User Feedback

By Mark Nuyens
6 min. read📚 Research

Recently, I had the pleasure to participate in a user experience interview for Brain FM's newest interface design. As an active member of their Discord server, I've been contributing and sharing my feedback and ideas regularly. This whole experience has been fun and rewarding, as it allowed me to directly contribute to a product I enjoy. I strongly believe in the value of such open forums and wish that more companies would emulate this openness. It fosters better decision-making, instills a sense of contribution, and values customers.

Essentially, it's a win-win; the company receives free input and ideas, and the users feel valued and heard. It's a hybrid form of open-source discussion that promotes transparency in research and development processes. Companies like Github have recognized this value, recently releasing a new commenting system that can be integrated into other websites, much like Disqus.

Creating a joyful and collaborative culture around your product or service involves several ingredients. The first is openness to direct user input. This can be as simple as a "Feedback" button or designated email (e.g., However, as I already mentioned, opening up a Discord or Slack channel may prove to be even more effective to collect user feedback. This platform allows users to read others' ideas, be inspired by them, and understand what ideas have already been considered, and the results of those discussions.

Another valuable ingredient is the ability to (up or down) vote on potential features, or simply respond through emojis (e.g. 🎉 or 😔) to convey a certain feeling. This semi-open feedback method may provide surprising insights into what users truly value, potentially saving valuable time and resources by avoiding unnecessary feature development. It also instills a sense of ownership among users, as they have a direct impact on product development.

However, direct interviews remain essential to understand users on a deeper level, both with new and power users. By asking open questions, often combined with performing a certain task, this method may provide even more accurate and reliable insights into users' experiences and allow you to identify valuable features and potential pain points. Furthermore, this proactive approach ensures you receive feedback on specific topics of interest rather than havint to wait for people to address them on their own.

Meanwhile, the advent of AI offers exciting possibilities for processing explicit feedback, derived from sources like the ones mentioned above. Tools such as ChatGPT are able to summarize popular requests or complaints, providing an overall insight into the collective user experience. You can even take it a step further and feed the AI contextual information about your application's inner and outer workings. This could allow for AI to suggest potential solutions based on user feedback and its context, possibly to the extent of implementing these solutions automatically using a single command for approval.

In conclusion, collecting user feedback doesn't always have to be through dreadful forms and reward systems. By lowering the threshold for users to share their opinion and making this process enjoyable and empowering, we can leverage user input and turn it into collective, democratic solutions. These methods may provide an effective approach to user research without compromising on quality research and development (R&D).

THese methods could help create a sense of community and ownership among users, while providing and generating valuable insights and ideas for the R&D team. By embracing openness, we can create products that truly resonate with users.