Tips on providing good and helpful feedback.

Hello everybody, flash33 here and I am here tonight with some small little tips and steps to hopefully educate some more people on the process of providing good, decent and actually very helpful feedback as well. So without further ado, let us begin now, shall we?

1. Make sure that your post is simple and easy enough to both read and understand as well.

Making a fairly lengthy post about something is fine sometimes, but if it’s all just one big block of text and/or has a bunch of words and/or phrases that no one (or at least very few people) understand(s), then it makes it harder for people to read and/or respond to it. Breaking your posts into separate paragraphs helps allot when navigating ones post as it makes it easier for people to both read it and also respond to it as well. I understand English isn’t everyone’s first language, that there are players of all ages and so forth. Just try your best to help us figure it out if we have questions.

Also, when reading a post that is difficult to understand, try to pick out the key points and fill in the rest to understand what the poster is trying to say. When responding to those posts, if you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask them what they meant by a specific point. A post that just says “what was that?” or “I didn’t understand a word you said there.” is not adding to the discussion and can also just be considered spam as well.

2. Try to provide decent and reasonable feedback as to why you like or dislike something.

This is one of the most important things when providing feedback on something. You need to make sure that your feedback is both clear and concise as well. If it’s all just one big rant, then chances are people won’t listen to it, and if you make a habit of posting multiple rants constantly, then the chances of people actually listening to you and/or taking you seriously goes down tremendously. However, if you bring up reasonable topics in both a respectful and reasonable manner as well, then the chances of people actually listening to you and/or taking you seriously goes up.

Here are some examples of both what not to do and what to do as well:

What NOT to do: “I don’t like the Fire Elf spell in Wizard101 because of that annoying laugh of his. It should be changed immediately!”

What TO do:
 “I like the Fire Elf spell in Wizard101, but I’m not too keen about him laughing so much during the spell. I think that the spell would be better if the Fire Elf laughed just a little less often during the spell in all honesty there.”

See the difference? The first example shows someone just complaining about the Fire Elf’s laugh in Wizard101 and demanding that it be changed immediately without providing any sort of feedback or reasoning as to why they dislike it other than the fact that they find the laugh “annoying”. The second example though shows a person who thinks the Fire Elf spell in general is nice but is not too keen on how much the actual Fire Elf in the spell laughs in general. BUT, instead of just complaining and ranting about it like the first example shows, they actually provide a suggestion as to how they feel the spell would be better in general while still being respectful about it in the process as well.

3. If you have a complaint, make sure it’s an actual reasonable complaint.

I cannot stress this enough, you need to make sure that your complaint is actually a reasonable one before posting it. For instance, complaining about the Fire Cat spell in Wizard101 simply because it’s a Cat and you dislike and/or hate Cats doesn’t seem like a reasonable complaint. But, saying that you dislike Fire Cat because you feel that it could be more like an actual Fire Cat and providing an idea of how you think it could look better in general is a more reasonable complaint. Why? Because you’re not just stating your dislike for something and that’s it. No, you’re also providing an idea and a suggestion on how you feel it could be improved for the better.

4. Try to make sure that your bias doesn’t take over and blind you from the truth and/or facts.

Now I know that we can all just get all caught up in the heat of the moment, I get that. However, we need to make sure that our own personal biases don’t prevent us from seeing other people’s side of an argument as well. In the game called League of Legends, Rule 3 of “The Summoner’s Code” states to “Facilitate Civil Discussion”. What this means is that it’s perfectly fine to disagree with someone or something, but we shouldn’t let our emotions, pride and biases get in the way of having a reasonable, fair, valid and respectful discussion with other people in the process.

If we let those things take over, it can often blind us from the truth and facts of something, which can then make us just too darn stubborn to listen to reason. When this happens, all heck breaks lose (i.e. once-peaceful and respectful conversations break down and turn into full blown rage fests instead). We need to try to make sure that this doesn’t happen so that we can continue to have civil and reasonable discussions with each other.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read): 

We need to make sure that if we have arguments and/or complaints about things that they are presented in both a reasonable and a respectful fashion there as well.

For instance say that you have a problem with a spell: Okay then, what is it about the spell that you have a problem with exactly and why do you even have a problem with it in the first place? What ideas do you have that could possibly change the spell for the better? Is it a reasonable enough change that’s both fair and valid to both aspects the game (i.e. both pvp and pve)?

Those exact same questions can be applied to virtually anything in the game, but the important thing to keep in mind though is that we need to be both civil and respectful to constructive criticism regarding your ideas, as really that’s how good ideas are formed, through trial and error along with feedback, planning and redesigning.

Also, try to be respectful when critiquing other peoples ideas as well. Remember, if it’s just yelling and complaining about something without even trying to provide a solution to your so-called problem, then it’s not considered constructive feedback. How can you expect people to get an idea of how exactly you want something to be added or changed if you won’t even take the time to explain it to them in a calm, reasonable and respectable fashion in the first place?

______________________________
I hope that this has helped people get a better understanding of how to provide good and constructive feedback on stuff.

Thanks in advance and as always thank you for your time.

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