling.
- If the feedback is public and visible to others, multiple feedback providers may "gang up" on the feedback seeker on a particular piece of feedback. This is mainly because people have a tendency to follow the crowd.
Problems getting repeat feedback
- Failure to thank and acknowledge past feedback.
- The feedback seeker's response to past feedback was not good.
- Not received an update on the actions taken on their past feedback.
- Drop in feedback quality due to lack of acknowledgment/reward for past feedback on a different design or on an earlier stage of the same design.
This article has covered most of the problems that can occur in the design feedback process. We hope this opened your eyes on the different stages of how design feedback can fail. To avoid these problems, a design critique needs to be carried out in a systematic way and we will soon be posting an article on how this can be done.
Stay tuned for updates and thanks for reading!