It is no surprise that users are what makes the world go ‘round. Without users, our builds would serve no purpose, like peanut butter without the jelly. Their feedback is of utmost importance in terms of adoption and enhancements. But how do you gather user feedback in an effective way? Here are five tips to hold a successful user feedback session:
1. Prepare Your Outline Ahead
The first helpful tip is to prepare an outline of how you would like the session to flow ahead of time. Using this outline, you can create a meeting agenda and even develop a script, or bulleted points, to use when leading the session. This ensures the team does not forget key topics, but also allows users to review the agenda and think about these topics prior to the session. Though you have thoroughly organized your plan, it is also important to let conversations flow and develop naturally to get the feedback in the most organic way. Overly rigid sessions can result in reduced engagement and limited user feedback.
2. Objectivity Is Key
As the person holding this user feedback session, it is important to remain unbiased and objective to all feedback received. At times, feedback may be critical, but it is important to remember this is a good thing! The purpose of this session is to enhance and improve a product and without the critical feedback, this is not possible. See the process through the eyes of the user to better understand what is working well and what the pain points are. If you can empathize with the user experience, the design and implementation will continue to improve after each iteration.
3. User Group Selection
Oftentimes, feedback will vary from user to user. It is important to hold a session with a small group of power users, who are intimately familiar and involved with the process. The users who will use implemented functionality every day are the ones who will be most enthusiastic to give feedback to improve the process. They also know the ins and outs of the business workflow and provide key insight. Hold this session multiple times with different small groups to receive an even broader understanding of areas for improvement.
4. Document, Record, and Share
With the great ideas and feedback flowing, it is important to document, record, and share the feedback with others. Documenting will ensure the team addresses the feedback and provides greater visibility for tracking. Recording the session is also an effective way to share with those who were unable to attend and allow the team to review later. We also recommend following up with the silent users - those who did not provide feedback during a session. Silent users are often more comfortable sharing feedback in a one-on-one setting and can provide valuable information to help ensure your project is a success.
5. Hold Sessions Regularly, As Needed
Meeting with users regularly will ensure feedback is feeling valued and appreciated. Users can also see the progress the team has made from previous sessions and feel more inclined to provide more feedback moving forward. This also drives user adoption as users have a buy-in from the start. Additionally, work with the team to evaluate priority of the feedback and requested changes on a regular basis. This ensures team alignment that the team will deliver high value changes in the future.
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