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How to Request for Feedback? E.g. In User Interface & Experience Design

I realised the previous thread below was more towards giving feedback when unrequested:
Meta-Discussion on Feedback

I read an article that inspired me to think about how to ask for feedback.
Often we request feedback through a one-liner question.
However, this makes the process of constructing feedback challenging for the receiver.

The article is more on UI design.
Stop asking for UI design feedback, do this instead

A key quote from the article that stands out to me:

the more general or vague your request the more often you can end up with feedback that is difficult to derive meaningful actions from.

I personally often ask generic questions on design which result in maybe more generic feedback.
Sometimes the resulting feedback is even in the wrong direction.
As such, leading the interaction when requesting feedback is an important skill.
Vice versa as well when giving unrequested feedback.

I think the forum etiquette guideline and experience in forum posting have trained us to request feedback effectively.
Especially in social situations and on power dynamics.

Avoid Generic Questions

Some generic questions are:

  • Just did a redesign of this app. All feedback welcome!
  • Would love to hear what you think about my app design.
  • New landing page! would love to hear your thoughts.

If you would like a very open-ended question to avoid bias, you could make giving feedback easier for the user.
For example, ask

  • What is the first thing that comes to mind when seeing this screen or picture?
  • Use this for 30 seconds. Give me your initial thoughts.

6 Steps to Better Feedback on your Designs

The article gives 6 main steps to outline when requesting feedback in design:

1. Who — Decide who you are asking
2. Stage — Describe what stage your design is in
3. Context — Present the context or problem
4. Goals — Outline what your objectives are
5. Constraints — Include any possible constraints or project requirements
6. The Ask — Request exactly what type of feedback you are looking for.

I do think it is important to start with outlining your goals of your design and the context of how this design meets these goals.
I have constructed a hypothetical ride-sharing mobile app:

  • Goal
    The purpose of this design is to let users book a taxi in 2 clicks.
  • Context
    We wanted to achieve this by listing common destinations from the user's current GPS location.
    After selecting a common location, the user needs to only press the booking button to confirm.

The next thing would be to think about the stage of design and the current constraints.
For the above ride-sharing app,

  • Stage
    Currently, we have a first-draft of a clickable, high-fidelity prototype on Adobe XD.
    We took an example where you can go to a few common locations from this current location.
    We are planning to redesign this based on your feedback.
  • Constraints
    Unfortunately, you will not be able to manually enter any destination.
    We only pre-selected a few destinations to keep the testing simple.

Then, think about who you should ask to give you the most useful feedback.

  • Who
    Probably people who would use your app frequently and are in a rush for time
    So big-city dwellers would be a good idea
  • The Ask
    When could you envision yourself using this app?
    Do you feel that it is easy enough to use when you are in a rush for time?
    Under what situations would you use this app?
    How easy do you find booking a ride from the time you thought about your destination to booking an actual ride?

Applying to Social Relationships & Situations

I think this simple framework can be applied to social situations.

Set Goal & Context

You can state openly your goal for requesting this feedback and set the context.

I would like to get better at giving a 1-minute pitch of a business idea where the audience would resonate with

  1. the problem I am trying to solve,
  2. my proposed solution and
  3. how it is better than the current alternatives.

Here is my business idea ...

Set Stage & Constraint

I have written out a script for a 1-minute pitch.
I consider myself a beginner in public speaking in general.

Considering my current commitments, I am only able to allocate 5 hours every week to practise my pitching skills.
I have been thinking of what to focus upon based on these 5 hours.

Ask the Right Person for Feedback & Make the Ask Concisely

You could join a nearby Toastmasters club where everyone is keen to give one another feedback on public speaking.
Or you could join a more business-oriented circle where you have the opportunity to practising your pitch for your business idea.
This will give you more diverse views in a business context.

Then make the ask:

I would like to know if, on the first pitch, would you get a rough understanding of

  • the problem I am solving,
  • my proposed solution and
  • how it is better than the current alternatives

You can write this on the blackboard at your Toastmasters meeting for example at the start of your speech.
Alternatively, you can verbally say this by pausing between each point to make this clear to your audience too.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Great outline Matthew, thank you for sharing!

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?