Home > Internet, Web 2.0 > 4 Steps to Better Feedback

4 Steps to Better Feedback

One of the most challenging things about working with or in a creative agency is dealing with feedback. At an agency like DigitalDay, there are numerous projects going on all the time. As each project moves through conceptual, design, and production stages, we solicit feedback from the client. Conversely, if you are the client, you’re given the opportunity to check and comment on projects as they progress.

Unfortunately, feedback doesn’t always go smoothly. One of the most frustrating comments I hear is “We’re not crazy about…” . Maybe we’re doing an outdoor themed piece, and the comment is “We’re not crazy about the clouds”. A comment like this is so vague that it’s almost worthless. Do you want more clouds, less clouds, bigger or smaller clouds, a different style, more prominent, less prominent, abandon clouds altogether? There’s so much room for interpretation that the designers, art directors, and project managers are forced to either contact the client for further clarification (wasting time and money on both sides) or make an educated decision based on knowledge of the brand, the project, etc (potentially choosing poorly, wasting even more time and money to fix it).

So, I’m proposing a few simple steps to improve the efficiency and usefulness of feedback. In the end, everyone wins with better workflow, lower cost, and better marketing pieces.

  1. For Everyone – Ensure your feedback is submitted on time. There are times where someone asks for feedback, gets a little bit and then moves on, only to have someone higher up in the organization respond later with significant changes. This is extremely disruptive, and results in costly redundant changes.
  2. For Clients – Be specific. Try to frame any comments you have in a proactive way, that leads to or directly suggests a change. Instead of “We’re not crazy about the clouds”, try “The clouds don’t fit our theme of an urban environment. We’d like to see a comp with more focus on the city below, so we see more details there.”
  3. For Agencies – Engage and educate your clients. Often times, your clients don’t have the experience and expertise you have, that’s why they hire you. Explain to them that you don’t understand what certain feedback means, and you need more information to improve their piece.
  4. For Everyone – Be honest. If something doesn’t work for you, don’t worry about stepping on toes or hurting feelings. Everyone involved is a professional, and as long as your feedback is relevant and constructive, it will only lead to a better product.
Categories: Internet, Web 2.0
  1. November 10, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Do you conduct usability testing during your projects to gather appropriate feedback? If so, what tools do you use?

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