How do you manage client feedback?
Feedback, it's a blessing and a curse. Every web designer and developer knows that at some point you need to get feedback from your team and your client during website development. The problem is the countless ways that feedback is sent: emails, spreadsheets, text messages, project management software. Once you ask for feedback you spend all of your valuable time trying to manage it instead of doing something useful with it.
"The alternative is email hell or having really shoddy communication. I can trace just about every client problem I've ever had down to poor communication, and any tools or processes in place to counter that are a win in my book."
The problem isn't the feedback, the problem is a lack of good, easy to use tools to leave and manage the feedback.
A 2011 survey of web developers and designers* found that more than 55 percent of respondents didn't use any bug-tracking or issue-management systems when dealing with client feedback. When asked which tools they used to track issues, 44 percent responded that they used tools such as Basecamp or Google Docs.
Fortunately for developers there are an increasing number of web-based bug trackers which are better suited to the needs of web developers and designers. Unfortunately those solutions still tend to require a technical background and are not easy enough for non technical users.
I recently posed the following question to a group of web professionals. "Do you use software to allow clients to leave feedback and track issues during development and reviews on web projects?"
Most of the respondents answered that they use software to facilitate feedback, however all of the responses stated the biggest problem was getting clients to use the systems they implemented.
"Most clients don't want to learn a new system – they have enough software as it is."
"You have to recognize that the client will never change their process to yours (at least not until you prove the value)."
"I made several different attempts using a variety of bug and issue trackers, but almost every time ended up using a shared Google Docs Spreadsheet with tasks and milestones stated with due by dates and completed dates ... I typically did screen shots and cobbled them together into a PDF and then marked them up using Acrobat."
The question is not do you see value in using software to track issues and feedback with clients but rather how do you get clients to leave feedback in the software you chose?
The answer to this question is PageProofer. It was created to solve this problem. It makes leaving and managing feedback easy for everyone.
"Thanks for building this! My clients will like it too."
Renee @ DataWebProgramming.com
"We made our notes with PageProofer. Thanks for that, that's a great tool!"
Sean @ Zambezi
"This is a really fantastic idea."
Ali @ RazorFish
Give your clients the easiest option for giving feedback.
* 2011 Survey conducted by UsabilityHub of 11,000 members
** Basecamp integration must be configured within PageProofer