Sunday, January 06, 2008

Three Clever Xobni Features (1/3): "Are you Happy?"

This is installment 1 of 3 blog entries about features in Xobni where I discuss well-implemented, clever ideas. None of these are Xobni-specific – you should be able to port these ideas to any web or desktop app.

We're religious about user feedback at Xobni. We get dozens of emails every day and read every single one. If you uninstall us, we ask for comments around why you uninstalled and how we could improve. We've built tools to collect and summarize this data.

But most users aren't vocal about their needs. The average happy user is unlikely to email with small problems she might be seeing. We want their feedback, but can't just pop up a window with a survey every time you use the software.

That's why we built Are you Happy?: Instead of a popup, we add a little box on the bottom of the sidebar every couple of weeks and ask: "Are you happy?" There are two buttons, Yes and No, and an optional comment field.

This is the most lightweight method of collecting user feedback. Note that:
  1. We're not popping up an annoying window.
  2. We ask a simple question.
  3. There are only two options – "yes" and "no" - and no Send button.

If we introduce unpopular features or bugs, we know within a few days. This feature was inspired by a similar mechanism in the early days of Caribou.

Currently, 90% of our users answer "Yes".

The next installment of this series appears on Thursday, January 10. Subscribe to my RSS feed to get updates.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like this idea a lot. Most people don't mind a quick satisfaction poll that helps improve product development.

Did you consider more options and chose two for simplicity?

I wouldn't mind four simple options, if I could scan and respond in five seconds.

A business associate forwarded your product last week and it looks very interesting. A simple tool for more useful email.

Good luck