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Tool to gather feedback during beta testing


#1

We need to do some beta testing for the new version of PhraseExpander and I’d like to have a single place where I can gather feedback and publish the history log.
The beta will be initially private.

I was thinking about using a Facebook group but most of our users are not on Facebook.

What tool do you suggest to do that? I’d like something lean.

Thanks.


#2

What type of feedback are you collecting? Feature requests? Bug reports? or general thoughts and suggestions?

How many users will be in the beta test? Assume that only a small proportion of them will actually give feedback.

My default suggestion without knowing more would be to use a shared Google Sheets document. It’s free, it is flexible, and your users can easily figure out how to use it.

BTW: I wrote a small guide to managing feedback from beta testers that might be helpful.


#3

When I want people to contact me, I create a web page where:

  • I tell them what kind of feedback I’m interested in
  • I tell them my e-mail address because everyone knows how to e-mail
  • I have a form where they can type things, press a button and I’ll get an e-mail with anonymous feedback (I use netlify forms but there’s plenty of other free tools). Everyone knows how to type and press a button.

Here’s how it looks in practice: https://blog.kowalczyk.info/contactme.html

Reading between the lines, you think that you’ll be so overwhelmed with feedback that you’ll need a specialized tool to track it.

Reality: you’ll get very little feedback.

If you want to organize it, put it in https://notion.so (i.e. copy & paste each feedback as a separate note/page).

If you want to make this feedback public, Notion has an option of sharing a page publicly.


#4

I use my own forum to get the feedback on beta versions and new products. I’m against using 3rd party web sites for it, especially Facebook (its UI is a nightmare).


#5

For Phot-Awe, we’ve added some really cool feedback mechanisms. Only wish I’d done that sooner :smiley:

Anyway, It’s C# / WPF - if you’re using that , you can use our code. We will Open-source the Feedback library soon, and will write about it on medium.

To give you a taste, you can download our app, and when shown the Subscribe dialog (45 seconds into the app) choose the 10-Q Survey. Now, the survey is fully customizable (an easy text file).


#6

That sounds interesting! Looking forward to hear more about this.


#7

This is the initial version:

You’ll see an easy survey sample. As said, I plan to talk about it on medium, but a while from now (probably I’ll get to the survey part 3-4 weeks from now).

But on the plus side, it’s insanely easy to use.

    public static void show_survey() {            
        questions_window qw = new questions_window(survey.from_file( "photawe.txt")));
        // you need to customize this
        qw.model().user_email = sett.inst.user_email;
        qw.model().user_name = sett.inst.user_name;
        qw.model().is_on_saying_hi_page = true;
        qw.on_complete = on_survey_complete;
        qw.Show();
    }
    private static void on_survey_complete(survey_complete complete) {
        sett.inst.user_email = complete.user_email;
        sett.inst.user_name = complete.user_name;
        var msg = complete.friendly_msg();
        // you need to decide what to do with the result of the survey
    }

Please let me know what you think :wink:


#8

Thanks for your feedback.
I ended up using emails for that as everyone knows how send an email.
The only thing I’ve done is embedding a button “Send feedback” into the beta version to connect to the website.

I’m quite interested in seeing the tool you are creating. My only convern would be how this behaves under firewalls in an enterprise environment. Currently, opening a specific page in a website seems the safest option.


#9

^see above about the usage.

The idea is that, when the survey is ready, you decide what to do with the results (where to post them). We only show the UI - which should be very user friendly. And basically, the user doesn’t need to leave the app while answering the survey.


#10

Oh, I missed that is was for WPF (and thought implicitly it was for web).
That makes your tool more special, and for a different use case. Good luck.


#11

hehe :wink: well, for the web, they’re a countless number :slight_smile:
While for desktop apps, not so much :smiley:


#12

Hey mate,

Here are a couple of tools that might help:

https://askuser.xyz/ allows you to create some varied polls/questions etc.
https://canny.io/ if you are more looking for discussions around features