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6: Feelback vs. Feedback

Published 1/12/2015

How do you code a feeling?

Today, we're going to be talking about how to deal with ambiguous feedback. The answer is kind of ambiguous, unfortunately, but we live in a subjective world, so let's all learn how to value subjective things, shall we?

We've managed to hit LESS than 5 minutes on this one! Hope you enjoy it. Up next in the queue is our first interview episode double-release, which is a bit longer, so be on the look out!

If you enjoyed this episode, please consider buying me some tea.

Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Hey everyone, welcome to episode 6 of Developer Tea. My name is Jonathan Cutrell and I'm your host and today we're going to be talking about feel back versus feedback. We've ever been working on a project as a developer and you've gone through the second or third or fourth iteration of the project with whoever you're working with like a designer or the product owner or something like that. And you come into a meeting and they tell you, you know, I just don't really, it doesn't feel right to me. I think it needs to feel brighter. Well, what does brighter feel like? That's really the question, isn't it? How do we take what the people who are giving us these kind of arbitrary responses and feedback? How do we actually translate that into a meaningful actionable step? It's very difficult. This is what I like to call feel back and feedback. Feel back is when whoever's giving you the response to whatever it is that you're building starts talking about how something feels to them. The problem is when you start talking about feeling and when you start talking about what you think about something, those are all subjective measures of how something looks. And if you listen to this show, you know that I value subjectivity very highly. I think subjectivity is very important in our work. And especially in the work of people who are doing what you might would consider the artistic side, the people who are in charge of creating the voice for a particular product. And so we shouldn't throw away feel back. Even though it seems like feel back is kind of useless to us, we shouldn't throw it away because ultimately there's something important in that subjective feel back that they're providing us that we need to pay attention to. So how do we respond to feel back? Well, being a really good developer requires that you know how to move from feel back towards actionable feedback. And this is a collaborative process. So you're talking to your designer and they say, well, I think this needs to feel brighter. Your response as a responsible smart developer should be, okay, what can we do to make it feel brighter? Should we look at other examples of things that you think feel bright and then compare them to what we have? And then maybe make some changes to make it a little bit more like those things. Or should we maybe we should use some basic psychology and take the term bright and try to find some colors that are associated with the emotion of happiness or of brightness. So there's a lot of techniques for working through this together with your designer or product owner or whatever. But ultimately they need to know the difference between feel back and feedback as well. And they need to feel secure that you as a developer, a good developer, you recognize the value of their subjective feel back. But they also need to know that you can't act on that subjective feel back as well as you can act on objective feedback. So the goal will be always to move more and more and more towards actionable feedback. Now this means what are we changing? One of the specific things that we're going to go in and change in response to this feel back that you're providing. I hope you've enjoyed this super short episode of Developer Tea. If you have any ideas, if you have any responses to this feedback versus feel back concept, I'd love to hear them. Please get at me on Twitter. My Twitter username is at Developer Teaor you can email me at Developer Tea at gmail.com. Until next time, enjoy your tea.