A simple framework for providing constructive feedback.
Feedback is a gift. He plays a vital role in product development. It helps not only the product, but also the people who create it. However, as we all know, giving good, constructive feedback is pretty darn hard. So I experimented with this framework trying to get the best result.
Analyze, discuss and suggest
This framework helps me test designs. I will explain the guidelines for each item. So let’s get started.
The first thing you need to do is listen and analyze the work. This will allow you to see both the pros and cons.
When analyzing the work, you should remember:
- First, the goal of feedback should always be usefulrather than offensive or destructive. Respect team work. Of course, you can analyze everything, but if you are asked for feedback on a specific part, you must prioritize accordingly. Also, be sincere, do not give flattering compliments. Focus on what matters.
- If you notice something that you think is wrong, pay attention to it and try to put it in the statement: “I’m not sure about X because …”
A few questions that I try to answer when analyzing:
- What is the purpose of this project?
- What human problem is this design trying to solve?
- How close is this design to its intended purpose?
- How do I feel about design in general?
Now is the time to discuss the results of the analysis. Try to start a conversation if possible.
A few things I would like to point out:
- Now let’s suppose that the presented work does not completely correspond to your vision or you have your own solution to the problem. Okay, wait. Ask questions first, try understandwhy the team did just that. The team may have considered your option and have arguments against it. And the most important thing, don’t dominate during conversation.
After you analyze and discuss the project, you may have some recommendations. This part is often combined with a discussion. And by the way, this does not mean that you always have to have suggestions.
A few things I would like to point out:
- When proposing a direction, try to make it independent of the decision… This means that the proposal does not have to imply any specific solution, because you want to enable the group to explore. At the same time, your thoughts should be clearly articulated, you must be clear about what you think needs to be improved. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to understand.
- Once the discussion starts, things can get pretty confusing. Perhaps several people will begin to express different opinions about which direction to take. This is quite natural. When this happens, you should put all the options on the table. This can help the team or decision-maker to weigh which direction is best to move forward.
There was an unpleasant aftertaste after the last feedback session that I had, what should I do?
Don’t worry, this has happened to everyone! Try again. With this framework, you can analyze your feedback. It’s all about balance.
Analysis 20%, Discussion 10%, Suggestions 70% = Probably Disruptive Feedback
If you spend most of your time proposing your idea, it can lead to destructive feedback because you spend a lot of time articulating your idea without trying to understand the context or situation the team is in.
Analysis 30%, Discussion 60%, Suggestions 10% = Relative Balance
This is the combination I would prefer. If you spend more time discussing and understanding the problem, chances are you can help the team.
Sometimes I offer a ready-made solution, is that bad?
Although I try to avoid it, sometimes I do it too when I run out of time or patience. But that shouldn’t happen often. It is much more beneficial for the team to receive an offer that does not depend on a specific solution, because it will allow them to go through the entire process on their own.
I hope this article helps you. You can try this framework, maybe experiment a little with it. I would like to know if you are using a different framework for feedback, or if you have any questions. You can contact the author. And as always, if you find the post interesting, share it!