Collect better stakeholder feedback with these 8 steps

Collect better stakeholder feedback with these 8 steps

Maximize your website’s potential by leveraging stakeholder feedback for better alignment, innovation, and team engagement. Here’s how.

Collect better stakeholder feedback with these 8 steps

Maximize your website’s potential by leveraging stakeholder feedback for better alignment, innovation, and team engagement. Here’s how.

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Written by
Webflow Team

Thoughtfully integrating stakeholder feedback transforms your website into a dynamic, user-focused platform.

Before launching your website or updating its features, it’s crucial to solicit constructive criticism from internal teams and external clients.

Beyond shedding light on overlooked aspects — such as confusing user interface (UI) design issues, navigation challenges, and content gaps where you don’t fully meet user needs — this process also uncovers technical glitches unnoticed by developers and presents opportunities to enhance the user experience. This comprehensive understanding helps address specific issues and recognize your website’s strengths, revealing which elements to maintain or improve.

In short, stakeholder feedback is the secret sauce for unlocking your website’s full potential. Here’s why.

What’s stakeholder feedback?

Stakeholder feedback comprises the input, opinions, thoughts, and comments from individuals who are invested in your project’s outcome. This includes internal and external stakeholders, which we’ll discuss in the section below. These individuals and entities bring diverse perspectives from their varied backgrounds, expertise, and interests in your project.

For instance, stakeholder feedback could involve customer feedback. Customers provide a unique perspective on your website since they’re the most attuned to usability issues, and they can aid in identifying problems and pain points before a wider launch.

Taking stakeholder feedback into account ensures that your website functions smoothly from a technical standpoint, resonates deeply with your target audience, and stays aligned with your overarching business goals.

What’s the difference between internal and external stakeholders?

There are two types of stakeholders: internal and external. Each offers distinct insights into your web project.

What’s an internal stakeholder?

Internal stakeholders are part of your organization, like team members, project managers, or executives. Their feedback — rooted in organizational roles and expertise — often addresses operational inefficiency and team dynamics.

For instance, internal stakeholder feedback might focus on project management feedback to help you determine how to enhance collaboration or eliminate blockers for more effective management. By leveraging the insights of internal project stakeholders, you gain a holistic understanding of your organization’s strengths and areas for improvement. This, in turn, empowers you to make informed decisions that lead to better project and product outcomes.

What’s an external stakeholder?

External stakeholders, such as users or business partners, are outside your organization. They provide perspectives based on their experience with your product and market expectations. As such, their feedback is invaluable for gaining insights into user experience, preferences, and market trends.

Why stakeholder feedback is so important

As mentioned above, stakeholder feedback helps you align your website with the expectations and requirements of those directly involved in or affected by your project. Both positive and negative feedback can provide valuable insight that contributes to the success of your project.

Here’s why stakeholder feedback is essential to your web project’s success:

  • Enhances alignment. Incorporating insights from internal and external stakeholders ensures your project aligns seamlessly with internal operations and external market demands. This alignment is vital for meeting organizational goals and delivering a product that meets user expectations.
  • Drives innovation. Stakeholders offer diverse perspectives that can lead to innovative solutions. For example, external stakeholders, like users, may offer fresh ideas or identify pain points that cause high bounce rates. Meanwhile, internal stakeholders who are intimately acquainted with the site development processes can determine the best way to meet this demand given the organizational constraints. This feedback-driven innovation creates a dynamic and forward-thinking project environment.
  • Builds team engagement. Internal and external stakeholder feedback, whether positive or negative, can increase team morale and engagement. Positive feedback reveals how the broader organization perceives employees’ work. Even constructive criticism clearly outlines what isn’t working and identifies actionable targets for improvement. This gives teams a place to focus their attention instead of striking out mindlessly in the dark. A good feedback loop can help you align your coworkers and build a high-performing team. When implemented at an organizational level, this leads to a transparent and open company culture.
  • Boosts user engagement. By focusing on user preferences and needs, stakeholder feedback hones organizational efforts to meet specific user needs. Doing so leads to improved user experience and engagement, which can drive higher conversion rates and better search engine optimization (SEO). More conversions also mean a better return on investment (ROI).
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8 steps for collecting stakeholder feedback

If you’re ready to dive into collecting stakeholder feedback, check out our eight steps below. While every situation is different, these steps provide a general framework to seek out user feedback, implement critiques, and iterate to create a stellar website.

1. Define your feedback objectives

Clearly outline what you aim to achieve with your feedback collection process — whether this means improving user experience, refining your site functionality, or enhancing your brand’s visual appeal. Laying out your objectives helps you in the later steps of your feedback framework as you identify key stakeholders and assess their responses.

2. Identify key stakeholders

To maximize the usefulness of your stakeholder feedback, you’ll need to identify key stakeholders who can provide the most valuable or actionable feedback. Your feedback objectives are a great guide to help you identify the stakeholders crucial to your project’s success.

For instance, if you’re developing an ecommerce site, prioritize feedback from potential users and marketing team members. Their insights on user experience and market trends are likely more relevant than feedback from less directly involved departments like finance.

Focusing on the most relevant stakeholders ensures your collected feedback directly contributes to your site’s success and addresses the most essential aspects.

3. Gather feedback

Actively collect feedback using accessible and user-friendly methods, and align these with your project goals and your stakeholders’ preferences to encourage active participation. Consider leveraging feedback tools such as surveys, user testing, and direct communication platforms to gather diverse insights. These tools make open dialogue between you and your audience smoother and integrate the feedback process directly into your design workflow. 

For example, if your primary users are tech-savvy teens active on social media, avoid traditional methods like email campaigns. Instead, opt for social media-integrated surveys or polls on marketing channels where they interact most with your brand. Use appealing titles like “Help us help you!” to grab their attention and increase response rates. Doing so ensures the feedback you collect is relevant, useful, and reflective of your stakeholder’s experiences and preferences.

4. Structure responses

Once you’ve gathered feedback, organize it systematically to make trends and areas for improvement more visible.

For instance, you might categorize responses based on themes or topics. If multiple users highlight issues with your checkout process, categorize these responses under the checkout process theme for further analysis. This structured approach allows for focused analysis on specific website or project aspects to help you understand common issues and areas where users are experiencing difficulties, which in turn guides targeted improvements.

5. Assess and establish priorities

Evaluate the feedback and identify priorities by determining which critiques impact your project’s outcome the most. Refer to your feedback and project objectives to determine which aligns best with your end goals, and use this information to focus your resources on tackling the most important issues first.

For example, if users consistently express dissatisfaction with your site performance or loading speed, you may want to prioritize this issue as you improve your website. Systematically addressing these key areas ensures that your project improvements are impactful and aligned with your strategic objectives.

6. Create actionable steps and implement change

After prioritizing key feedback, convert it into actionable steps by creating a detailed project plan for improvement.

Let’s say your users find your product descriptions confusing. To start addressing their concerns, set a clear goal to revise them. Break this goal into specific tasks for your team, such as reviewing current descriptions, researching best practices in product communication, and rewriting descriptions for clarity and conciseness. Delineating these tasks turns feedback into tangible steps so you can systematically and effectively improve your website.

7. Demonstrate to stakeholders that you’ve incorporated their feedback

Showing stakeholders how you implement their feedback helps you maintain their engagement and trust. When stakeholders see their suggestions come to life, they feel a sense of ownership in your project.

For example, consider including a message on your website thanking external stakeholders for their feedback and highlighting the changes made based on their input. This acknowledgment strengthens stakeholder relationships and demonstrates your commitment to responsiveness and continuous improvement, which encourages ongoing participation in the feedback process.

8. Iterate

Feedback collection is an iterative process, so it’s important to regularly revisit and update your feedback objectives, reassess priorities, and collect new feedback as your website grows and changes.

When introducing a new feature on your website, for example, consider actively seeking stakeholder feedback about its performance and user satisfaction and use this information to further refine and enhance it. Then, after implementing those changes, evaluate stakeholders’ reactions and continue iterating. This cycle ensures your site stays adaptable and meets your stakeholders’ evolving needs and expectations.

Tips for getting great development and design feedback

The above framework is a great place to start building a stakeholder feedback loop. We’ve got a few more tips for ensuring you get the quality feedback you need. Check them out below.

Schedule milestones to get continual feedback

Scheduling feedback milestones throughout your web design process helps you manage stakeholder input effectively. Instead of overwhelming you with excessive feedback on your project at once, this approach breaks down the process into manageable stages.

For instance, you might need input on user interface preferences during the wireframing stage. At the development stage, you might prefer feedback on site functionality, page speeds, and responsiveness.

While all of this feedback is useful, it can be a bit overwhelming to receive it all at once. Obtaining feedback at different stages makes the feedback more manageable but also ensures each development phase benefits from relevant and timely insights. As a result, it streamlines your web development process by allowing for more focused implementation and better prioritization of improvements.

Use open-ended questions

Using open-ended questions lets you gather unbiased and comprehensive insights. By not leading stakeholders toward specific responses, this strategy encourages a more honest and detailed expression of stakeholder views.

Instead of asking, “Do you like the current design?” pose questions like, “How do you feel about the current design?” This open-ended approach prompts stakeholders to elaborate on their thoughts. They’ll offer richer and more constructive feedback that can better inform your website’s development and improvement strategies.

Scope your feedback expectations

Define clear expectations for the scope of feedback you seek to guide stakeholders to provide focused and relevant insights. A well-defined scope encourages stakeholders to focus their insights on relevant points that you can turn into actionable steps.

For example, if you’re seeking feedback on your landing page, specify that you’re interested in the user flow rather than general impressions. This specificity helps stakeholders concentrate their feedback on the aspects you aim to improve and prevents them from straying into less relevant areas like visual appeal or branding.

Transform conversations with top-notch design feedback tools

Stakeholder feedback is the key to transforming your web design and development process. It keeps you aligned with your business goals while meeting external user demands. 

Webflow empowers teams by integrating feedback into the design workflow, making it easier for teams and stakeholders to collaborate creatively. With content editor and commenter roles, stakeholders can leave feedback or make content changes directly in the Webflow Designer – eliminating the need for other tools and speeding up the creative process.

Embrace an enterprise solution that makes your web design and development processes more integrated, responsive, and aligned with your strategic goals. Get started with Webflow Enterprise today and unlock your full creative potential. 

Build with Webflow

Webflow Enterprise gives your teams the power to build, ship, and manage sites collaboratively at scale.

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Build with Webflow

Webflow Enterprise gives your teams the power to build, ship, and manage sites collaboratively at scale.

Contact sales
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Last Updated
February 13, 2024
Build with Webflow

Webflow Enterprise gives your teams the power to build, ship, and manage sites collaboratively at scale.

Contact sales
Contact sales