Quality feedback is a crucial element of effective design. The success of any project depends on the ongoing dialogue among all stakeholders, including developers, designers, product managers, and clients. Feedback sessions can easily stray off course if empathy is not present and expectations and roles are not clearly defined. In order to get the most out of these conversations, it’s important for everyone involved to be proficient in constructive communication techniques.
Table of Contents
1- You should Present the problems
When leading a feedback session, focus on what the design aims to achieve instead of possible solutions. This approach encourages a more productive conversation. For example, rather than suggesting that “this button should be orange”, ask the question “What color will make this button stand out?”. This reframing of the discussion can provide insight into potential designs and help you get to the root cause of your problem much faster. Additionally, framing discussions around specific questions such as “How could people use this” or “How would this solve our problem” can help avoid subjective answers based on personal preference.
2- You should use the right tools
Using a project management or team collaboration tool, such as Miro, is the ideal way to seek design feedback remotely. Miro provides a comprehensive solution for ideation, gathering insights, and creating end-to-end design flows. You can upload mockups and get feedback instantly with this app – plus it supports integrations for Sketch, InVision, Adobe Creative Cloud, and more. Allowing you to have a streamlined remote design feedback process in one place!
3- Make it clear why you’re asking for design feedback
When seeking design feedback, be sure to focus on the areas of your design that require verification or confirmation. Clarifying which elements are up for discussion will prevent needless commentary and enable reviewers to give the most relevant feedback. You might even consider creating a form with specific questions about particular parts of your design in order to get the most targeted and valuable responses possible.
4- You should Keep it objective
In order to ensure design accuracy, it is important to refer back to the brief and objectively identify any discrepancies. For instance, if relevant demographics are not taken into account, an image may appear modern but ultimately be incorrect for the audience. As an example: “This hero image may not be suitable for our core demographic of people aged 60+.”
5- You should Provide multiple opportunities for feedback
Facilitate meaningful feedback in design sessions by actively listening and prompting, while allowing reviewers space to voice their critiques. Ensure that all topics are revisited later on with a fresh perspective, and prolong pauses between topics to give time for honest, uninterrupted feedback. By doing so, you can rest assured that the review process will be effective and fruitful.
6- You should Ask specific questions
Design feedback sessions can be incredibly useful for understanding the efficacy of a design. At Designlab UX Academy, we encourage our students to ask some base questions to get the ball rolling, such as: What is memorable? What’s confusing? How does this information support this page’s purpose? Then we recommend taking it further by asking “Why?” and digging deeper into their responses. Furthermore, they should ask how they can emphasize certain elements more or if anything needs to be removed. Ultimately, these sorts of questions will help them gain valuable insights into their design so that they can make improvements.
7- You should Ask them what they dont like
When assessing the success of your design, aim to capture both positive and negative feedback. It’s important to recognize areas of improvement and develop a solution-oriented approach to any issues that arise. Just like an interview question asking how a company could do better, understanding how things can be improved is essential for successful and effective design.
8- You can limit the options
In order to effectively gain actionable feedback for your design projects, it’s important to limit the choices available when possible. Consider only selecting colors from your brand’s palette or design system, and refine the total number of designs you present for review to ensure quality over quantity. Time-sensitive eras can also be a great way of deciding which items need feedback for that particular project.
9-State your goals for the project
For any successful design project, the goal must be established first. Whether you’re aiming to delight a user or increase revenue, the purpose of your project will help shape its direction and outcome. You can start out by considering user or business goals; then translate those into behavioral goals. As an example, to drive more subscriptions, efforts should focus on getting users to return and submit a signup form. To ensure high quality feedback throughout the design process, these goals should always be laid out at the beginning.
10- Listen to feedback carfully
Handling constructive criticism with tact and grace is critical to gaining helpful design feedback. Reacting negatively or coming off as defensive is a surefire way to discourage reviewers from offering thoughtful critiques in the future. Here are some tips to follow when receiving constructive criticism:
Control your initial reaction—fight back the urge to argue right away.
Express gratitude for the feedback, even if it’s negative—it’s typically given out of care instead of malice.
Focus on understanding the perspective of the individual giving you feedback, rather than debating it.
Pay close attention and ask further questions if you’re unsure about something they’ve said.
Take some time afterward to thoroughly process what was discussed, so that one can draw useful conclusions that will help in the design process long-term.