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A lthough client feedback is both a necessity and extremely valuable,  there are times during the process of producing an animated video when feedback can halt progress. More often than not, the issue is contradictory requests and/or asking the wrong questions (more accurately, asking the wrong kinds of questions). Below are some notes on how to avoid delaying the progress of a project during review and revision sessions.

Things to avoid…

Do not ask loaded questions when requesting feedback and try not to pose your questions in a positive or negative sense. For example ‘we need a list of faults’ or ‘is this difficult to understand?’ will give the reviewer a negative impression before having watched the video (inferring there are faults pre-viewing and imposing the expectation of confusion). This will inadvertently inform the viewer that they need to find fault. This renders misleading and somewhat destructive feedback. If the reviewer is under the impression that it is their job to pick fault rather than provide any relevant feedback, they may feel pressure to pick on things that aren’t faults in order to avoid coming up empty-handed. Even if you’ve spotted flaws or problems, telling the viewer this before they watch will make them almost certainly want to agree with you even if it’s not something they would have picked on themselves.

Conversely, if you’re extremely happy with the video and ask for feedback by excitedly introducing the animation as being ‘great’ or something you’re proud of will again put the reviewer in a position where they will either have to agree or disagree with you which may add pressure to conform their opinion to yours.

Things to ask…

The best possible starting point is simply to tell someone you’ve had a video produced and that you would like them to watch it. Afterward, ask them the most important questions first. In my opinion, the best (and simplest) question, to begin with, is ‘what was the video about?’. If the viewer can’t answer that after having watched it moments ago, then there are some major fundamental issues. If the viewer can explain to you what the video intended to accomplish, then you can move on to feedback regarding the visuals, branding, the voice-over etc. and when those are exhausted perhaps then move on to your own concerns to see if they are of the same mind.

Something to remember…

You can’t please everybody. When it comes to variables like colour, fonts and music, everyone has their own personal opinion and if you were to try to action every piece of feedback, you would end up with a generic video that pleases no one.

Being careful to wisely choose the wording of your questions before requesting feedback about your animated explainer video has the potential to save you both time and money and to make sure that the content remains focused and effective.

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