Getting user feedback design right is quite (very) important. It might be obvious to state but if you don’t ask the right questions (or any questions at all) you won’t get the right answers…

…This week I’ve been working on a product which has a large content component. Content is created for users/subscribers to simplify complicated legal jargon.

As it turns out in the 5+ years of creating the content it’s never crossed anyones mind to actually solicit feedback from the users that use the system.

It has made us look at how we get good feedback across the whole application and we’ve come up with a simple three layer approach of looking user feedback design in the app.

The three layers

We basically see three main areas of feedback in what we do.

  1. Content – Whether that be help content or the content that is being delivered
  2. Application features – When user performs action x does it work as expected
  3. Ideas/features – I wish I could…

1. Content feedback tools

After quite a lot of searching it was hard to find a decent standalone tool to do user driven content feedback. There are a few wordpress plugins and text comment tools but nothing that really spiked my interest.

I know of found these tools:

  • Comments: Disqus / IntenseDebate / Livefyre
  • Star rating: GD Star (WP plugin)

Let me know in the comments if you have other suggestions especially for the star rating / ‘Did you find this useful’ comments.

2. Application features

An example of this is we have a search function in the product. In our developer testing it works really well. We’ve just started logging the searches and examining sucessful searches.

Our next step is to ask the users if they found what they were looking for…seems obvious again but it hadn’t previously been done.

Behaviour driven feedback
We use KISS Insights is also a good tool for this purpose..

Example triggers:

  • User searches for some content
  • Administrator performs a permissions change for a user

3. Ideas/feature feedback

So there’s two parts here. First is actually finding out what things the users are interested in or could benefit users. The second is testing those ideas and getting feedback of new ideas that are released to the wild.

Soliciting idea feedback
There are a bunch of tools that do this listed below. One thing to also consider is what data you can use from within your application to find missing features.

An example of this for this project is that as a result of logging searches we realised that users were searching for content that did not yet exist. As a feature we’re adding a forum feature so that if the user can’t find the content they’re looking for they can ask their search string as a question to the rest of their organisation.

Some tools:
Forrst is an interesting community of designers/UX people giving feedback on each others work.

Testing new features

  • here from SmartInsights

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