How to Give Constructive Development Feedback to a HubSpot Developer
June 14, 2021 | 5 min read time
Topics: HubSpot developers
Have you ever thought about how to provide constructive feedback to your website developer? The process of providing your feedback can make all the difference in how well your HubSpot website objectives are met and how well your project stays with its timeline and budget.
A major goal of any web design project is to help you execute the vision you have for your website. You want the users to see a front-end view that is beautiful and easy to navigate. You also want your back-end to be easy to use and work seamlessly so your user has the best experience possible. The better the user experience, the better your bounce rate and maximized lead conversions.
If you're not sure where to start when giving feedback to your HubSpot website developer, here are some helpful tips on how to do it right:
See some cool functionality over at another site? Let your HubSpot developer know before they start building! While you don't want to completely copy all the elements from another site, adding similar features to your own site can be fun.
This does need to come with a word of advice - keep it in scope! A good way to ensure that your website is what you want it to be is to make sure all of the details are clear from the beginning. It's better to discuss functionality requirements at the beginning of a project rather than when development has been completed and ready for your review. That cool piece of functionality you want on your site may seem simple but could add several hours and delays to the development.
If the functionality shown in the development is different than what you expected, provide examples of what you were expecting. Misinterpretation and miscommunication are some of the most common issues we have encountered during a website build.
Sometimes trying to explain how you would like something to function is hard. If you aren’t sure how to put it into words, providing examples for your developer to review helps them visually see what you are envisioning. It's also a way for the dev team to take a peek at the code that may be running that functionality to determine if there are any compatibility issues with your framework.
Hopefully, prior to the development stage, there has already been a discussion about the functionality needs of the pages that have been designed. Once you receive the development for your review you’ll want to ensure what has been built matches what you approved in the design phase.
The big difference between a “bug” and “out of scope”? A bug is something that isn't working as originally discussed during the planning and design phases. Out of scope are items not previously discussed during these phases.
Sometimes though you may come up with great ideas after you have approved the design and want to implement something different once you've seen the development. Keep in mind though, the development team has already invested hours into building the site based on the approved design. Making a change at this point of the project can have a serious impact on both the project’s timeline and budget.
Sometimes a request can be simple - adjusting color on a page for example. Other times, the request may seem simple to you but may actually involve several more hours of development.
If the request is truly important to you and you're okay with the additional budget requirements and increased timeline, let your dev team know. Other times, updating functionality can be a consideration for future phases of your website.
As much as we would like them to be, web developers are not mind readers. Be specific and concise with your feedback.
Avoid using general phrases like, “I don’t like that” or “This is what I expected”. Instead, use action words like, “I wish the hover effect was more prominent,” or “Increase the spacing between this section”.
Provide screenshots of issues you are noticing or provide examples of how the functionality should work from other websites. (Keep in mind points #1 & 2!)
Ever gone to the mechanic trying to explain what’s wrong with your car? Although the weird sounds you may be making as you are trying to explain what the issue is, the mechanic at least knows what type of make and model you are driving.
Sometimes a bug may be related to your operating system or browser. Simply put, your operating system or browser may display differently. Fonts may appear slightly different, image sizing may differ, and alignment may seem off.
While your operating system may play only a small role in how your website may render, we each have a preferred browser space we love to use. Each browser maintains a method for how information is displayed called a layout engine.
For example, let’s say you go to a webpage in a browser, the website gives your browser a set of instructions that tell the browser how the page should look and act when you interact with it. Each browser interprets the instructions differently. Safari and Chrome might show the same letter height and placement, while Internet Explorer might show you a noticeable difference.
The best options are to use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. These three browsers are standard-compliant and are constantly updating, while Internet Explorer is slow to update and can be quite buggy generally. In fact, many web agencies note in their documentation that the site will not be optimized for the older versions of Internet Explorer.
Knowing whether you are viewing the site using a PC or a MAC and which browser you are using will help the developer team troubleshoot where there may be an issue and adjust the code accordingly.
A collaborative discussion for your HubSpot website development project starts at the very beginning during the discovery and planning phase. But don’t stop collaborating with your developers just yet!
Always keep an open mind - your dev team can make great suggestions based on their own experience with your website platform as well as the current best practices for ensuring your site loads quickly and provides a great user experience.
Be sure to ask questions when you’re unclear on something or need more information and how something is built.
Implementing 3rd-party integrations such as an iframe or a database? Have a discussion with your dev team to ensure they are aware of other elements that will be connected to your HubSpot CMS - they may be able to provide you some great tips with a smoother integration or even some better options you haven’t considered!
Encouraging collaboration helps ensure your website objectives are at the forefront of the project and it helps minimize errors and miscommunication.
Before you begin providing feedback, wait until the developer has given you the go-ahead. Reviewing before development has been completed or before an agency's own internal review will be a waste of your time and possibly your dev team's time. Most development projects are done in stages so what may not look good Monday morning could be perfect by Monday afternoon. Wait for the signal that the pages are ready for your review and you'll be happier seeing what's been built.
If you’re looking for a trusted partner to work with you on developing an effective HubSpot website, we should talk! Hope these insights have helped clarify some questions around providing constructive feedback during your next website development project.