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How to Give Effective Feedback on Web Design: 5 Tips and Tricks

Last updated
January 15, 2022
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9 min

Sometimes you look at a website design and just know that it doesn’t work. You can’t really tell how you imagined it in your head, but you know for sure that the website look that your designer shows to you is not it. In fact, it’s really far from what you wanted it to be. But how can you explain it to your web designer?

Giving good feedback for a website is one of the most challenging tasks out there. Its almost impossible not to be subjective. But before you call your designer and tell them that “something doesn’t work,” let us help you give feedback that gets you the right results.

We’ll cover some tips and tricks, along with feedback on website design examples and even a website design feedback form that will come in handy.

6 Tips for Effective Feedback in Web Design cover
Table of Contents

5 Tips on Giving Good Feedback for a Website

Our first tip is to:

1. Keep your audience in mind

User interviews conducted for leadership training app, Wolfpak
User interviews conducted for leadership training app, Wolfpak

Before sharing your feedback with your web designers, stop for a second and understand your website from the perspective of a visitor. When you think about their personality, background and goals, the type of website you need will become easier to visualise and understand. So maybe you find the website design not exactly your cup of tea, but it actually works pretty well with your target audience.

For instance, this could be the case if you’re designing a website whose main visitors are from a different generation than yourself. You might be in your twenties thinking the best web design is all about following trends and using unique, abstract solutions like parallax scrolling, while your audience in their 40s just don’t care and would prefer a more minimalistic, straightforward design to navigate through.

That’s why you should know your audience really well and put yourself in their shoes when looking at your web design. Create buyer personas and then ask yourself: would they love this? Why or why not?

To take it even further, try to ask your users directly what they think of the web design. There are many ways you can ask your visitors to share their opinion. Here are some feedback on website design examples you can get from your audience:

Pop-up surveys

The pop-up survey could appear right in the middle of your visitor’s screen, making them choose either to fill it in or to close the window before they can move on to your website content.

But don’t cross the line with the questions in the pop-up surveys, as you may end up annoying your customers and pushing them away. Instead, limit your questions to the essential ones and make them multiple choice questions so that the visitor can quickly choose the answer. Remember, no one wants to spend more than a minute on a pop-up survey.

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On-page surveys

The on-page surveys are tiny forms usually on the bottom of your page that slide up like chatbots. Compared to pop-up surveys, these are better solutions in terms of UX, as they do not interrupt your visitor’s experience on your website.

In these surveys, you can ask open-ended or multiple-choice questions and decide the number of seconds it takes until the survey appears to your visitors after the page is fully loaded.

Feedback widgets

Finally, you can go with a feedback widget. It is a button that your user can click, rate their overall experience, and sometimes also answer an open-ended question that will help the company improve their user experience.

No matter which method you choose, getting feedback directly from your audience will help you give a more objective review of the website design for your design team and show what the actual users like or dislike. This way, you will put your personal preferences aside and talk with facts.

2. Try to add value with your feedback

0%
of users admit to making judgements about a company's credibility based on their website's design
0%
of B2B customers search the web before making a decision
0%
of a user's first impressions are design related

Providing helpful web design feedback is more important than you might think. A Stanford University study found out that 75% of the users have admitted that they judge the company’s credibility based on its website’s design and UX. And the worst part is, it does not take too long for your users to form an opinion about your website’s design! According to the studies, it takes less than two seconds for a typical user to create an impression of the website they’re visiting.

All of this proves one more time that being able to provide your designers with valuable and helpful feedback is crucial. But how exactly do you do that?

Well, you should remember that every piece of opinion you’re telling out loud should make sense to your designers and help improve the overall project. For instance, you might want to ask your design team to “make the brand logo bigger.” Well, of course, this could be an example of an efficient piece of feedback in some cases. However, what if making your logo too big might take your visitors’ attention from an important CTA and decrease the conversion rate?

Or you might want to squeeze a couple of visuals into the page, but it might end up cluttering your website and leaving no space to breathe. So as we’ve mentioned, ask yourself: if I add this graphic visual I really love will it impress my visitors or shift their focus from the core message?

3. Try to avoid vague phrases

Here are some examples of vague feedback statements:

“I want it to be a little bluish, and please add more clouds to it.”

Most people have trouble differentiating personal likes from the actual needs of the business. You might love blue and want to add some dreamy clouds to your page, but remember that your visitors might hate it. This said, in the end, there will always be something in the design that reflects your personal taste, and it’s completely fine.

However, make sure your designer knows what you’re looking for before they start the designing process. In the beginning, the two of you can make a design brief that both of you have agreed on, which will help avoid misunderstandings later on. Just mention in the brief that you want your website to be a little bluish and have a romantic sense to it with lots of fluffy clouds, and you won’t be disappointed!

“Can you make this pop?”

This one is among the most potentially confusing comments for designers. There are many ways of interpreting this message. And you can have all types of vague adjectives here: can you make it more modern, fun, exciting, cool etc.

Well, the thing is that while it might make sense to you what you mean by saying “pop”, the definition to your designer may be drastically different.

To fix it, try to find and show your designers some of the existing website examples that you like. For instance, if you’re working on a gaming page, you might have some good examples of gaming websites that are clearly superior, so share them with your design team! It will serve as a reference for your web design and help them understand better what you want.

“…”

Finally, not saying anything at all is worse than saying, “can we make it pop?”. Complete silence can be more dangerous than all of the comments mentioned above. At least, this way, your designers get a sense of what’s going on in your mind, whereas with no feedback, it can very quickly go off the rails from your original desired web design.

Even if you think that your comments might hurt the designer’s feelings, trust us – its a necessary evil. From our own perspective, we would much rather go through further iterations and stay on the same page, than let the project go on far longer than it needs to with both parties unhappy with the final result. 

There are always polite ways of telling even the toughest feedback. Try using the sandwich approach, where you start by mentioning the good sides of the project, explain the weak parts in the middle, and then finish on a high note.

If you approach the web design feedback seriously, you will get rid of the ambiguous phrasing and learn how to get straight to the issue.

4. Open a discussion

Good feedback for a website is never a one-sided opinion. Most of the time, it is an open discussion between the web designer and the owner. This is why instead of asking your designer to change something you don’t like, try to ask them why they chose the specific solution. After all, they know everything about UI and UX design, so maybe they can explain to you why their version works better and actually convince you to keep it.

Here’s an example. Instead of telling your designers, “The shoe menu should be on the top,” try saying, “In other websites, I usually find the shoe menu on the top of the page. Is there any reason you chose to place it on the left section?”

And trust us, your designer might have some valid reasons to put the shoe menu on the left. After all, he probably has worked on eCommerce web design for years and understands well what works and what doesn’t.

So if you ask questions instead of giving direct comments, you’ll open a dialogue between you and the design team, turning it all into effective teamwork.

5. Trust the process

We know we covered a lot here, and with all of this in mind, you might be too overwhelmed. But our last piece of advice is not to overthink it. You have chosen your designers, so you have to maintain trust and respect towards them and believe that they will solve any issue and get great results.

Trusting the process is one of the key parts of feedback giving and receiving. Of course, the first draft versions may be too far from the final one, which is completely fine. The design process takes a lot of time and effort, so be a little patient about it. Meanwhile, all you have to do is stay clear and honest with the design team, explain what works for you and what doesn’t, and hear their opinion on it.

These were our main tips, but we also promised you to give some good feedback on website design examples, so let’s quickly skim over them:

Feedback on website design example

“Thanks for the website design draft; I think you’ve done hard work and achieved beautiful results!

However, I would like to single out a couple of things that do not seem to resonate with me. I think the chosen font is too simple for our eCommerce. You know we’re creating a shop where people can buy exclusive prints from the top photographers in the world, so I think that these people would love to see a more interesting typographical solution.

For instance, I think space posters’ website uses a really interesting font, and I would love to see something similar for our page. Still, I’m not sure whether it would be the right choice: what do you think? Will this confuse our audience and make it harder for them to read the text? Was there a specific reason you chose the current font? Please let me know your opinion on this topic, and we can come to a mutual agreement.

And with the colors, I would also like to keep it simple, nothing too colorful, I think. I have skimmed through some websites of our competitors and noticed that they all hold a simple palette; most of the time, they even choose to stay in black and white.

That said, I really like the website navigation and visuals in it; it’s exactly how I imagined it to be. Thank you!

Let me know when you have some time to chat about it, and we can organize a meeting! “

We hope this example and our tips help you phrase your feedback better! Let us know how it all went!

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General FAQ

A good website design should serve the initial goal of the website and company and successfully convey the specific message while at the same time engaging the visitors and making them stay.

There are multiple factors that can make website design good. In general terms, we can say that good design is one that is understandable, clear, long-lasting, and honest.

About Passionate

Passionate is a full service design agency specialising in providing branding, graphic design, web design and WordPress, Shopify and Webflow services.

We pride ourselves on our meticulous attention to detail, speed of delivery and the genuine advice we provide throughout the process. Last but not least, we try to be as flexible as possible, within your budget and deadlines. So if there is something you think we can help with, feel free to just book a call and we’ll walk you through the rest! 

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