If you’ve designed and built a website for someone else, then you know the feeling of dread that can surround feedback time. Multiple emails from multiple clients with subject lines that read a bit like Re:Fwd:Website feedback due three days ago, which may or may not have the same feedback or bugs reported as the very similar email from yesterday. It’s enough to give you a headache, and that’s before you’ve even opened the emails to see vague feedback like “I don’t think this pops enough” or “there’s a bit on the page that looks odd”.
So, what makes good website feedback?
Good website feedback is clear, actionable and trackable. Let’s break those down a little more.
Good feedback makes it obvious what is wrong and what needs to be fixed. It contains information that makes it easy for someone else to see and understand what you are referring to. Vague feedback like “I don’t really like this colour” is less helpful to the recipient than “This is not our brand shade of blue, please use the brand colour.”
Good feedback makes it easy for the receiver to do something with it. It contains information that helps the receiver to decide what’s wrong and how to fix it.
Emails can easily get lost in a jumble of similar sounding subject lines, or worse, completely overlooked in the back and forth communication. Tracking feedback shouldn’t be difficult or stressful.
How do you give good feedback? What information do you need to include?
Giving feedback doesn’t need to be difficult. Providing good feedback means that it will be actioned faster too.
Here’s a handy checklist when giving feedback to make sure it’s great. Not all the information will need to be included all the time, but it will definitely help.
1. Break feedback into small pieces.
Don’t load up with multiple bits of feedback at the same time. Break it into smaller sections. Keep it simple, people!
2. What part of the page is the feedback referring to?
Include the URL of the page you’re referring to.
3. Include a screenshot or screen recording with feedback
If a picture is worth 100 words, including a screenshot or screen recording may prove easier than trying to explain what you’re experiencing or referring to.
4. Don’t forget the technical information
Include information such as your operating system. What browser you are using for websites and web applications. Include whether you were using a desktop or mobile, if it’s not already clear.
5. For feedback on actions, include what you were doing when it happened.
If your feedback refers to a bug or problem with the website, include the “steps to recreate” the problem. When a bug is replicable (able to be recreated) it’s easier to work out what went wrong and to fix it.
6. Include any error messages and codes you received
If you’re getting a specific error message or code, it will be helpful when pinpointing if there’s a bug and how to resolve it.
7. Can you replicate the issue?
Does the same thing happen every time you do something? This information is super helpful to developers for fixing any issues.
8. How urgent is it that this is changed?
On a website, does the feedback refer to something broken, is it cosmetic, does it affect how people use the website?
All these things help to determine the severity and help prioritise the order that feedback is actioned.
Typically severity varies from Very High (it stops you from working completely) down to Very Low (cosmetic changes).
What can I do to help get better feedback? (Solutions)
- Keep relying on email
- Switch to Spreadsheets to help keep track of tasks
- Use a feedback tool like BugHerd.
How does Bugherd help?
A tool like BugHerd can help a lot with making feedback from clients clear, actionable and manageable.
To begin, BugHerd can do a lot of the work in making feedback clearer. BugHerd pins feedback to a webpage, captures the technical information and helps clarify feedback. Here’s an example of how BugHerd organises information for a feedback task.
A – What is wrong and what it should be
B – URL (location)
C – Operating system, technical information for replicating and solving
D – Screenshot
E – Severity
F – Additional information
Feedback is pinned to a website, so you know exactly what each piece of feedback is referring to on the site. In cases where further clarification is required, BugHerd makes it easy to comment on a task and request more information from the person leaving the feedback.
Managing feedback is one of the toughest parts of handling client feedback.
With BugHerd, all feedback is sent to one central location – a kanban style board. Here you can track feedback until it’s completed, assign tasks to team members, communicate with clients and ensure every piece of feedback is dealt with.