Sharing our work in progress and getting feedback on our UI designs helps us become better designers. But so many designers miss out on getting useful feedback because they’re not asking in the right way.
Maybe you are exploring different UI ideas or layouts, colors or flows. It could be early in your design process with wireframes or A/B testing more high fidelity flows. Maybe you’re just having trouble wrapping your head around a UX concept or getting stuck in your workflow.
Most of the time when I see UI/UX designers asking for feedback online it looks something like this:
“What do you think of my homepage design??!”
“Just did a redesign of this app. All feedback welcome!”
“Would love to hear what you think of my app design.”
The problem with this is the more general or vague your request the more often you can end up with feedback that is difficult to derive meaningful actions from.
the more general or vague your request the more often you can end up with feedback that is difficult to derive meaningful actions from.
So to combat this, here is my simple 6 step process for how exactly to ask for UI/UX design feedback that will result in valuable and actionable input that will actually help you improve your design work.
6 Steps to Better Feedback
1. Who — Decide who you are asking
Asking designers in general, online on Dribbble or Linkedin or in Facebook groups is going to get you a lot of general responses that might not be what exactly what you’re looking for and may be difficult to derive useful insights from, that’s because some designers might be more qualified or experienced to provide feedback in certain areas or might be looking at things from a particular lens.
If you are working on a fin-tech dashboard for example someone without any experience working on financial data input or flows might not be thinking about the intricacies that could be most useful to you.
- What types of designers are you requesting feedback from?
- Should they have experience in a certain area or industry?
- Should they be from a certain location?
So you might say: “Anyone with experience designing fin-tech dashboards…
2. Stage — Describe what stage your design is in
The purpose here is to make sure that the designers looking at your work are critiquing it accordingly. If you are just in your first draft and are using placeholder text you don’t want your viewers to spend their time examining your copy. So make sure to let them know what stage of the process your work is in.
- Is this the ideation stage?
- Is this your first draft before adding copy and final imagery?
- Is this an A/B test of two versions?
- Is this a prototype or a redesign?
- Is it a final high-fidelity design that you are handing off to developers?
So you might say: “I am in the ideation phase of a possible solution for managing personal finances…”
3. Context — Present the context or problem
You’ll want to provide your viewer with a little bit of important information about the situations surrounding your designs.
- Who is this design meant for?
- What is the problem that you are trying to solve with the design?
- What type of users will be using this?
- What stage of the user journey will they be in
So you might say: “…for millennials who don’t have a lot of financial literacy.”
4. Goals — Outline what your objectives are
One of the most important aspects of UX and product design is understanding our goals and objective and what our visuals are intended to convey or achieve. This is also a very valuable exercise for helping designers clearly articulate the value behind the visualize.
- What are you trying to achieve with this design?
- What task should the user be able to accomplish with this flow?
- What is the ideal or intended outcome?
So you might say: “My goal is to help the user explain their current relationship with money through my onboarding flow.”
5. Constraints — Include any possible constraints or project requirements
It’s helpful if your viewer is aware of any limitations, constraints or unique project requirements that influenced your work so that they can temper their expectations and feedback accordingly.
- Did you have to work with legacy designs or colors from an existing design?
- What were the time or budget constraints?
- Did you have specific business requirements from stakeholders?
So you might say: “I only was able to interview 4 users because I had only had a week to analyze and gather user data.”
6. The Ask — Request exactly what type of feedback you are looking for.
Depending on the above steps it will be more clear to you the type of feedback that would be most helpful to you within the stage and context of the work you are doing, so make clear what you want and don’t want.
- Are you looking for input on the visual hierarchy, the colors, the layout, the flows the usability?
- Is there something specific about the process that is stressing you out and you’d like to hear how others handle it?
- Is there anything that you don’t want them to focus on?
So you might say:” I’d appreciate your input on the onboarding flow. Does it make sense? Do you think the placement of the elements in the data table exhibits good usability? You can ignore the colors because I haven’t nailed down my color palette yet.”
Putting it All Together
Now string each of those phrases together in order:
“ Anyone with experience designing fin-tech dashboards, I would appreciate your feedback. I am in the ideation phase of a possible solution for managing personal finances for millennials who don’t have a lot of financial literacy. My goal is to help the user explain their current relationship with money through my onboarding flow. I only was able to interview 4 users because I only had a week to analyze and gather user data. I’d appreciate your input on whether or not you think the flow makes sense and if you think the placement of the elements in the data table exhibits good usability. You can ignore the colors because I haven’t nailed down my color palette yet.”
So the simple formula is = Who + Stage + Context + Goals + Constraints + Ask
Crafting this type of direct and specific request makes it very clear to the viewer exactly what you need help with and helps them better provide you with more constructive critique. Taking the time to outline these 6 areas for your viewer also respects their time and makes them much more inclined to offer their help.
Just one targeted paragraph like this will result in valuable, actionable, and usable feedback that is actually worth asking for!
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