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Reflection: Week #5 – Feedback Sandwich

Before I finish up the prototype I am working on for this class next week, the directive has been to provide feedback to others in the class. I should start by saying that I don’t think I am any good at giving feedback, even though I have been told otherwise. I think the issue is that I have a hard time feeling like what I am providing is valuable, actionable, but also constructive. The assignment did give some level of a rubric for providing feedback, but because the scope of these prototypes can be large, I felt that just sticking to that wouldn’t have provided the level of thought for a fellow classmate to actually use.

So I made sure to go through each prototype that I reviewed screen by screen, and wrote my thoughts on the layout, information, content, interactive elements, animations, and overall usability. I also tried to go through the app using a “natural” task based on the journey maps that we completed, as well as from the information provided in the personas. I ended up producing long bulleted lists, but encountered some doubt when finished:

  1. I had a lot of questions – Because there was a lot that was left open when creating these prototypes, I wasn’t exactly clear on what assumptions were made, what the imagined business rules were, and the complete vision of the classmate’s project. I tried to incorporate these into my feedback to provide an anchor in case I was off base from their intention.
  2. I had to recheck myself for tone – Communicating on the internet can be difficult, especially when you are delivering critical feedback. The idea of the “feedback sandwich” (any negative feedback surrounded by positive feedback) was never something that I thought was that effective, but I do see the benefit of calling out positive things throughout the process of critique. I wanted to make sure that I was balanced, fair, and respectful. I think I did a good job, but like with any type of writing/publishing I do, I made sure to read and re-read multiple times.

Overall, I am hopeful that my classmates will be able to take at least one thing from the feedback I provided to improve their prototypes. Now I am about to take the feedback given to me (and how I received that is probably fodder for an additional post…) and make some final changes before publishing the final version that will be ready for testing!