I talk about feedback a lot. There are a couple main levels of feedback in the world of digital design.
- Letting your user/learner know that their action has been received/is being processed. For instance, the change in a button when it gets clicked.
- The second is on more of a user research level. If there’s a problem with your website, you want to make it easy for a user to let you know that there is. And if you’re researching a user’s experience with a prototype, you also want to get feedback from them.
This second type of feedback, of course, applies to any experience, not just digital ones. I’ve been asked to fill out feedback surveys at malls, in museums and after concerts.
And while it’s great to actively seek feedback in those manners, there should also be an easy way for a customer/visitor/experiencer to give unsolicited feedback about their experience. If the experiencer has a thought of something they want to communicate to an institution and can’t immediately take action on that impulse, there’s a good chance of the information not ever getting to the institution. I have definitely left stores and museums wanting to let them know something wasn’t working quite right, or that someone I interacted with was particularly helpful. But the process of figuring out how to communicate that information and to whom often becomes a big enough obstacle that I don’t end up doing it.
I recently attended a weekend workshop at Micro Center. Attendance was low, so I ended up working closely with the Knowledge Expert leading it. After we finished, he gave me his card, in case I had follow-up questions. When I looked at the card after I got home, I realized that, in addition to his name and contact info, this business card had a link to a feedback survey.
It’s a great idea on Micro Center’s part to have that printed on everyone’s business cards. Presumably, if there’s a good support culture at Micro Center (which I get the sense that there is), any time an employee works closely with an individual, they give the customer their card at the end the interaction, in case something comes up later. Thus, most people who have close contact with an employee also go home with an easy way to provide feedback about their experience.
This still doesn’t cover people, who, for instance, come in, wander a bit, don’t find what they’re looking for and leave. And of course, there’s no guarantee that people will fill out the survey. But it’s a really simple way to give a lot more people easy access to a feedback forum than they would’ve had otherwise.