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A simple way to improve async product feedback in distributed teams
A touch of humanity goes a long way in a distributed creative team.
Product feedback, especially at the early stages, is a touchy thing. If you are providing feedback, you are being invited into a creative process. And creative processes are sensitive.
This goes 2X if you're a stakeholder and have a power differential over those you are providing product feedback to. Your words carry extra weight, for better and worse.
Here is a very simple practice you can try that I've seen made an outsized difference in the quality and impact of async feedback sharing:
Instead of sending a list of bullet points with written feedback, record a video talking it through. (I currently use Loom.)
In a distributed team, seeing a human face on screen, talking through their thinking and feedback on a given piece of work, is *so* much more impactful for the receiver.
The upside for you, as the giver of feedback, is that they will listen to your feedback more. That goes a long way to having your (hopefully generous) critique land well.
You can always send the bullet points as a recap later, but if you're sending initial feedback on important WIP—like a prototype, mockup, or important presentation—give async video try.
You'll be surprised at how small tweaks re-humanize a distributed, asynchronous creative process.