How to Give Good Feedback

I just had a great client meeting today for a huge client whose name I can't say (but one of the largest soda brands in the world).

We demo'd a new Flex / Flash app I developed, and his feedback was so clear, insightful, and upbeat, that when we got off the call, I said to the Client Rep's something I rarely say_

"I love this client!"

Why? I've talked to this guy twice, and both prefaced by, "...and this is Dom, the guy who'll be doing all the programming for your ideas. Say Hi Dom."

What feedback did he give that made me so charged, that I immediately implemented the changes as soon as we got off the call? Here's a brief list_

  • I can't see two navigation buttons at the bottom. As an average joe user, I might miss them first time around. Can we bring it to the top of the page to show them? - he's thinking of the user, and making it easier for them
  • These icons are all "default"-looking (they were placeholders because we weren't provided any icons). Can we go through each default and find an icon for them to use? I don't care what, just so long as it doesn't look like we couldn't find anything better than default - he instinctively knows its placeholder art, gives us the freedom to develop any art we want (close to brand but still nice), and wants the user to know we custom built each element
  • I love the look and feel of this navigation! (coverflow) But can we add navigation buttons just in case the user doesn't quite get it? - he's thinking of the user, lets us define HOW we want to show this navigation, but still respects the dev time it took to make it flashy
  • Now, I could go on, but all these notes had this in common_

    1. it thought of the user first, not himself
    2. it was positive and supportive of the work that is presented
    3. it simplified, reduced, and clarified what was presented
    4. it was about user experience
    5. it wasn't about adding functionality that wasn't agreed to - navigation was agreed upon, but asking us to include a simpler solution isn't new functionality, it's refactoring code (essentially) since we had the navigation already setup

    Just some thoughts to keep in mind when YOU give critical feedback to your team, hired guns, freelancers, or parents.


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