“What do you think of this?”
Ugh. What a frustrating answer. Maybe even the most frustrating answer. Other top contenders include: “It’s bad.” “I like it.” “I don’t like it.” “It’s fine.”
You get the gist.
As a content creator, giving and receiving feedback is one of the most important parts of my job. In order to create meaningful content and be successful, I need to hear complete, effective feedback, both positive and negative.
What is effective feedback?
Effective feedback is more than just a buzzword-y phrase. It’s a term that encompasses what it means to provide feedback that gives direction and actually moves the project along. Without effective feedback, projects can get bogged down as designers, writers and other members of the creative and development teams try to figure out what certain comments actually mean and clients grow frustrated with a slowed process.
Okay, but what separates effective feedback from ineffective feedback?
There are several key aspects that separate complete, effective feedback from ineffective feedback.
Firstly, effective feedback is specific and prompt. It focuses on one area and discusses any likes and dislikes related to that area. This doesn’t mean you need to scour the copy for typos, but it does mean that your feedback needs to remain grounded within one focus point.
For instance, when working with us, saying “remove staffing” from your website doesn’t tell the design or copywriting team much. Do you want staffing removed as a subpage? As a focal point? As a word entirely?
That feedback leaves the team without much, if any, direction. Instead, effective feedback might look something like, “I would prefer we don’t use the term ‘staffing’ on the home page because our firm focuses on executive search.”
That feedback is much stronger, providing clear direction and some reasoning behind why the change is necessary. It’s specificity gives the team a better understanding of your firm and your vision.
Even the best feedback can be rendered ineffective if it takes too long to be delivered. We understand that life happens, and your entire team will, too. It would be naive to suggest that anybody can stay 100 percent on top of all projects at all times, but it is still important to remain committed to providing timely feedback when possible. That will help move the project along and ensure your concerns are being heard and acted upon.
What else makes feedback effective?
Effective feedback relies on more than specificity. It is also direct without being harsh and focuses on how things can be changed and improved.
I get it. Everyone is very busy, and writing paragraphs of constructive feedback just isn’t feasible. Thankfully, you don’t need paragraphs to be effective in your feedback. Being direct with your feedback can lead to quicker resolution of issues and concerns.
That being said, it’s important to remain respectful when providing this feedback—there’s a big difference between being “brutally honest” and respectfully direct.
In the same vein, it’s important to focus on how you’d like to see changes and improvements without making things personal.
“A lighter green in the drop-down menu better reflects my vision,” is a great way to express your concerns with color in the design stage of building a website.
“Are you color blind?” is a not-so-great way of expressing those same concerns.
Voice all your feedback
I know you’ve just read an entire blog about it, but effective feedback doesn’t have to be complicated. Just remember to be specific and prompt, direct and respectful and focused on how changes can be made.
It is often easier to provide positive feedback, but know that your effective, constructive feedback on things you don’t like is important for you to voice, too. It can be tough to hear sometimes, but if you don’t like something, our team needs and wants to hear it.
Just remember, “I don’t like it” alone isn’t helpful. That phrase is just the start of feedback. We want and need to hear what you don’t like about it. If you don’t like the copy I wrote, tell me why (I promise, I can handle it). Tell me what words you want to avoid and why the sentence doesn’t work for your content.
It’s your website and your brand. Our goal is to make it the best it can possibly be.
At Recruiters Websites, we help businesses grow and succeed. We provide custom website design and development, full-scale digital marketing and branding solutions. If you’re ready to work with us (and provide some effective feedback), contact us today!
Stay in the loop.
Sign up for insightful articles emailed directly to your inbox.
We respect your privacy and won’t spam your inbox.