Succeeding in postgraduate study
Succeeding in postgraduate study

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Succeeding in postgraduate study

5.4 Acting on feedback

The first step to improving your work is by asking for feedback, and it is worth thinking about how you do this. Simply requesting general feedback may not elicit many responses, so specifying which aspects you would like the feedback to focus on would be helpful to those you are requesting feedback from. Take Activity 7, for example. You could have started by asking: ‘I would like your feedback on this annual leave booking system. I am particularly interested in usability. Do you think the system is as easy to use as possible? Any other feedback is gratefully received.’ This is likely to elicit more responses than ‘I would like your feedback.’ Your next step would be to act upon the feedback you have received.

Activity 8 Acting on feedback

Allow approximately 10 minutes

You are developing a software system to manage annual leave for a large company. You have requested feedback from a selection of employees who will be using the system. You are now at the end of an iteration, and have received the following comments:

  1. Have you thought of using the company’s colour scheme?
  2. I like the overall feel of what I can see so far.
  3. It would be helpful to have an option to print out the leave calendar.
  4. The leave system is difficult to use.
  5. The leave year for the company runs with the financial year, i.e. from 1 April to 31 March, but the calendar in the leave system defaults to showing a single calendar year (starting on 1 January). It would make sense if the calendar view matched the leave year for the company.

For each piece of feedback consider what you would do to change your design.

Discussion

  1. It is likely that you would design the system using the company’s colour scheme. If you are unsure about giving critical feedback, forming it as a question can be an easy way to provide a new perspective in a neutral manner.
  2. This does not give you any specific advice on how to improve the leave system. You could ask for clarification about which aspects are ‘liked’ about the design of the system.
  3. It is likely that you would add a printing facility to the leave system.
  4. This may be true, but (as with the second piece of feedback above) you would need to request more information before you could make any improvements to the system.
  5. It is likely that you would develop the next iteration in the way specified by the feedback. This feedback is ideal as it is clear and specific.
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