UX design is an iterative design process in which we alter and refine our designs based on input from discovery, user testing, design reviews, etc. Feedback from users, test participants, fellow designers, clients, stakeholders and everyone involved in the project is received at every stage of the process.
Ideally, feedback would be straightforward and help drive the design towards better solutions. But in reality, it can be contradicting and create further design challenges.
The tips listed below can help you organise and manage the feedback you receive on your project at any stage.
Explain what you’re expecting to get feedback on
Whether you’re moderating a usability session or presenting your design in a review, explain what the design is focusing on to help you keep feedback relevant.
Usability tests can easily divert and become chaotic; therefore, keeping them on track is essential to receive helpful information.
In another setting, such as a design review, give a brief recap on what has been done so far, what design changes were made for the current design and what you might not have had time to complete yet.
Communicating your design and the process behind it gives everyone a better understanding that, in turn, will result in a better discussion.
Remember to ask clarifying questions when you’re presenting any work.
“Do you have any questions at this stage?” and “Is there anything that is not clear in this part of the design?” are just a couple of quick questions that will allow you to clarify any confusion that may get in the way of the review session later.
There are many ways to record and keep track of your feedback, and they vary based on the personal preferences and work style of each designer.
One thing in common that we all experience is finding ourselves with a long list from multiple people that we need to resolve and address.
You might create a checklist of some sort and believe that you need to go through each one but that is not the case. Some feedback will have much greater weight, and you will need to prioritise it, while other bits will be more informative for you to consider but not necessarily address in your design.
Understand what has priority and needs to be incorporated in your design using your judgement. There are frameworks and tools that can help you in this process. For example, a whiteboarding tool can be very useful in a design review session to categorise feedback into different levels of importance.
Stay on track
Stay organised and keep track of design versions. Clients can often change
their mind and switch back and forth between design iterations before deciding on a solution.
Make sure you keep a version history to navigate easily between a set of changes when needed. Keep track of all the feedback you receive (whether you decided to address it or not) to stay in a good position for your design reviews and to be able to easily elaborate on the design when prompted.
Not all feedback has to be formal and detailed.
If you’re presenting an idea for something that is still work in process at an early stage, set the expectations for what feedback you’re looking for.
Some people might be tempted to point out everything they notice when all you might need at that stage is ‘Yes, this is a good idea’ to let you continue and explore more. Somebody might leave a comment with a couple of ideas or resources for you to look into, and somebody else might not have anything to add and not join in at all.
Decide if you need a screenshot in a whiteboarding tool or a formal presentation. The format of how you set up your review and the format of feedback you need will be essential to get good, useful feedback for the design stage that you’re at.
As you can see, managing feedback isn’t a straightforward process. You need to stay on top of things if you want to get the most out of your design feedback.
As discussed, some of the main things you need to consider include asking the right questions, prioritising feedback and making sure you keep track of all comments received. We hope you’ve found this article useful and can use our advice to streamline your feedback process. For more tips and advice, get in touch.