I'm planning to release a project which will integrate with several popular content management systems as a plugin and operate as a stand-alone service - beyond providing users with a simple contact form which posts to a ticketing system, what are the most effective ways you have found to solicit useful feedback from within the interface and manage user feedback?
@Nir & @Rahul - The scope of user feedback is obviously not going to be limited to UI suggestions (or bug reports, or ...) but I'd like to know whether there are any good ways to ferret out commonly-held problems with the application's UI, localization, et cetera. (Note that commonly-held problems might only be common for a limited subset of users - and, unfortunately, I don't foresee having the option to sit down and test every UI localization with a native speaker, for example)
I'm planning a "bug report/suggestion" modal which is accessible from any page and reports the page it was called from and I want to get as much information on the problem as possible. I'd expect that most users would need a nudge in the right direction to get usable feedback without any back-and-forth.
It's a two-part question, maybe it reads better as:
How do I encourage remote users of a web application to offer suggestions above and beyond "It doesn't work" directly through the application, rather than in discussion on a forum, plugin comments page, et cetera?
What is the best way to manage feedback aggregated from multiple sources? (when that inevitably occurs despite all best efforts to prevent it)
Edit w/Answer Accepted:
Given the recommendations I've received and my previous plans, my present strategy looks something like this:
- Solicit feedback from within the UI with a simple contact/suggestion/bug report form which posts to a ticketing system
- Provide a forum for users to post suggestions and get support from eachother (I'll probably start out spending a lot of time there myself)
- Post a working demo version of the application, integrate click-tracking tools to watch how users interact with the interface
- As the project matures, offer users incentives of some form to participate in beta testing and offer feedback
- Consider third-party feedback collection and organization tools like UserVoice, GetSatisfaction, et cetera as appropriate to demand (I'm thinking that the choice of solution will depend a lot upon the type of userbase the project draws - given that I'm planning to see shared hosting users install my application, it might make sense to use a third-party service versus rolling my own... but I'll wait to solve that problem until I get to it)