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[DE]Marcus

How to Provide Good Constructive Feedback: A Dev’s Story

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Not all heroes wear capes. Thank you Marcus, and I hope this thread receives traffic.

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3 minutes ago, SquinkyJunior said:

Everybody who uses the Forums should read this.

Hah, you think we can read.

Jokes aside it would be awesome if people knew what good constructive feedback was.

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2 minutes ago, [DE]Rebecca said:

Important pre-Fortuna reading!

As the community continues to grow, and the forums are flooded even more with threads, will Digital Extremes consider more volunteer moderators to help keep the forums filled with the points Marcus just provided (+guidelines)?

I cannot wait to get my hands dirty with Fortuna, but I am sure that as time passes, the need for moderators can only grow with the success of each update.

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Fingers crossed people keep this in mind!

Edited by Synpai

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Are there any plans to make the feedback loop more concrete?

Providing good feedback is a time-consuming and laborious process, and sometimes it can feel a lot like hurling words into a dark void. I'd imagine that many players resort to flippant or confrontational posts because

a) they assume it won't actually reach the right people or

b) they assume that controversy (and thus lots of replies) are important for visibility.

It doesn't help that the unofficial-yet-mostly-accepted sentiment is that reddit is the real "official" Forums and gets more attention/response in the feedback process. A simple automated "read by X" tag for each thread would be great for eliminating the impression of talking to a brick wall, and I'd wager that it would promote better overall behavior to know big brother really is watching.

EDIT:

I think it would also be helpful to provide some guidelines for how to disagree in ways that are constructive.

I see far too many threads get derailed by responses that point out flaws as reasons why the feedback must be dismissed entirely instead of collaborating to find solutions to those flaws.

Edited by DiabolusUrsus
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As someone who as tried to follow rules like this, it is really disheartening to see the more, uh, let's call it 'aggressive' feedback often get the most attention from the Forum community itself (not insinuating it gets more from you all at DE).

 

So my word to the community, if you see a thread that is NOT those things in the OP of this thread, don't take the bait, you don't have to respond. And even more importantly, if someone DOES follow these concepts then you should comment on their post. Even if all you say is "That's a great idea" or "I agree" you are doing that topic a massive favor by allowing more people to see this good idea.

Spoiler

I still am on the side that reactions, or maybe just the up-vote reaction should 'bump' threads as to allow people who agree with ideas to say they agree without just spamming the comments of the thread. As it stands generally the most criticized ideas are the most viewed ideas due to commenting being the only way to 'bump'.

 

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One question for clarification: how "rude" are we talking about?
Example: i drop couple of F-bombs there and there, just in general sense as emotional exclamation or emotional enhancer (to show that i feel emotional about it), but its not directed at anyone?

Something like "Its so #*!%ing inconvinient and bad... Here's why: ____ and here's how it could be improved: _____"

Edited by Artek94
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8 minutes ago, Artek94 said:

One question for clarification: how "rude" are we talking about?
Example: i drop couple of F-bombs there and there, just in general sense as emotional exclamation or emotional enhancer (to show that i feel emotional about it), but its not directed at anyone?

Something like "Its so #*!%ing inconvinient and bad... Here's why: ____ and here's how it could be improved: _____"

If the profanity doesn't help your point in any substantive way, then do you really need it? Your comment above doesn't say, "[DE]Marcus, it's so #$^#$)^&$# inconvenient and bad..." but the implication is still there that you are saying DE did something inconvenient and bad. Why not simply say, "I find the mechanic time-consuming and not very engaging. Here's how it could be improved..."?

There are plenty of good times for profanity, too, don't get me wrong. But is this one of them? Everything you say about Warframe could be read by a developer who actually wrote that line of code. Go the extra inch. Don't be another drop of poison in the online ocean.

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The forums are an amazing tool when used incorrectly too, it’s a lotta fun and provides so much entertainment xD 

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More details on how to write and handle your feedback thread :

Title :

First of all, the title of your thread should be relevant of its content. You're not going to call a thread about armor scaling "I love Kubrows", and uninformative or demending titles should be avoided. Naming your thread something along the lines of "DE pls" is a terrible idea since it won't give to the reader any idea of the subject of your thread in addition to make you look quite entitled. Putting insults in your thread title out of spite is an even worse idea.

Content :

Like any other section of the forums, respect and constructivity are the masterwords. Better avoid any kind of profanity and personal attacks in your thread. It's quite simple : if you make yourself sound entitled, agressive, jaded or snarky, you won't be taken seriously. You definitely don't want this to happen. This is why it can be a good idea to wait a bit before starting to write your feedback after an unpleasent moment in game. You absolutely DON'T want to sound angry on your keyboard, trust me.

Feedback is not just about saying what you dislike : it's also about suggesting improvements. A very efficient way to provide feedback is to first mention something you find wrong, then suggesting a way to fix it. Rince and repeat until you listed everything you thought could use improvement. You are also welcome to talk breifly about the stuff you liked : that kind of information may also be interesting to know.

Basic formatting, good spelling and correct grammar are no-brainers when it comes about making a decent thread. Don't expect people to read your post if you don't make paragraphs, don't use punctuation or make way too much spelling mistakes. Other users will be very quick to criticize you for your writing and outright ignore your thread. You don't want this to happen too. If you're afraid of your english not being good enough, don't hesitate to ask a friend to review your feedback thread before posting. Making a draft is always a good idea.

After writing :

Once your feedback thread is posted, you will have to sustain it by defending your ideas, keeping it up to date and replying to other users. Remain as respectful as possible and try to answer people as much as you can in the most constructive way possible. The more your post will keep going peacefully, the better it is. Don't try to absolutely convince everyone at all cost, it usually won't work and it's the best way to get someone angry. If you ever come across some people who sound a bit too agressive and you're afraid about them derailing the thread, avoid to answer them and report them if necessary.

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Threads like this one should pop up with an agreement checkbox at least the very first time a player uses the forums in order to increase its chances to be seen.

With that out of the way:

2 hours ago, [DE]Marcus said:

When we use the Forums to read feedback, a well constructed and thought out post is the way to go. Here is a fast guide from a Dev side to write good, useful feedback.

Could it be possible to see a bit more activity from devs in certain subforums as well? I usually see the staff members at charge of some sections (mainly Sound, bug reports and Art,Animation&UI) replying to most posts in there, while in some other subforums players have no idea of who are we talking to and haven't seen a single dev response in months, perhaps even years despite some of the threads and suggestions in there being acknowledged at some point.

Creating well made posts takes time, and seeing no reply on them can be really discouraging for some people, and even tough i don't try to justifythis behavior, seeing no replies might even be part of the reasons why some players give up completely with forums or simply decide to start posting rants instead.

On the other hand, it's really enjoyable when feedback seems to be getting somewhere, even if the reply is simply "we are aware of this", "gonna keep this in mind", "we can't do that" or straight up "it's not in our plans" instead of leaving players floating in the rift.

Edited by Stormdragon
typos
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I'd like to point out that it is hard to give constructive criticisms from a neutral standpoint when the other party is defensive in their beliefs/ideas. It's easier said than done if one could control the other, instead often we resort to blatant ignorance and sharp words. I hope this guide helps people so we can get a calmer more constructive forum.

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45 minutes ago, [DE]Marcus said:

As Developers at Digital Extremes, we would not be where we are today without feedback and input from you. Giving constructive and concise feedback on the forums is paramount to integrating changes as fast as we can, to polish and ship the content to all of you.

When we use the Forums to read feedback, a well constructed and thought out post is the way to go. Here is a fast guide from a Dev side to write good, useful feedback.

1. Keep it simple

  • Write simple, directed points about the topic you feel strongly about. Remember to be constructive and to the point.

2. Back it up

  • Support your points with concrete points. X has better stats than Y. This ability is less useful when considering X. Provide in-game situational evidence or a solid foundation for your argument to rest upon.

3. Be polite

  • The best feedback occurs when two people discuss opposing viewpoints to find a constructive middle ground. Discussion is a natural part of feedback! Ensuring that it is polite and without personal attacks is key. We’re far less inclined to listen to feedback filled with personal attacks and rude speech. We are all trying our best!

The Forums can be an amazing tool when used correctly. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on ideas on the Fortuna update, which we are so incredibly excited to share with all of you.

Cheers,

All of us at DE

Typing this out in it's entirety should be mandatory for creating a Forum account, presumably with some sort of anti-copypasta measure.

Edited by -QUILL_PETER-

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38 minutes ago, [DE]Rebecca said:

Important pre-Fortuna reading!

This is the first time in my life i'm happy to be sick enough to not go to work/Uni 😄

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31 minutes ago, DiabolusUrsus said:

Are there any plans to make the feedback loop more concrete?

Providing good feedback is a time-consuming and laborious process, and sometimes it can feel a lot like hurling words into a dark void. I'd imagine that many players resort to flippant or confrontational posts because

a) they assume it won't actually reach the right people or

b) they assume that controversy (and thus lots of replies) are important for visibility.

It doesn't help that the unofficial-yet-mostly-accepted sentiment is that reddit is the real "official" Forums and gets more attention/response in the feedback process. A simple automated "read by X" tag for each thread would be great for eliminating the impression of talking to a brick wall, and I'd wager that it would promote better overall behavior to know big brother really is watching.

EDIT:

I think it would also be helpful to provide some guidelines for how to disagree in ways that are constructive.

I see far too many threads get derailed by responses that point out flaws as reasons why the feedback must be dismissed entirely instead of collaborating to find solutions to those flaws.

 

30 minutes ago, DrBorris said:

As someone who as tried to follow rules like this, it is really disheartening to see the more, uh, let's call it 'aggressive' feedback often get the most attention from the Forum community itself (not insinuating it gets more from you all at DE).

 

So my word to the community, if you see a thread that is NOT those things in the OP of this thread, don't take the bait, you don't have to respond. And even more importantly, if someone DOES follow these concepts then you should comment on their post. Even if all you say is "That's a great idea" or "I agree" you are doing that topic a massive favor by allowing more people to see this good idea.

  Reveal hidden contents

I still am on the side that reactions, or maybe just the up-vote reaction should 'bump' threads as to allow people who agree with ideas to say they agree without just spamming the comments of the thread. As it stands generally the most criticized ideas are the most viewed ideas due to commenting being the only way to 'bump'.

 

Preach

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5 minutes ago, D20 said:

More details on how to write and handle your feedback thread :

Title :

First of all, the title of your thread should be relevant of its content. You're not going to call a thread about armor scaling "I love Kubrows", and uninformative or demending titles should be avoided. Naming your thread something along the lines of "DE pls" is a terrible idea since it won't give to the reader any idea of the subject of your thread. Putting insults in your thread title out of spite is an even worse idea.

Content :

Like any other section of the forums, respect and constructivity are the masterwords. Better avoid any kind of profanity and personal attacks in your thread. It's quite simple : if you make yourself sound entitled, agressive, jaded or snarky, you won't be taken seriously. You definitely don't want this to happen. This is why it can be a good idea to wait a bit before starting to write your feedback after an unpleasent moment in game. You absolutely DON'T want to sound angry on your keyboard, trust me.

Feedback is not just about saying what you dislike : it's also about suggesting improvements. A very efficient way to provide feedback is to first mention something you find wrong, then suggesting a way to fix it. Rince and repeat until you listed everything you thought could use improvement. You are also welcome to talk breifly about the stuff you liked : that kind of information may also be interesting to know.

Basic formatting, good spelling and correct grammar are no-brainers when it comes about making a decent thread. Don't expect people to read your post if you don't make paragraphs, don't use punctuation or make way too much spelling mistakes. Other users will be very quick to criticize you for your writing and outright ignore your thread. You don't want this to happen too. If you're afraid of your english not being good enough, don't hesitate to ask a friend to review your feedback thread before posting. Making a draft is always a good idea.

After writing :

Once your feedback thread is posted, you will have to sustain it by defending your ideas, keeping it up to date and replying to other users. Remain as respectful as possible and try to answer people as much as you can in the most constructive way possible. The more your post will keep going peacefully, the better it is. Don't try to absolutely convince everyone at all cost, it usually won't work. If you ever come across some people who sound a bit too agressive and you're afraid about them derailing the thread, avoid to answer them and report them if necessary.

giphy.gif

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