What’s the one thing your customers would like to see in your products? Or what’s the one problem they’d like you to fix?
One of the problems in developing any product or service is that you can get into a rut and stop seeing where you need to make changes. Maybe you’re looking at your competitors, seeing what they’re doing and using that for inspiration. But what your customers want may be different. Maybe much simpler.
One way to address this is to add a Make a Suggestion page to your site. The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) does this very well.
MSDN feature suggestions
Have an idea for how we can improve the overall experience on MSDN? If so, we’d love to hear it. You can submit a new idea or you can upvote and comment on existing ideas. Suggestions, comments, and votes will be reviewed directly by the engineering teams who are responsible for building MSDN.
This site is for feature suggestions and ideas, not for submitting bugs or to get support. To file a bug or get support, visit MSDN troubleshooting and support.
Make a Suggestion page
You can add suggestions on
- gaps that need addressing
- errors that need to be corrected
- ways to improve the existing site
After you enter your idea in the I suggest you… box, it’s added to the list of requests. What’s interesting is that others can vote up your request if they agree. As I write, the add more and more code examples has 819 votes.
- New Idea
- My ideas
- My Comments
In addition to this, you can see the status of the feature request by mousing over the Status drop-down menu, which tells you if a feature is
- Under review
This filters the list of features and you can vote up each suggestion and, here’s the nice part, add a comment.
For example, this comment suggests:
I’d go further and ask that you include revision dates with links to previous versions as well. As a solutions architect, understanding the direction things move in is just as important as understanding the current state of play.
Where’s the benefit?
As you can see, all of this helps MS improve the quality of their product. More than that, they’re users help clarify and refine what needs to be fixed. As well as this, they are also helping with the testing – at least indirectly – by highlighting errors and omissions.
Could this work for you?
PS – the best book I read last year about getting feedback was Pay Attention!: How to Listen, Respond, and Profit from Customer Feedback.