Giving context about your needs, gives others a frame to respond within.

Open Reference

On a design team, the purpose of feedback is to solve problems, level up a team's skill, and push work to be better.

But when you're not talking to a group trained in giving feedback, asking for input may result in a simple reaction. Does someone "like" what you're doing or not. Whether this is helpful or not is a gamble.

How can we avoid getting a simple reaction?

Before you ask someone for their feedback, say what you plan to do with their input. Say why you're asking for input, and where you are in your process.

If you have a deadline in two hours and want someone to check for errors in your work — say so. That is very different than asking for an open-ended rethinking of a new idea. Giving context about your needs gives others a frame to respond within.

Setting the context and sharing your need is how you build a feedback frame.

If you've ever pitched a product or idea that you are already committed to, having someone say they don't like the general concept and should do something else… while it can feel harsh, it is also not helpful. This is why you have to share the kind of feedback you are specifically looking for so that people can help you effectively.

Next time you request feedback, try building a feedback frame first.

Pro-tip, if someone asks you for feedback without a frame, start by asking, "what kind of feedback do you want?"

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