IT professionals are constantly looking for ways to improve their web designs and website development skills. One of the most effective critiquing tools they have in their corner is the use of feedback. Feedback, whether good or bad, allows them to see what others think about their product and design.
While web design can proceed without input from other sources, it does help to determine what is effective and what is not.
Useful Types Of Feedback
There are several useful types of feedback. Some are more useful than others but, in the long run, any information you receive that eventually works to improve your design or product is worthwhile. A few of the most useful types of feedback are:
- Positive reinforcement
- Constructive criticism
- High to low rating system
- Versioning that shows improvements by using prior versions of the website as a starting point
Feedback in any form, even if it is negative, can provide insight into how to improve your website. Constructive criticisms provide options to be explored that may not have otherwise been considered. If you only respond to positive criticisms, you never really think outside the existing parameters. If something is just not working and others are suggesting possible solutions, it would be in your best interest to at least see the project from their perspective.
When positive feedback is received, more than likely it is because someone likes the site the way it is without the benefit of the changes. This can be a good thing in respect to fine tuning existing features that are already well liked. Positive support can also enhance the substance of the website. If someone likes a feature they way it is but sees ways where slight changes could make a good thing even better, it wouldn’t hurt to look into it. Another plus of positive feedback, is that if a page is well-received, it is more likely to be shared by the viewer to many of their friends. Whether they leave a comment or rate the page becomes irrelevant. By spreading the content, they are more often than not, indicating their approval.
Why Is Feedback Important?
IT professionals create websites to promote and market products and services. Because of the virtual forum, they reach thousands of people on a regular basis. The benefit of feedback is that it helps designers keep their site in front of the people who need and want it the most. By using the opinions of others, (both consumer and commercial), a designer can refine and modify their existing design to include things that will not only improve the general content but also attract new customers. Without feedback, website development professionals may never know what it is about their website that attracts or discourages their customers from returning. By closely monitoring their website, its visitors and their trends, web designers soon realize, what pulls people into their page and subsequently, what keeps them there or drives them away. With the right type of feedback, you can help your page evolve into the type of site that will continue to serve you well. It will continue to grow and evolve as times and people’s interest change.
Using Feedback To Improve Your Site
Using feedback allows others to review your idea and concept and then provide valuable advice as to how to improve it and make it stand out. Feedback also raises awareness of potential issues that a developer may not be aware of as he or she is designing the original version of the website. For example working with website development, a page that begins to look cluttered may drive away potential customers. Keeping the page simple and easy to navigate is important when you are trying to build a sustainable audience.
Website development can be quite complex depending on the nature of the content of the site. Videos, written content and photographs are just the beginning. Many websites have calendars and other tools to help consumers keep track of what is happening with the company. Making sure every facet gels with the others can be a huge task. Feedback will often times offer solutions a designer may not think of due to being too close to the project.
Concept Feedback allows viewers to rate your website development concepts on several platforms, including originality, purpose, engagement and overall design. While the service is free of charge, there are other versions such as Elite and Titan that charge a nominal fee to use.
Bounce provides users with a URL where they can interact directly with a screenshot of your website. The simple tool allows them to make comments and suggest possible changes that will enhance and improve the design of the web page. This offers the website development designer two distinct benefits. Instead of just a description of possible changes, it provides a template where the person giving the feedback can describe in detail what they would do to improve or tweak the site. Feedback suggestions can be compared side by side to determine which one (or maybe parts of both) would best improve the design.
Criticue helps you improve your new and existing web designs by exchanging feedback with an intelligent community of entrepreneurs, usability experts and web designers. It’s a fair one-for-one exchange; for one site you review, you get one review of your own website. The more feedback you post, the more feedback you receive.
An app that runs on Mac OS X Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, and Mavericks, Silver app is a user friendly interface that can be used without much hassle. Performing guerilla usability tests become cost-effective as well as simpler using this software. Some other core functions of Silverback app include capturing the screen activity, recording tester’s voice commands, easy adding of chapters on-the-fly.
Usabilla is optimize for increasing conversion with visual feedback on your website, either through live website feedback or surveys used at any stage of the design process. You can make instant improvements based on specific feedback with visual context and rich metadata.
Usabilla survey allows you to gather feedback at any stage of the design process. It is an online tool for automated remote user testing and visual surveys. Integrate usability tests in your daily workflow and improve your design with high quality feedback.
User Testing is a good tool for those who want to choose users that match your target demographics. You can observe your users, watching their screen activity and listening to their voices as they share their experiences of using your website. In other words UserTesting lets you “look over the shoulder” of people in your target audience while they use your website. And we make it fast, easy, and inexpensive, so you’re more likely to do it.
Five Second Test
The Five Second Test is one of the least popular of the feedback tools but possibly one of the most effective at determining what stands out on a web page. Viewers are allowed to preview a page for five seconds. Once the preview ends they are asked to evaluate it based on memory. Another way is to click on the most prominent features of the page. This gives website development designers a clue as to what is most memorable about their design or basically what draws most of the attention from the viewer. No matter which method is used, the results show what is most striking about the design. This helps website development designers come up with content that leaps off the page and grabs the viewer’s attention.
An extremely innovative and creative feedback tool, this one helps you enjoy videos of your website’s real users. It is indeed as exciting a tool to use as it sounds. Using TryMyUI you will be able to see the screen of those who visit your site. You will also be able to gauge their actions on different pages of your site and hence keep track of their site visiting behavior. The users can also speak out their feedback and directly tell you what they like or don’t.
Built on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk web service this tool allows for links to be publicly available on a particular service until the reviewer has submitted a review for the site. Also, the results or feedback can be set to private; however, there is no specific setting such as. When you start using this tool, initially, you will start getting response within two to three hours of your submission. However, later on it might take longer.
From testing a new concept to improving or overhauling your website, VerifyApp allows for interesting improvement in a simple and easy manner. Improvements are made by making intelligent use of real-time data that has been collected and analysed. VerifyApp is extremely easy to set up and takes no time. It also allows you to take design screenshots as well as implement the feedback as given by users.
Please Critique Me
Please Critique Me is a feedback tool where each concept is critiqued by professionals. Individuals associated with online websites like Mashable.com review submissions, critique them and then offer the querant feedback as to how they can improve or enhance their content. The site also offers a large archive so users can see how other pages were reviewed and what suggestions they were offered.
Catering to mobile app usability testing, Userlytics is a must install in case you need flexible plans at affordable costs. The feedback tool allows for testing of prototypes, display ads, videos, tablets and social behavior. Supported by cloud technology, it makes sharing smarter. Project set-up is also made simple with the task templates that are a complete utility feature in this tool.
Using Feedback To Your Advantage
Feedback is the catalyst for future change. The ideas you originally started with, were the foundation to get you moving forward with your design. When you start receiving feedback from consumers, as well as peers within the industry, you begin to see a number of new possibilities present. Whether you choose one piece of feedback advice or try to incorporate many into a improving your design, the evolution process began with someone trying to help you make your page better. A simple comment can send you down several different pathways. The amount of feedback can be staggering.
The key to using feedback to your advantage is to look at what your initial goal was. Remember where you intended your page to go and choose the right advice to help you achieve that goal. Some forms of feedback may be easier to include than others. Rating systems tell you how much a feature is liked or disliked. Feedback tools that allow viewers to critique the page and leave actual comments can tell you why a feature isn’t as popular or well liked as others. When gaining feedback from professionals, they may offer you ideas on how to improve your page at an IT level. This could be something as simple as adding a guest counter or enabling a chat session with someone who monitors the web page.
Feedback is one of the most effective tools in website development. Information received through feedback may be just what you need to spice up a page that had been lagging in visits. While the information and data received through feedback can vary dramatically, it gives web designers a wealth of ideas they can use to transform a dull and dreary website into one that is capable of pulling in the viewers and keeping them coming back for more.