June 29, 2017

Working in User Experience, it’s no surprise that I consider user feedback invaluable. In the time that I’ve been able to work with Happy Boards, I’ve learned to appreciate user feedback all the more, as what our team gleans from conversations with customers has helped us improve our product dramatically. Here are some specific reasons why everyone at Happy Boards values user feedback in our product’s development.

1. You learn how people are actually using your product.

Sounds simple, right? Of course you should know how people actually use your product! And yet, so many products fail because they don’t pick up on how people are using them. At Happy Boards, we are lucky enough to meet with many of our customers regularly, where we learn about how they are using the product, where they are having trouble and where they are having success. We don’t just sit and talk to them—we watch them use the dashboard, too, so we’re able to distinguish between what they say they do and what they actually do. Observing our customers and listening to them provides us with the data we need to make smart decisions about new features for Happy Boards. Which leads to the next reason…

2. Your decisions are informed by actual requests, not by hunches.

We might think we know how some of our features will be used, but it’s only through conversations and observations with customers that we learn how they are actually being implemented in the real world. As with so many things in life, we have our expectations of what Happy Boards is, but those expectations don’t always fit reality. Knowing the reality (by talking with customers), we are able to shift our priorities to ensure we’re building features and support that reflect how people actually use the product, not just how we think they will.

3. You learn how to prioritize requests.

To be clear, here at Happy Boards, we don’t blindly say “yes” to every request we get. If we did, we’d never have a clear understanding of what our product is and who it’s for; we’d be constantly shifting as the winds blow. This isn’t wise business practice, and we know that.

The beauty of getting to have regular conversations with customers is that we can learn what feature requests will have the largest positive impact, and which ones are perhaps extremely niche or outside of our definition of what Happy Boards is supposed to be. For instance, we actively made the decision for a Happy Boards to have only one message appear at a time. This was in direct contrast to many other digital signage offerings that show you the weather—and the news, and the stock ticker, and flashing ads, and a Twitter feed—all in one screen. This is not what our product is, and any requests we may get about displaying multiple messages at one time we know to be outside of our product’s purpose.

 

On the flip side, if we hear consistent feedback from multiple customers about a certain feature they’d love to see that improves the experience for everyone, such as a profanity filter on social media posts being pulled in, we are quick to prioritize these. These are the types of features that make Happy Boards better for everyone involved: it gives a sense of relief to the company running the Happy Board’s content, and makes the viewing experience more pleasant for those watching it.