Constructive criticism is good and everybody should be open to it. Nobody is perfect; criticism helps us to spot our weaknesses and gives us the chance to rectify it for better results. However, as nobody is perfect, some of the critical comments you receive might not be right too. Criticism is not all about acting upon the comments quickly – you have to listen to everything and then do whatever you think to be the best option for you.
Hence, you should have the knowledge of how to deal with user feedback at the first place. It is true that both positive and negative suggestions can help you improve. However, you have to identify the right and wrong part of it and then you have to implement. Your reaction to the feedback makes a huge difference. Let’s learn more about it.
Be objective with the Feedbacks
While going through the feedbacks do not be very analytical and do not think deeply. Most of the time, there are specific reasons behind the opinion people submit. You have to understand why someone has said something – whether it is good or bad.
As a web designer, you might get some feedback which might hurt you. But there is no point in taking the comments personally. On the other hand, if you analyze the comments critically, you will get great insights about the requirements of the users or the clients.
For example, assume you have designed a template and sent it to the client for approval. They have added a navigation bar on top, placed the signup box in the right column etc. Apparently the design might look clumsy and less usable; if you analyze it you would realize that probably the client wants their visitors to navigate the important pages and get them signed up. Hence, the next layout that you design will be something that adheres to this requirement.
Many clients cannot express their web design related requirement; as you interact with them, you get to know more about it. Feedback and comments can be of great help in such cases.
Design Custom Forms to Collect Feedback
It is essential for you to offer your users or clients a way to send you feedback about the product or the service. When you design the website, make sure there is way for them to send you the feedback. Most of the comments come through email or contact forms available on the website. Usually the contact forms are created depending on your target audience and their requirements; they contain 3 to 4 fields generally.
However, when you design the contact form for a startup; make sure the forms are flexible. Startups are always eager to know how their users think. Hence, there should be ways to contact different departments and there has to be a text box where users can type their comment. A file attachment option so that users can send screenshot etc. can also be added.
Split and Multivariate Testing
These tests are passive ways of collecting feedback, you can say. You do not ask anybody to give you feedback about the design. Instead, you simply start tracking how they act by showing them different design styles, different text and layouts.
There are different tools that allow you to do this. After running split and multivariate test on a considerable number of users over a certain span of time, you can get great insight. From user behavior you can understand whether it is right to place the sign up form in the header; whether it is good to have a 2 column or 3 column layout, which color scheme attracts more number of users etc.
Finally, be confident. There will be various emails from different users. But you should know very well, at the core of your heart, what you are doing. You should be able to evaluate which comment should be considered, and which should not. That is the best way to use criticism in your favor.
Here are some cool tools to help you get valuable inputs from your targeted audience –
UserTesting.com – This is a popular tool that lets you gather vital information about the web interface from targeted audience. All you need to do is to upload your design and then assign some tasks that you want your targeted audience to perform. Your template will reviewed by real people and they will let you know what they like about your web template and what they dislike. You will feedback from real people either in the form of a video or written summary. And the best part, UserTesting.com is not that costly.
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Notable – This feedback app is specifically designed and developed for web developers. This is a nice and simple tool that allows you to share your ideas and receive feedback by uploading images. And here goes the icing on the cake. Say WOW if you are a Firefox user because Notable has developed a plugin that will let you send and receive feedback without requiring you to leave the browser. Is not it amazing?
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ConceptShare – Finding it troublesome to attach files over and over again to get real feedback from targeted audience? In that case, ConceptShare is the ultimate solution. As the name suggest, this tool allows users to share their concepts. This tool is ideal for those who have to upload and share flash and video files.
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Fivesecondtest – As the name suggests, this tool allows you to get your template reviewed by people for a span of 5 seconds on a random basis. When the 5 second is elapsed, they are asked question based on that short experience. This is a great tool to get direct and unbiased feedback from targeted audience.
Simmon Pierre is a budding designer and developer. When he is not coding, he loves writing. He is currently writes for leading UK based banner printing company – DPB that designs Vinyl banner. To know more, visit here.