The Importance of Feedback in General
Feedback – we all have read and heard this word a lot from different people with different frame of references. As the name suggests, it is the reaction of a person towards the other personâ€™s work, product or service. Feedback is a sort of input which others give on your work. These â€˜othersâ€™ may include your supervisors, co-workers, customers, clients or other people you interact with. There are different types of feedback, depending upon who is giving it and on what is it being given.
In some cases, feedback is quite formal and systematized. Such happens when feedback is given at a large scale by a good number of people. Feedback can either be a verbal comment, a written comment or just a gesture. Having a feedback gives the maker a clearer idea of how well they are doing the work and how they might improve. To receive feedback, make sure there’s a way for users to reach you. It can be a contact form or the same email address you have on printed business cards.
The importance of feedback cannot be undermined at any level. Especially in the case where there is some kind of creativity is involved, the importance of feedback amplifies two-fold. The maker gets to know that the way he is thinking about a certain communication, is also appealing to the target audience. Take the example of a designed communication, i.e. a brochure, flyer, post card or a business card. The designer of such material will never be successful unless he is able to get better feedback on his work. Feedback is like a trial and error method, the more you get it, the better it gets for your communication.
Importance of Feedback for Your Website
Web designing is a common form of commercial creativity. Web designers create designs for their best commercial usage and to target a specific audience. They put in a lot of effort and research into making the web design as closer to ideal as possible. However, most of them either underestimate the importance of feedback on their design or tend to avoid it altogether.
The reason behind avoiding to get feedback on their work is because they think that the process is time taking, frustrating and sometimes discouraging and confusing. However, it does not necessarily have to be that way, especially when it is done the right way. Right feedback at right time will inspire your web design work, give you a fresh perspective and push your designing to the next level.
Keeping the utmost importance of feedback on your website under consideration, I am pointing out some tips to generate good feedback and the make the most of it for the betterment of your website.
Take it from the Top
Feedback is an important part of the web design process. There are some designers who treat feedback as a formality and take opinion from the users once the website development process is finished. In my views, feedback should be a part of the web development process from the moment you start working on it. This will enable you to engage your visitors right from the beginning and make your website as suitable for them as possible. Also, the earlier you start taking feedback, the easier it will be to make a change. As soon you have a sketch or a wireframe of your website, put it in front of other people and ask their feedback.
Keep Your Heart and Mind Open
Criticism is synonymous to feedback and both are very important in getting the desired result out of your production. The sole purpose of your website is to please your target audience and motivate them for a call-to-action. Therefore, keep your heart and mind open for feedback. It has nothing to do with your personal likes or dislikes and there is no need to get emotionally attached to it.
If, for instance, you spend a lot of time and money in developing a website and research upon each aspect of it, however, after the feedback you get to realize that your target audience did not like it. In such a case, donâ€™t become so attached to your design or layout that you wonâ€™t be able to hear the constructive ideas being offered by those around you.
Use the Most Suitable Tool
The medium of getting feedback is as important as the feedback itself. Although there are a number of feedback tools available on the Internet, however, web designers often avoid asking for feedback because of an unproductive past experience. There have two basic discouraging results seen after using feedback tools that either the people didnâ€™t respond to the feedback, or there was no good way of collecting it.
With some great new feedback tools there is no need for patching together ideas from a long string of emails. There are a number of free tools out there that are designed specifically for gathering feedback in an organized and actionable way.
Be Welcoming towards Everyone
Feedback on your website is all about knowing what your target audience wants to see and consume through the website. Here, much emphasis has been given to the target audience, for whom you have designed the whole thing. However, there is no need to limit the feedback to the targeted group of people only. You donâ€™t need a web design expert to give you valuable advice about your latest website. It can be anyone who is going to look at it seriously and give you an honest about the design, layout and usability. Interestingly, it happens quite often that, the most comprehensive and useful feedback comes from people who donâ€™t know much about web design at all!
There are several ways of getting feedback from maximum and variable assortment of people. Join a certain graphic design community, ask the people among your friends and family, take votes from your Twitter or Facebook account or just grab a complete stranger and seek his feedback on your upcoming website. Get out there and share your website with anyone whoâ€™s willing to take a look.
Be Precise and To-the-Point
Feedback can be a tiresome practice for the feedback initiator (web designer) and the feedback respondent (the target audience). However it gets even more hectic when it is not done with a technique and is not to-the-point. It is important for you to make sure that you clarify your objective in the feedback questions and do not quibble about. This way, you are more likely to receive focused feedback that clearly addresses what you want to know.
Moreover, try to keep the feedback questions as brief as possible. Clear and concise directions generate specific and helpful feedback that result in a better production of your website.
Make the Most of All Criticism
As I have mentioned earlier, criticism is an important part of feedback and often turns out to be quite beneficial. Unlike the general perspective, criticism does not necessarily have to be negative. So, no matter what type of criticism you get, always try to get the most benefit out of it. Peopleâ€™s opinion matters a lot and your reaction towards their opinion is quite judgmental.
Another tip to manage criticism well is to gauge your very first reaction towards it. Whenever your design gets criticized, make sure to check your first reaction over it. Only a mature designer with the right attitude is able to take constructive criticism and make the most out of it.
Go through it All over Again
The process of feedback and its reaction is not one-time process. Feedback is basically an ongoing process that continues in the form of process periodicals. The feedback process does not even stop at the finishing point of web development. Continue taking feedback even after you launch the website after every six months and alter your design and strategies accordingly. The more frequently you repeat the process, the better it will be for your website.