Making it easy for users to proactively give you feedback

How easy is it for the users of your app to submit bug reports, or to offer up a suggestions? As someone who has a long history with tech, it’s relatively easy for me to grab a screenshot, or create an animated gif to pass along, but do all of your users find it this easy?

This week we’ll look at a couple of ways to make it easy for users to give you feedback at just the right time.

Make it easy for users to show you what they’re seeing

Here’s a really neat way that Google Domains allows you to send feedback within their app.

If you head to the registration page, you should see this little “Send Feedback” link on the left hand side:

The first time I clicked it I expected to just see a simple form where I could enter some feedback, but Google has found a way to go above and beyond my original expectations. Check it out:

It’s cool that they give you an option to include a screenshot of the page you’re viewing, but what’s really cool is what happens when you click the thumbnail preview. Check this out:

They give you the ability to highlight anything on the page, or black out any portion of the page that has sensitive information. How cool is that!

Once you’re finished, you simply click “Done” and the screenshot that is attached to your feedback is updated with your changes.

What a neat way to collect feedback, or even support requests within your app!

Give users a way to share feedback with little effort

Another approach you might take is to just have a static form at the bottom of your page. Back in the day Kissmetrics did this really well:

The micro copy they used here is amazing.

What else?

What other approaches have you seen work in the past? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Comments

I don’t do comments on this site, but if you have thoughts, I’d love to hear them. You can email me at its@davemart.in.

The key ingredient to successful trigger emails

Back in the day when I worked at WordPress.com we were trying to figure out how to activate more users. Lot’s of people would sign up for an account, use it during that first session and then never come back.

The goal was to figure out how we could bring more people back. Naturally, one of the first things we looked at was email triggers. In the process of doing that we stumbled across something interesting that I’ll highlight below.

The first thing I did was simply to pull up my personal Gmail account. I typed the following into the search bar, “from:(twitter.com) twitter.com” and here’s what I saw:

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Duolingo’s Dynamic Homepage

This week I thought I’d highlight something interesting that I noticed on Duolingo’s homepage—something that I’ve actually never seen before.

The vast majority of companies treat their homepage like a static resource. That means that no matter who you are and no matter which stage of the user lifecycle you’re in, you’ll see the exact same page.

Duolingo does something different. Check it out: Here’s what their homepage looks like when you go there for the first time:

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Test Every Assumption

Let’s say I’m at work and we’re discussing a potential change that we’re thinking about making to our product (or even the marketing site). If the phrase “best practice” or “common knowledge” get’s tossed out, a little red flag always pops up in my head.

“common knowledge” is just an unproven assumption

It’s a mirage I tell you!

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Complete Novice to Full-time Product Designer in 1-2 Years

In this post, I’ll talk about the path that I would take to go from a complete novice, to a full-time product designer—all within a year or two—and land a job that pays at least $90,000/yr.

A few disclaimers:

  1. This isn’t a life hack article. Below, you won’t find a list of hacks, but a list of real work that must commit to.
  2. I’m not trying to sell you anything. This post is not the intro to some paid course that I’m trying to up-sell you on. I don’t want/need anything from you in return. (That said, if you do end up becoming a product designer, I’d love to hear your story).
  3. The path outlined below offers the fastest way (that I know of), for anyone to change careers, and become a product designer. Follow these steps, and you’ll save a great deal of time, and money with your transition.
  4. This is obviously not the only path, but this is the path I would take if I were starting over from scratch, with zero experience as a designer.
  5. Paying for education to become a product designer is NEVER something that I’d recommend. This statement will likely offend some (especially those who have paid for design school), or those who sell expensive design courses, but please trust me when I say that you do not need a degree to become a product designer. We’ll talk about this in more detail below.

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Test Your Designs

Every public facing design you push live – which has the potential to affect core metrics – should be A/B tested. Period.

But, why?

A couple of reasons:

  • Data helps you make informed decisions.
  • You test to learn. You’ll find out what works, and what doesn’t. You can then share what you’ve learned with others, and apply what you’ve learned to future hypotheses.
  • As much as you’d like to think that you can predict success, humans are terrible at it. There are no exceptions to this statement. That’s not to say that you don’t have a wealth of knowledge and experience that you can leverage. You’re always going to be fairly confident that each test you run will lead to an increase in your core metrics (else why would you run the test in the first place). But just understand up front that half of the designs you release are going to be a bust. That’s just the nature of the game, and if you’re not testing, you won’t know which half.
  • If you launch 6 new features in a month, and as a result, a month later you start to see a slump in your core metrics, which of the 6 features do you attribute the slump to? Or is it something else completely? If you don’t test everything, you’ll be in the dark.

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Embrace Process, Avoid Ego

This chart shows the level of “process” a typical designer will incorporate into their designs over time.

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“Creativity Inc.” notes

“Creativity Inc” is a book that I absolutely adore. It’s written by Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Disney animation. I highly recommend grabbing a copy. Here are a few of my favorite highlights:

Culture

  • What makes Pixar special is that we acknowledge we will always have problems, many of them hidden from our view; that we work hard to uncover these problems, even if doing so means making ourselves uncomfortable; and that, when we come across a problem, we marshal all our energies to solve it.
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Avoid Bandwagon Wisdom

Bandwagon Wisdom
Strongly held, one-sided opinions on complex issues, often openly communicated with very little reason, personal research, experimentation or data to back them up.

Reason
The power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic.

The problem

Bandwagon wisdom is a plague in our society. It’s unhealthy, and it appears to be growing in popularity.

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Don’t “Growth Hack”

Can we lay this term to rest? It just feels… tainted.

To be clear, growth in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. But somehow “growth hacking” has earned itself a bad reputation. Why is that?

To figure this out, let’s journey back to the very beginning.

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