This is part one in a three-part series exploring WHY user feedback helps you make better products, HOW to best collect and digest that feedback, and WHAT greatness will come for your product, your team, and your organization when you solicit feedback from your users.

The best way to make great products is to get a prototype in front of your users, solicit feedback, listen, then iterate. The ‘solicit feedback and listen’ part tends to get tricky, especially at a growing organization, so let’s break this down and see some ways you can fine-tune the process.

Why you need to solicit feedback

no-soliciting-signEven if you don’t ask for feedback, you’ll still get some! But be warned: the few pieces of input you will get will probably come from two groups of people:

  • Fanboys: they love your product so much, they’ll jump through as many hoops as needed to tell you what they think
  • Haters: they’re negative regardless of product quality or usefulness

If the only groups of people you listen to are these two, you’re building products for the outliers – not for the majority. You need to ask the majority what they think for three reasons:

1. User Love

People want to help. Anyone who uses your product wants it to be better. A simple prompt showing that you’re open to feedback can give you tons of insight into what users are thinking.

Someone once told me the best way to get someone to like you is to ask them about themselves. Get them talking about who they are, more importantly about how they’re great, and they’ll be your new best friend! A product that asks me what I think then evolves based on my feedback is the product I’ll love.

2. Differentiate your organization

If you aren’t capturing user feedback, your competitors are – and they will use that information to make a better product. Simply the action of capturing user feedback will help you stand out:

“The Issue Collector is a value-add for our business, and it sets us apart from other competitors.” – LogicSpot, UK based web design firm

If you build what you think users want, but a competitor asks users what they want then builds that, guess who’s going to win more customers? Set your organization up for success by showing your users that you care about their input.

3. Discover other types users

It’s easy to forget what the world was like before you started building your product. You’re probably more familiar with the problems your product solves now than you were as just a user. The more you can hear how a user perceives the world – in their own words – the more you’ll understand what their needs and problems are. Understanding your users completely means knowing what problems exist for them – and builds a pipeline for version 2.0 and beyond.

The more a user feels like you know and build for them, the more they’ll love your product.

Stay Tuned

Tune in next week to learn the best ways to collect feedback from your users, and more importantly, how to interpret that feedback and apply it to your development process.