How to Ask for Feedback

August 2, 2020

Getting a second opinion on your data visualisations is crucial. Feedback can help you identify what’s unclear, misleading or even wrong in your work. But hearing criticism—albeit constructive—on your design is not always easy nor pleasant. So how can you make this process less painful and more effective?

To avoid subjective comments (“I don’t like this colour”, “I prefer pie charts“ etc.), try the following six questions:

  • Where are your eyes drawn first?
  • What do you think is the key message of the visualisation?
  • What works well?
  • Is anything unclear or misleading?
  • What features help you interpret what’s going on?
  • Does the visual invite you to ask more questions, or want to learn more? Why or why not?

Now, focus on the answers to make appropriate changes to your work.

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This post is an excerpt from a book chapter I’m writing on the data design process. Stay tuned for information on its release this September!