How to Give Great Feedback

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Note: This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.

Giving and receiving feedback is an important part of the learning process. Whether you are a beginner or an expert we are all learning from each other and refining our skills. I really appreciate when authors take the time to give item feedback or answer questions on the forums. It makes a difference, inspires others and represents the kind of community we have; dedicated professionals who like helping others.

Saying this, giving feedback for rejected items, issues and author queries can often feel like walking onto a minefield. Here are a few tips to help you give great feedback and avoid any unnecessary pitfalls.

Give Great Feedback

1) Be honest:

The best feedback is honest feedback. If an author is asking for feedback on a design, don’t fluff around. Give them your honest opinion, it is much more valuable. If an author is asking a question you don’t know the answer to, be honest and point them in the right direction (support).

2) Be fair:

Everyone is at a different level in their creative journey (sounds lame but it’s true). When giving feedback, be aware of the authors design level; beginner, intermediate and advanced. Make suggestions that will challenge them, help them learn and give them the drive to improve the item.

3) Be constructive:

We all know how a rejection can bruise the ego. When giving feedback, tread carefully. You are giving advice to help the author improve, not to discourage them. For every negative comment offer a suggestion for improvement.

4) If you don’t have anything nice to say…

My nana always says, “If you haven’t anything nice to say, don’t say it at all”.
I couldn’t agree more. If you can’t offer anything constructive in your feedback it’s best not to offer any. Completely negative comments are disempowering and disheartening.

5) Remember what it was like:

It takes courage to ask for feedback about your items, especially when it means so much to you. When giving feedback remember how it feels when people make comments about your work. Think about the kind of feedback that has been valuable to you and the feedback that has upset you. Remember, you are trying to help, not hinder.

These tips were complied by taking notes on the best feedback given by authors in our forums. Hopefully they inspire you to become one of many amazing community members giving great feedback.

  • Twitter Admin Pro

    Fantastic tips! Thanks for sharing.

  • CodingJack

    Whenever critical, I think the best approach is to use the “sandwich” technique.

    Obviously a funny example there, but it’s actually something I used to use in management and is quite effective for giving honest feedback without sounding too harsh.

  • Stolarija Elatio

    Great tips :-) Very useful

  • Eric

    I want to give feedback to Themeforest. Because you have no feedback area, I drop it here. Take it or leave it.
    It is very bad usability to handle support for items over the comments stream. Not searchable, poor overview… really bad and annoying, sorry!