10 Excellent Feedback Tools for Web Designers

Aug 24 2009 by Andrew Follett | 41 Comments

It’s easy to get caught up doing your own thing and even easier to stick to what you know already know. However, whether you’re a developer or a designer, seeking out constructive, third-party feedback can bring your projects to a new level. You may also know that finding objective, qualified sources of feedback can be near impossible (your relatives and roommates only cut it for so long).

That’s why I’m bringing you 10 fresh, useful and fun ways to get an outside perspective on your work. So no more excuses, it’s time to break out of your rut and start getting the feedback you need to learn, improve, and grow as a professional.

Free web-based feedback communities

1. Concept Feedback

Concept Feedback

Concept Feedback is a brand new community for designers, developers and marketers. Members can upload a concept (a website, logo, advertisement or other), specify an objective and start receiving constructive, actionable feedback from other members. A system of reputation points keeps users honest and helps prioritize advice. Sensitive concepts may also be posted privately for client or co-worker review.

2. FiveSecondTest

FiveSecondTest

The name explains it all. Fun and easy to use, FST gives random visitors the chance to "take a test" and look at your design for 5 seconds. When time runs out, the user is asked to list everything they can remember from the concept, providing what FST describes as a "simple online usability test that helps you identify the most prominent elements of your user interfaces".

3. Please Critique Me

Please Critique Me

This cool venture from OnWired allows designers to solicit feedback from a panel of industry veterans, including your very own Jacob Gube of Six Revisions. If your submission is selected, you get an in-depth and valuable review of your project, for free! Even if you don’t get selected, you can still glean some valuable insight from these professionals.

4. Creattica

Creattica

Part of the Envato network, Creattica brings together a group of top-notch designers looking to share a wide range of design projects. Membership and participation is free, however, feedback is limited to marking concepts as a "favorite".

5. Smashing Forum

Smashing Forum

This simple, but effective text-based forum from Smashing Magazine is geared towards designers looking for general feedback on web design.

6. SitePoint Forum

SitePoint Forum

SitePoint is geared towards developers and provides a relatively active text-based platform for design, website and content reviews.

Web-based collaboration tools

Not quite ready to share your work with the public? Just looking for a tool to share designs with your clients and co-workers?

7. Notable

Notable

Notable is a great feedback app designed specifically for web developers. In addition to sharing concepts using a standard image upload or screen grab, Notable has a slick plug-in for Firefox that allows you to give or receive feedback on any website or application without leaving your browser. A free plan is available (although you need to look for it) and paid plans start at $44/month.

8. ProofHQ

ProofHQ

No more FTP or attachment issues. No more back and forth emails. ProofHQ provides an easy to use mark-up interface allowing users to upload a concept and share it with clients and co-workers. ProofHQ also boasts Basecamp integration, a useful feature for you 37Signals fans out there. Free accounts available with limited projects (5/month) and storage (500 MB). The cheapest paid plan starts at $17/month.

9. ConceptShare

ConceptShare

Similar to ProofHQ in functionality, ConceptShare is better option for users who are hoping to share video and flash files. Free accounts available with limited projects (15 total) and storage (1 GB). "Solo" plans start at $24/month.

10. GetSignOff

GetSignOff

GetSignOff is probably the most limited tool of the bunch, but it does provide a simple option for those looking to get away from e-mail proofs. For the money, GetSignOff provides the most storage space per dollar and also allows full CSS customization and BaseCamp integration. Free accounts available with unlimited projects, however you are limited to 1 client and a 10 MB upload limit.

Related content

About the Author

Andrew Follett is marketing director at a small business outside Chicago, Illinois and founder of the new feedback community, Concept Feedback. Follow Andrew and Concept Feedback on Twitter.

41 Comments

Geoserv

August 24th, 2009

Nice post, I love Sitepoint’s forums.

Dave

August 24th, 2009

Thanks for the article Andrew, certainly something I’ve never really considered using but will be taking a look into it. May even give it a trial with some upcoming projects.

Ashely Adams : Sticker Printing

August 24th, 2009

wow! this was very helpful information.i am into the designing industry myself and these tools are going to be useful for me.thanks for sharing!

roof replacement

August 24th, 2009

FiveSecondtest and Please Critique Me are really Cool Mostly i like smshing Mag Forums But this Are much Cooler,
hope All Of the resources are Useful

Sean Hurley

August 24th, 2009

Great Post Andrew! These are simple tools to help a designer become more effective.

J.R.

August 24th, 2009

Great list. There were a couple I hadn’t heard of. You may also want to check out Backboard, which is what I currently use.

Recently I’ve been wondering if there’s an open-source solution similar to ProofHQ, ConceptShare, etc…

Does anyone know of such a solution. I’ve been stuck trying to figure out a google search that will actually return something useful.

Hirvesh

August 24th, 2009

Nice roundup here! Some new concepts and interesting tools.

hiddenson

August 24th, 2009

Thank you for this great list of online collaboration tools geared towards designers. As an independent art director, I could use some of these to simplify my workflow. Basecamp is not bad, but tools centered on designers will definitely be better suited to the task. Cheers!

Mr Bob Dobalina

August 24th, 2009

Another great tool for usability testing is Loop11 (www.loop11.com). Let’s you run online, unmoderated user testing.

J Henderson

August 24th, 2009

Wow….i have wondered if forums and communities like this were out there!! Good article

Andrew

August 24th, 2009

Thanks J.R. – Backboard was the tool I forgot to add! They have a free basic plan available and paid plans start at $6/month. For those interested, check out http://www.getbackboard.com/

Roberto

August 25th, 2009

It’s good to get feedback from another fresh pair of eyes.

Mark

August 25th, 2009

There are some new ones on here thata I have not used/heard about. Will have to check them out.

Tanay

August 25th, 2009

Some awesome sites! I hadn’t even heard of many of them before. On a side note, how hard is it to get a submission selected for Please Critique Me, it sounds like a super cool site.

Rahul

August 25th, 2009

Really interesting stuff here. Nice to know about new things for us designers. ;)

DigitalHereafter

August 26th, 2009

It can be so difficult to get a quality critique. Thanks for the info, I look forward to trying them out on my next project.

Matt Milosavljevic

August 27th, 2009

Heya Andrew,

Thanks for including fivesecondtest in the wrap up. It really is great to see that people liking the concept and finding the site useful.

It gives us all the more incentive to keep improving, so thank you and all the readers who stopped by and paid us a visit :)

FuzzFree

September 12th, 2009

Nice post! I did not know that free feedback services. It is a good idea to “offload” and “outsource” some parts of a website to a free 3rd party service (like email marketing, blogs, feedback forms etc.).

Waheed Akhtar

September 23rd, 2009

I did not know most of them. Thanks, will try them definitely.

David Swinstead

November 18th, 2009

Great article, I found fivesecondtest to be really cool!

WeDesExpMe

January 4th, 2010

You could also use jumpchart.com as a collaborative tool for website planning and collaboration during the startup phases of a website.

BEBEN

March 10th, 2010

5 to 15 Minutes heres my step…hehehe
any kind feedback here….hmmm….:-?

Le-roy

May 2nd, 2010

I like the 5 second test but I think is is a bit limited.

They should make a script that opens your webpage in an iframe and ask you generic questions about the website and time your response.

hmmm

RUCraft

May 11th, 2010

Lots of new sites for me to look at! I feel lots more bookmarks coming on.

The Smashing Forum link 404′s though :( couldn’t be bothered to find the correct URL, sorry, it’s the end of the day.

Rucraft.co.uk

Jacob Gube

May 11th, 2010

@RUCraft: Odd, I couldn’t find the link to the SM forums either. I’ve stuck it out on this article for now, until I find out more.

Le-roy

May 16th, 2010

I find regular forums to be pretty helpful. http://www.webdesignforum.com is pretty good for getting website design feedback as well as graphic design and general chit chat

Paul

July 12th, 2010

I’ve been lucky enough to be beta testing a new web app called Notebox (www.noteboxapp.com) thats a great feedback tool for getting client feedback. They can leave notes actually on your design like you do on flickr images. Nicely designed and easy to use but a bit smaller than some of the bigger options listed here.

Anjul tomar

July 20th, 2010

five second is nice….

Alex Stanhope

July 27th, 2010

Hi Andrew, as we’ve lost number 5 (Smashing Forums) would you consider including http://www.FreeRangeFeedback.com? It’s designed to help website designers, owners and operators to solicit meaningful feedback on any aspect of their site. Regards, Alex

Webdesignshock

August 20th, 2010

Thanx for sharing this list Andrew. There were a couple I hadn’t heard of. Feedback Services can really help us to improve our content’s quality.
You may also want to check one of our latest reviews about Feedback Services: http://su.pr/2N2T61
Regards.

Dave

September 3rd, 2010

Great article!
I’d like to add http://userthought.com to this list.

It is like Notable but does not require any web browser plugin to be installed.

You can highlight/select some parts of website directly from the feedback form.

Craig

September 17th, 2010

Really interesting, I didn’t know there were these types of sites, tools and services available for website design. Nice to know about, Thanks!

Laura

April 22nd, 2011

Great tools! I would also like to add Fuzion Media Asset Manager (www.fuzionassets.com/en).
It allows one click publishing of large media files (it automatically converts your large videos or Photoshop images to low-res versions) to a web in YOUR OWN SERVER.
Files don’t leave your server (they aren’t uploaded to the cloud), and use high definition streaming, ideal for large videos. Quick, private, secure.
Also, your customer can do visual annotations over images to give you specific feedback.

It’s also a powerful version control and project management software for digital artists. A client-server solution, ideal for SMEs. And you only pay it once, since it’s a licensed-software and not a SaaS solution.

Sean Hecking

May 16th, 2011

Some great tools for sharing samples with clients. The branding features are great as well on some of the tools. Once your agency or web shop gets beyond a few projects per month, these tools are a must have in my opinion.

Andy

May 31st, 2011

Great read! Another useful tool is Approval Manager. It’s capable of soft proofing along with project and workflow management. http://www.metacommunications.com/products/approval_manager

Sam Lavoie

June 27th, 2011

By now, you can add KissInsights to that list. I like it and it’s a cheap tool. Also like 5secondtest, really handy for qui user testing you website.

Mike

August 12th, 2011

Great list. I have a few sites I need feedback on. I’ll give them a try.

Simon

September 19th, 2011

Excellent! Great read and lots of things to think about. Thanks

Uffe

October 20th, 2011

Very nice … but you guys should also check out http://www.UserReport.com which offers a very nice and free survey and feedback tool for websites.

mike

October 7th, 2012

http://www.feedbackguru.com – for expert feedback.

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