So you’re a developer or software company, and you made a great tool that doesn’t exist. It blew everyone’s mind. Suddenly, two customers appear complaining they want this or that, and you’re freaking out. It’s okay. Nothing will be perfect for everyone. Don’t become a contractor for individual customers.
You want voluminous feedback
Avoid the knee jerk reaction to the first few users feedback. Here’s how I do it instead. I wait for feedback from 100 people before adjusting. I keep in mind I’m not building for one person but for a persona or a collective of people. When listening to the feedback, you’ll notice 2-3 items requested over and over again. It’s almost as if you don’t need to write them down because everyone says the same thing. These are the items to focus on in the next release.
It matters how you ask
When getting feedback, the method I prefer is asking what they like about the application. When you analyze the feedback though, look for what they say they don’t like. This is where you can add value. Still, don’t specifically ask for negatives. When asking for positives, if criticism appears it’s something that really bothered them. If you ask for a critique they search out the negatives which might not be that important.
One foot, then the other
The feedback process becomes unfocused if you try to change too much at once. In scientific experiments, if you modify too many variables the data gets too noisy to get any real meaning. So I’ll change only the most requested items which brings the most value to the most poeple. After the next release, I’ll ask for feedback again.
Personas are people
Even though personas are an abstract representation of a group of people, I’ll get to know real people that represent the persona. For example, if I’m working on an app for attorneys, I’ll get to know an actual trial attorney, corporate lawyer, personal injury lawyer, etc. That way if I’m looking for specific input on something, like a new transcriptions feature, I have a real person I can ask. Since I’m not an attorney there’s no way I can see things from their point of view. I leverage my resources to build the best product, and their experience is a valuable resource.