How to get amazing feedback from clients every time

A few weeks ago, I sent a wireframe to a client and asked for their feedback. Although I tried to guide them on what I was looking for, my wireframes were met with 20-something bullet-points on what “needed” to be changed.

There was no mention of the reasoning or the problems they were trying to solve with the prescribed solutions, just a list of instructions.

It would have been easy for me to blame the client, tell them to find another monkey, then go pout with my designer buddies — but instead I decided it was my fault. No one knows how to give good feedback instinctively. It’s just not something we’re born with.

I ended up creating a special document for my clients that went into detail on how to give effective feedback. I’ve since added it to every single new project and routinely send it to my clients as a reminder on how to discuss my work. I’ve saved a ton of time from it. My clients have too.

It’s yours free. 

How to give me really useful feedback

This page will walk you through how to give me really effective feedback on whatever I just sent you.

The golden rule of effective feedback

If something isn’t working, tell me why and I’ll fix it. I want to earn my money.

General rules for effective feedback

Please do

DO feel free to go negative about things you don’t like. If you don’t tell us what you think isn’t working, we’ll show you the same thing again and again.

DO point out and go into as much detail as possible as to why you feel something is not working. More than anything, your reasoning is critical to solving the

DO speak to your goals and priorities for the project.

DO tell us why we’re wrong about certain design and development decisions we’ve made. Part of the process is finding those holes.

DO limit the amount of people participating in the review cycle to as small as possible – for faster, more succinct feedback.

Please don’t

DON’T mock up designs or alterations to our designs or
code in photoshop, word, or any other program. Doing
so is counter productive because we then must reverse
engineer the whole thing to find out what you were
trying to solve. This results in lost time, and budget.

DON’T prescribe solutions, because prescriptive
feedback also needs to be unpacked, and reverse engineered
to get to the real issue.

Bad → “Move the twitter button to the left”
Better → “We want more importance placed on the social media sharing tools.”

DON’T forget you hired design and development experts
and your job is to be the business expert.

“Don’t hire a dog, and then bark yourself.” – David Ogilvy

It tells you exactly what you should and shouldn’t do in order to give damn good feedback on even the most complex freelance projects. All I ask is that if you really like it, make sure to share it with your friends and tell them how you found it.