What’s one of the best ways to gain a visitor’s perspective on your site? Feedback is the preferred way to gage the audience’s perception of your design choices and style, so why do so many sights lack good feedback methods?
For one thing, it can be pretty frightening to leave a site open to criticism. However, one of the best ways to improve a site’s credentials and favorability is with a good feedback element that’s flexible and user-friendly. After all, criticism won’t be the only feedback your site receives.
The positivity and inspiration from comments and replies can be a big boost to your design ego. Plus, the questions asked could lead to essential improvements to your site, and the interaction with your visitors can be very refreshing.
In this post, we’ll take a look at a few ways to improve the feedback on your site, and prove that its importance cannot be negated.
1. Good Beginnings
The input of others, whether positive or negative, can be extremely rewarding in the long run if you start soliciting it from the onset of a project. There is definitely some logic to getting quality feedback well before you’re deep into the point of no return details of your design. Begin fielding feedback in the beginning of a project to give it a solid foundation and fresh perspective.
2. Less Talking, More Listening
There are many areas in life when being stubborn and close-minded just doesn’t pay off, and this is one of them. When receiving feedback, it’s vitally necessary to keep an open-minded candor in your attitude and responses. The best advice is to be willing to listen more than you speak.
3. Tools Rulz
Next, is the good news. It doesn’t take an expert designer to create useful feedback elements for a good site. Tools that do a great job for you are prevalent on the web and offer excellent ways to collect and organize your feedback and comments so that the user gets a good experience out of it as well. Here are a few good feedback tools:
This is an excellent tool for fielding feedback from fellow designers. Users simply upload a site and the community of designers, begin commenting and critiquing. The best thing about it is its web hosted and free.
Five Second Test
If you’re looking for feedback from a more diverse group of actual visitors, try Five Second Test. The way it works, is random visitors get five seconds to “test” your sight. Feedback is instant and simple and extremely easy to get once you yourself test a few sites. On top of it all, it’s actually quite fun. Notable is just another example of such tools.
4. Diversity is Key
If you’d really like good, honest opinions from a variety of different perspectives, it helps to gain feedback from as many people as possible. Be careful not to simply stick with those you know or who have design experience. Sometimes, the best advice comes from those with backgrounds completely different from your own.
5. What Kind?
When soliciting feedback, it’s a good idea to know ahead of time the parameters of your inquiry. In other words, what kind of feedback meets your needs? Are you more concerned about the usability of your site? Is design style an issue? Test and ask questions on several different subject areas of your site for optimal feedback results.
6. Don’t Be Afraid of Negativity
It’s ironic, but some of the best feedback is the kind that immediately rubs you the wrong way. This speaks to the amount of attachments you have to certain elements and challenges those attachments in such a way that forces you to think critically about the outcomes of your design. Furthermore, we as human beings sometimes learn best from a mistake brought forcefully to our attention. At the end of the day, the negative criticism can be what it’s all about, so be sure to pay attention.
These tips and hints really do bring home the importance of feedback and the many ways that feedback can boost your site’s appeal. Remember, with an open mind, your feedback, good or bad, can make a big difference.