Responding to feedback

Feedback may be asked from the client, target market and other experts in the market.

Client feedback

A designer’s initial design may not be exactly what the client had imagined, so feedback is vital to help adapt and improve the product. The client will have a clear idea of what the users of the product, known as the target market group, are looking for and may be able to give the designer feedback about changes they want to be made.

The client may have a particular branding style or a range of existing products that the designer needs to think about or include. As the client is paying for the services of the designer, the client’s wishes should be considered at each stage of the process.

Target market feedback

A group of potential users of the product can be given a prototype to test. These user trials aim to get honest and critical opinions from a range of people. When numerous people are asked for opinions, it is important to ask questions that can be quantified to provide information that can be analysed using spreadsheets and algorithms:

  • Quantitative data is information that can be measured and written down with numbers, eg length.
  • Qualitative data is information that cannot be measured and is often based on opinion, eg favourite colour.

Being able to create charts and graphs means data can be looked at quickly and can be shared with other people in a simplified form, as the data is more visual.

Chart showing an example of a form of evaluating feedback data for most popular school bag design. Example shows a pie chart and bar chart.

Example

Electricity used to power a kettle over a year can be plotted on a bar chart, which gives the consumer a visual diagram of their electricity use and peaks. Below is an example of electricity used to power a kettle to heat water for a company:

A bar chart for evaluating the cost of electricity over a year-long period - time of year is along the x-axis and cost in pounds goes up the y-axis.

Analysis:

  • the use of electricity decreases from January to July and is at its lowest in July
  • the use of electricity increases from July through to December

The decrease in use of electricity could be linked to people drinking fewer hot drinks in the warmer months.

Question

A student is planning on making a watering device for gardeners. To identify if there is a need for such a device they research rainfall in the UK. The pie chart below shows average monthly rainfall figures for the UK. Identify any patterns in the data within the pie chart.

A pie chart illustrating the levels of rainfall over a year-long period.
  • most rain fell in April
  • there was no rain in July
  • winter and spring months were the wettest
  • summer months were the driest
  • over 50 per cent of rainfall was from February to May

Expert opinion

Professionals in industry can provide insightful and appropriate feedback. They could have experience of how to make improvements, or how a product can be cheaper or easier to make.

Being able to reflect on data in a positive way is a key skill of a designer. Working collaboratively can help people see the viewpoint of others and improve creativity.