Better Feedback from Nicer People

Y. Wayne Wu, Brian P. Bailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Online feedback exchange platforms enable content creators to collect a diverse set of design feedback quickly. However, creators can experience low quality and harsh feedback when using such platforms. In this paper, we leverage the empathy of the feedback provider to address both these issues. Specifically, we tested two narrative-based empathy arousal interventions: a negative experience and a design process narrative. We also examined whether ingroup framing further enhances the effects of empathy arousal. In a 3x2 online experiment, participants (n=205) wrote feedback on a poster design after experiencing one of the intervention conditions or a control condition. Our results show both the design process narrative and ingroup framing conditions significantly increased the feedback quality and effort invested in the task. The negative experience narrative condition had similar effects and participants reported significantly increased disapproval towards harsh feedback. We discuss the implications of our results for the design of feedback exchange platforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number236
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW3
StatePublished - Jan 5 2021


  • design feedback
  • empathy
  • ingroup framing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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