Strongly Agree: Making Feedback Simpler

I was invited to present a u/x talk at the Oredev conference in Malmo Sweden several years ago. At the conclusion of my presentation, rather than asking attendees to complete paper evaluations, each person selected a red, yellow, or green card from stacks near the door and placed the card in a basket as he or she exited.

This method was the perfect design for everyone concerned. It was quick and easy for my audience to rate my performance and I received immediate visual feedback just by glancing in the basket. I was barely able to wait until everyone left to count my results.

Since this setup was used for every presentation in the three day event, people got used to depositing a card as they left. The beauty of the system really showed in the larger keynote presentations. Even with several hundred people leaving an auditorium, everyone could vote their opinion and still exit with a minimal delay.

So how did I rate? Two red, six yellow, and seven green. Not bad, but room for improvement next time.

Years later, when I advise clients about gathering information, I cite this example as how much time and attention the average audience member will devote to giving you feedback. Whether the survey is on paper, or on the web, we need to adjust our desire for feedback to the participant’s level of commitment.