June 18, 2024 3 min read

In One Voice: How to Provide Meaningful Feedback

In all creative ventures, whether it's designing a brand identity, crafting a marketing strategy, or developing complex software, feedback plays a crucial role in shaping the project’s final outcome. Review cycles provide you with the opportunity to provide valuable input. We want to hear what resonates with you and what doesn't. However, the method in which feedback is provided can also have a significant impact on the success of a project. That’s why at Bust Out, we ask our partners to designate a single individual to provide consolidated, written feedback that represents a single perspective or, is in One Voice.

Have you ever received feedback from multiple stakeholders, but each piece expresses differing opinions and suggestions? It happens more often than you might think. And when it does, it introduces confusion and delays progress. This is critical: don’t just aggregate everyone’s comments into one document and click send. When feedback is focused, intentional and curated to be cohesive, it ensures everyone is on the same page and minimizes misunderstandings. It also allows the team to move forward with confidence.

It takes a bit of effort, but the benefits are abundant. Here are a few tips for how to provide helpful feedback in One Voice.

Tips for Collecting Feedback in One Voice:

  • Start with clear objectives. When collecting feedback, first make sure everyone understands the goal of the deliverable.
  • Identify decision-makers and designate a lead. Regardless of how many stakeholders have a say, identify your specific decision makers. Then, appoint one individual whose job it is to curate (consolidate, organize and prioritize) the feedback.
  • Provide reactions, not solutions. Sometimes providing feedback can be stressful because of uncertainty about how to respond. To help, focus on what you think works and what doesn’t, not what the solution is. For example, with a visual design, ask yourself: How does this design make you feel? What resonates and what doesn’t? For the things that don’t resonate, try to articulate why. For example, tell us something like:
    • THIS: "That section doesn't feel as important as it should be. It should be more prominent."
    • NOT THAT: “Make that photo in that section bigger and make the text bold and red."
  • Reference what was previously approved. The creative process is iterative. One review builds on the next until the end product is realized. It's easier to see how a web property evolves when you have previously approved deliverables for reference.
  • Feedback is actionable. Provide feedback items that can be acted upon. For example, feedback that sounds like:
    • THIS: “As a team, we would like to see a new banner image. The current one does not properly reflect our brand because it [insert reason].”
    • NOT THAT: “Some of us like the banner image and some of us don't.”
  • Address internal discrepancies. Lastly, if possible, achieve internal alignment before sending over feedback. This does not mean you need to arrive at a solution on your own. Absolutely not! Bring the topic or question to us for collaborative exploration and facilitated discussion. Seriously. It’s our job.
Shanita John Director of Operations