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Software is easy to build, but even easier to build the way the developers think it should function. What about the end user? How best to obtain feedback from them regarding a new product?

For example: we recently released a new web based application for IT support and this is what the user must use to receive IT support. They have no choice.

How can we elicit feedback from them?

Ideas outside the box are most appreciated because I find the usual feedback form gets few submissions so I am looking for creative ways to get in touch with our user base and continue to develop this application (or any in the future) with their desires in mind.

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2 Answers 2

try this online solution, from UserVoice.com

they praise that UserVoice’s platform makes it easy to build a customer community and quickly start engaging your customers.

if you want to see someone that already uses UserVoice.com, go to ClojureDocs.org, click the FEEDBACK on the right side, then click Go To Feedback Forum and see how it works

looks pretty neat

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+1 for UserVoice.com. A GREAT product. I usually put a menu somewhere "Suggest a feature" that redirects to the UserVoice.com page. But I'm looking for something I could install on my web server. Anyone knows one ? –  user2567 Oct 1 '10 at 12:31
    
@Pierre/@Belun: I agree, I am looking for something more internal. As a university we usually do not like to redirect our users off of the osu.edu domain space. For personal projects though, this is a great suggestion and I plan to look into it. –  Chris Oct 1 '10 at 12:44
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Then you need what I need. I don't think it exists yet. –  user2567 Oct 1 '10 at 12:58
    
Oh found it: stackoverflow.com/questions/1576935/… –  user2567 Oct 1 '10 at 12:59

Go talk to them directly if you have the chance.

I have found that when I have the opportunity, directly talking to my clients/users is simply the best. There is no substitute for it. Also, getting a chance to watch them use your software is invaluable. Users will do things that you didn't even think of and try and use the software in ways you didn't originally intend. Observation is powerful.

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