1. How to Get Some User Feedbacks - Just Ask!

    Usually only a very small percentage of users like to give feedback. So we come up with a method to get more feedbacks without nagging users too much. The first and simplest source for feedbacks was a permanent bar at the bottom of the page (position:fixed) with a generic feedback button that opens an overlay with name, email and text field.

    A bit more sophisticated are our context sensitive overlays which appear if a user uses a specific function of karriere.at. We defined six categories of questions for the different site features … 

    • company page
    • user profile (cv)
    • social network
    • dashboard
    • job alarm (aka jobs per mail)
    • some generic questions

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    For each category the product manager wrote four different questions about the feature. The questions pop up in an overlay only if the user uses the feature for the fifth time, we track this with a cookie. We only display one question per user per day, one user never get the same question twice. Some examples of questions …

    • What would you change on this feature?
    • What else do you want about this company?
    • What would you change on the design of karriere.at?

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    We collected 1.500 feedbacks in three weeks. It was so much that it was hard to respond to every message so i have to deactivate it now. Most of the feedbacks was very positive, over 90% like the new site without limitation. The negative feedbacks was mostly about browser compatibility problems with older versions like IE7 or Safari 5.

    We got exactly zero hate mails, if the feedback was negative it was always constructive. Really! :)

    But the most interesting ones was about features we removed or added in the version of the site. People explained partly very accurate what they do and what they expect. So it was possible for us to fix the biggest problems in the first days after launch.

    If a feedback falls in this category i sometimes send an email with further questions to the user. Really everyone answers my questions and explained me whats going. I asked questions like: Why is that important to you? What would you do if we cannot provide this Feature? Do you know a site with this feature?

    And here are some examples of things we learned from the user feedbacks …

    “The job location should be always on the same place in the listing.”

    On the first days we got 50 mails about the job location in the search listings. We put it inline after the job-title and so for every job it was on another place. Users complained about that and wanted it back on the right side so they can scan faster the listings for the location they look for. It was a bit surprising for us because we thought most people enter their location in the search field above and just look for jobs in their town.

    “Why i cannot search for a city anymore?”

    Whoot? Location-Search is broken? No. It took me some time and mails to understand what some users wanted from me. They explained that they only can search for states and countries but not for regions and cities like on the old page. After a detailed feedback from a user i realized that he don’t understand the combo-field for the location-search. For him it looks like a normal Select-Box and so he don’t try to enter some text in it. We refined the shadows and colors for the field so it looks more like a text-field … the the feedbacks about that stops.

    “I want to see the publish date of the job!”

    We changed the date from a job listing to strings like: “10 min. ago”, “1 hour ago” … like in Twitter. This information is much more precise than the date but the users wanted it back. A user explained it to me in a very detailed email. It all was about trust in the information, the new strings looked more spamy and vague than a date. You cannot interpret a date, it’s clear. So we changed it back and the negative feedbacks stopped.

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    You can see its very easy to get some feedbacks and usability insights for your new page, you just have to ask, a bit pushy but polite and users will respond.