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What is the best medium for getting feedback from my team?

Sitting down with people is most helpful but takes most time. Sitting down with individuals gets high quality feedback but ends up with me going "but this person said something different, what do you think about this?". Sitting down with lots of people together allows discussion and means less going back and forth between people with conflicting views, but can lead to long, less productive, discussions. Emails can get ignored but can be good for getting quick replies and not having to have a whole discussion.

How frequently should I ask my team for feedback, and what is the most efficient way of getting this?

There is a lot of going back and forth with people during the iterative design process. How can I ask my team for feedback multiple times without bugging them too much? Should I ask specific questions rather than just sending a marked up wireframe and spec for comments? If I'm asking questions, how do I prompt them to address things that I haven't thought of?

  • Just to clarify, with "team" do you mean your UX designer colleagues, or SW developers who will implement the UX you are designing? – Arqh Mar 13 '15 at 15:54
  • Mostly neither. They are product owner, project manager, representatives of stakeholders, content editors. They have some UX knowledge, a lot of user knowledge, but are not the developers who will implement the design. – Abbie Mar 13 '15 at 17:04
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    If you're talking about removing social inhibitors, the best way is to create a digital environment so you can control the social interactions. I would create a simple digital idea board where an idea (mock, drawing, whatever) can simply be posted and the team can anonymously post suggestions. Anonymity is the key to getting the best, most honest responses. – moot Mar 13 '15 at 17:23
  • Oo I like the anonymous idea! Although it makes it harder to follow up on a suggestion. Might give it a try though. – Abbie Mar 13 '15 at 17:49
  • You are in charge (or whoever) of the discussion. You are the only one who knows anybody's identity. You post everything - they submit idea, you post the idea, team responds to you, you post responses that meet criteria created by team. The idea doesn't have anybody attached to it either. So the ideas and the suggestions are free to succeed on their own merit (naturally agile). – moot Mar 13 '15 at 21:27
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We use inVision. You can upload your screens and link through to create a basic prototype. You can then invite people by email to review and leave comments on the prototype so they are all in one place. I think you get 2 or 3 free projects, enough to gather feedback in one place.

Failing that, use Trello - invite people to the board to leave comments!

The only advice I would suggest is be specific with the feedback otherwise it will turn into a free for all where somebody doesn't like one colour against another. Ask for feedback on completing specific tasks or taxonomy etc. so you get valuable feedback.

When you invite people to feedback set a criteria stating what you consider acceptable and unacceptable feedback so the people you know have constraints and a mini brief to understand how they can help you.

Good luck!

  • We already use Trello for planning so that sounds like one to try out :-) I'll have a look into inVision. Thanks for the suggestions! – Abbie Oct 14 '15 at 8:07
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In my experience, meetings work best. Meet with your team (use web conferencing if some of them work long distance) and walk through the wireframe/prototype together. To get the information you need, proceed in this order.

  1. Let them try the interface and see what they say. If you need more info then...
  2. Guide them to areas of interest and see what they say. If you need more info then...
  3. Guide them to areas of interest and ask them specific questions.

The order above is important. On the one hand, questions can often lead people and create unnecessary requests. On the other hand, your team may not have considered some important things. By doing things in the order above, you give them every chance to provide unsolicited feedback, and then only solicit specific feedback if all that fails.

How often should you meet? It depends on several factors...

  • How quickly is the interface changing?
  • How large is the team?
  • How busy is everyone?
  • What's their tolerance for meetings before they start "phoning it in"?

I'm with a small company, so we meet once a week during active development and there's a set date and time for the meetings, in advance. However, even with our modest size, it's sometimes an effort to get everyone together for a meeting.

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It’s every ones duty and responsibility in your team to address questions and resolve issues. That being said, to be more efficient, you need to have a thorough process in place:

1- Gather requirements and as much information as possible from all stakeholders internal and external. This should help you understand the full picture.

2- Research solutions and don’t avoid venturing into unknown territory. Keep constraints and limitations in mind from the start (things that you might have questions about, suggestions)

3- Group questions in a meaningful manner to optimise the outcome of any questions you have (step 1 and 2 could help here)

4- Design solutions with confidence!

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If you are considering a 360-degree feedback, it would be worthwhile talking to your sales team for comments on your design changes. Since their aim would be to report customer satisfaction, their feedback might have a significant impact on sales of your product.

To communicate with your sales team, you can use an email or your company google plus site. I invite them onto my meeting as I envision and also during the evaluation stages of my design.

On similar lines, you could ask one of your product support staff to comment on your design as they been helping reduce help desk calls.

The best way to communicate with your support staff would be to use email or ticketing system used by your company. I invite support staff when I design and evaluate my design.

Of course when you say your team, you definitely include your product management team. Jira and Confluence help achieve a collaborative work culture and works well to our needs. Google docs seamlessly integrate with confluence and all the participants are happy to add their comments and suggestions on Google docs.

All the diagrams are developed using Lucidchart at the moment and serve the purpose. I can invite collaborators and ask for comments and suggestions.

Draw.io is something I used before Lucidchart.

I involve one of the product team members all through the design stages except when I implement.

And finally, I communicate with my engineering team on a regular basis - SCRUM. We use Redmine/Google Docs/ Lucidchart/ Email.

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As for the medium, normally in my workflow the feedback is at place where the design tasks are posted and where I upload my designs. I like using Jira for this, however Confluence is better for completed designs: the long-reads with explanation of intent and all design stages and rounds. While Google Docs are good for feature proposal documents and collaborative comments on them.

Regarding generic feedback sessions I would plan a separate weekly catch-up with involved parties like UI QA, and for the feedback from UX team I find weekly peer review sessions/synchs being quite effective.

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