How do you gather feedback on website design that’s not a confusing mess of notes and email communications?
That’s the problem facing website designers.
More and more, website design agencies work with remote clients and WFH team members – meaning virtual meetings and digital communication are the norm. It’s hard to get concrete, actionable insights.
The result is often endless revisions, tweaks, and contradictory requests. No creative project – especially one as complicated as website design – can yield a satisfactory end product under such constraints.
What’s the solution? How do you gather high-quality feedback on website designs without a headache-inducing communication storm? Find out below.
What is Website Design Feedback?
Gathering feedback on website designs means collecting opinions, suggestions, and ideas from creative colleagues, other departments, potential customers, and stakeholders.
It’s a laborious process. However, mistakes go unnoticed without these critical insights, user interfaces (UI) go unoptimized, and clients don’t receive the website they hoped for.
Not all feedback is the same. We can split it into two broad categories:
- Qualitative feedback: Think of it as a deep dive into the human psyche, capturing the emotions, personal perceptions, and the “whys” behind user interactions. It’s the colorful commentary that paints a picture of a user’s journey through the digital landscape of your website.
- Quantitative feedback: This is the cold, hard data—the heartbeat of your website in numbers. It’s like the digital pulse, showing you where users flock, how long they stay, and what makes them click.
Pros and Cons of Qualitative and Quantitative Feedback
Creatives tend to prioritize qualitative feedback over raw numbers. They want opinions and design advice. However, precise, measurable data is sometimes necessary to achieve a website design optimized to convert.
After all, websites aren’t a work of art; they’re a functional, purpose-built tool to convert browsers into buyers. Let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of these two forms of feedback in website design:
- Unearths deeper user emotions, providing a clearer understanding of what resonates with them.
- Encourages a more personalized design approach, enhancing user engagement and satisfaction.
- Helps in identifying pain points or areas of friction that might not be apparent in raw data.
- Can be time-consuming to collect and analyze due to its unstructured nature.
- Might lead to conflicting viewpoints, making decision-making more challenging.
- Susceptibility to biases, both from respondents and interpreters.
- Offers precise, measurable data, enabling objective evaluations.
- Efficiently identifies trends and patterns, providing clear directions for improvements.
- Streamlines decision-making by reducing ambiguity.
- Might overlook the underlying reasons or motivations behind the data.
- Risks being impersonal, potentially missing unique user stories or experiences.
- Can lead to over-reliance on numbers, sidelining intuitive or creative design aspects.
Integrating Feedback on Website Design
Combining the intuitive insights of qualitative feedback with the empirical strength of quantitative data can result in a superior website design. That’s not easy. During the revision process, you’ll need to employ different data collection methods.
For quantitative data, for example, tools like web analytics let you monitor user behavior patterns, such as bounce rate, drop-offs, or high engagement areas. These metrics offer a bird’s eye view, highlighting where a problem occurs.
Common examples of real-time analytics include:
- Page Views: Tracks the number of times a particular page is viewed in real time.
- Bounce Rate: Measures the percentage of visitors who leave the site after viewing just one page.
- Session Duration: Displays the average length of time users spend on the site.
- Events: Monitors real-time user actions on the site, like clicking a button, filling out a form, or playing a video.
- Conversions: Tracks real-time goal completions like sign-ups, purchases, or downloads.
Qualitative feedback, meanwhile, helps designers identify the specific component causing problems. For example, if visitors to a website aren’t clicking the call-to-action button, a user survey may be necessary to understand the specific problem. “I didn’t see it” or “the message wasn’t compelling.”
To gather subjective feedback on a website design, these methods are used:
- User Interviews: Conversations with users highlight their needs, preferences, and challenges, enabling designers to understand deeper motivations.
- Usability Testing: Observing users interact with the website helps pinpoint design issues, confusion areas, or successful elements, guiding refinements.
- User Surveys: Questionnaires aimed at gathering user feedback on website design, functionality, and overall experience, offering a broad perspective on user satisfaction.
- Heatmaps: Visuals showing user click, scroll, or movement patterns on a webpage, revealing behavior and focal points.
Proofing Tools in Feedback Collection
Obtaining feedback and refining website designs is an iterative and ongoing process. Specialized tools, from user surveys to heatmaps, help paint a detailed picture of user interactions.
Translating these insights (and feedback from colleagues) into visual changes requires an indispensable tool: online proofing software.
These platforms streamline the feedback collection process by centralizing comments, annotations, and approvals directly on design drafts. Stakeholders (and even users) can easily collaborate, providing real-time feedback on website designs that are both organized and contextual.
No longer do designers have to sift through scattered emails or notes; everything is consolidated and directly linked to the design element in question.
For example, if heat maps indicate that users aren’t clicking on a particular video or a user survey informs the team that a particular color scheme isn’t working, designers can annotate the current draft, suggesting new ideas or improvements.
The combination of structured feedback on online proofing software and actionable insights from other tools allows for precise and purpose-driven design tweaks.
Gather Feedback on Your Website Design
Feedback is the lifeblood of successful creative projects – including website designs. Ensuring the final product engages and converts visitors requires both qualitative and quantitative insights at each stage in the interactive design process. Ashore can help. As a purpose-built online proofing tool, it lets you annotate and revise a website design in real time. Get instant feedback on your website by registering for free today!