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Feature suggestion / bug reporting / beta tester communication tool


#1

Ok so im going to start inviting earlibird users (aprox 10~30) to start using my webapp and I know straight off the bat there are going to be so many bugs that I’ve failed to spot. That plus actual users will figure out some awesome (and plenty of crap) features to add.

I’d like a way to communicate all this whilst keeping my sanity - I dont believe my inbox will do this.

So what do you all use to organize the communication? I’m bootstrapping so 0$ is always nice but moderately priced is ok too.

The group will be small so i dont mind open chat. private messaging might be a plus.

I was thinking maybe trello could be a good simple solution as its pretty malleable. Any top tips?


#2

I find that email plus a bug tracker works fine for me.


#3

Same as Andy, I use just email and a bug tracker (Lighthouse in my case). But I suggest not worrying about this until you really feel the pain from organizing it all. And at that point you’ll have a much better idea of the best tool for the job.


#4

There is nothing to worry about.

With the buggiest software in the world it’s very unlikely that more than 30% of all users will request support or report bugs.

This might not be what you want to hear, but your users will never be as passionate about your software as you are. In fact, users are only passionate about themselves and their problems.

You don’t need any special tools at this point. Email + Trello for bugtracking and project management(if you’re not using anything else). Even Trello use their own software for bugtracking and feature requests. We also use Trello for managing 6 relatively small software projects (plugins). Feature requests, bugs, roadmaps, marketing plans—we keep everything there.

The group will be small so i dont mind open chat. private messaging might be a plus.

If you really want to go this way, I’d recommend Slack. It’s free, insanely easy to use and searchable.

Here are my 2 cents, take 'em if you will:

  1. Start building an FAQ section or a knowledge base. Note the most common questions and add them there. Create a few basic “How do I…” tutorials. This is called self-service. If you start growing exponentially, support requests might really explode and a searchable database of ready solutions is what will save you.
  2. Don’t expect users to engage in personal chat, unless they have a problem they want resolved or a feature request. Time is the most valued currency. And they don’t care about your software, they care about their own problems.
  3. You’ll have to reach out to your free users. Don’t expect them to report bugs. They will likely move on to another solution.
  4. Be careful how you determine which features are awesome and which are crap. Blindly following your “vision” will get you just about nowhere. (If you don’t believe me, here’s some first-hand bitter experience). Blindly listening to your users feature requests will get you in another place you don’t want to be. Real businesses listen and try to figure out how they can serve their customers best. So, always look for the core problem that the customer is trying to solve with your product. A feature request is the user telling you how to solve a problem. What you need is a problem and proof that it’s a common problem. Then, you are the one who decides how and if you are going to solve it.

Congrats on launching your first product. I wish you lots of success!

—Gergana


#5

Hi everyone,

sorry for the late reply but thanks for the info.

I guess ill just settle for email and perhaps trello for now for bug tracking.

Creating an FAQ is a good idea too.


#6

Good luck!

Let us know how your beta testing goes. It might be helpful to other people in your position.

I, personally, would be interested to hear.


#7

You could try using http://www.pageproofer.com , it’s a SAAS I developed. It allows you to embed an overlay on your website where users can click and leave notes that are attached to page elements, like sticky notes on your website. It’s great for notifying you of bugs, copy errors, layout issues etc. There’s a task board so you can prioritize tasks and it integrates with Trello and Basecamp if you need to use that for project management.


#8

I use https://www.uservoice.com. It has a free plan, and gives you a complete suggestion/bug reporting solution, with upvoting for previous suggestions. Great bang for zero bucks.