What To Know About In-App Feedback

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When you’re developing an app, it can be easy to find yourself with tunnel vision. You have your ideas and plans. You know what you want. You think you know what users want. Sometimes you may be right, but others you may have some changes or improvements that need to be made.

According to app development firm Buildfire, a key distinction between an okay app and a great app are using feedback and making constant improvements. Many businesses will go as far as gathering feedback during the testing phase, but after that they consider that component of development done. In reality, it’s just getting started.

Prelaunch testing is great, but it shouldn’t end there. App optimization needs to be viewed as an on-going process for the best user experience and overall performance.

There are different ways to gather feedback, but in-app feedback is one option. So what should you know?

The Value of In-App Feedback

In-app feedback is an excellent way to find out what users think when they’re actually using the app. They’re in, they’re using it, and they’re going to be able to provide you with some of the most relevant feedback. That feedback can be used for continuous improvement.

How Does In-App Feedback Work?

In-app feedback can be gathered in different ways. For example, you can simply ask existing users to rate it, which is pretty common. You can also do a brief survey to assess specific elements of the app, or you could ask users to chat with you and share their thoughts.

Specific benefits of in-app feedback include the fact that since it’s embedded in the app itself, it makes it easy for the user. They don’t have to go somewhere else to share their thoughts.

You’re also encouraging users to share feedback so that not just you can see it to drive development decisions, but you’re asking them to rate your app so that other potential users can see it. You’re prompting them while it’s fresh in their mind and they’re more likely to actually take the time to review the app.

The Risks of In-App Feedback

The concept of in-app feedback seems inherently great. You’re there on the front lines asking for information that’s going to help you make sure your app stays great, and it’s all in real-time.

However, there is something to think about.

You can’t be annoying or burdensome when you’re asking for people to share their thoughts. People come to your app because they feel it has a value or purpose for them. They don’t use your app to help you make business decisions.

You have tread lightly with in-app feedback and how you ask for it. If you do it the wrong way, you’re going to frustrate people or make them hate your app.

What To Consider

Along with the drawback that you could annoy users, there are a few other things to think about and balance if you’re going to be utilizing in-app feedback.

First, you have to accept that what you get from people who respond might not be highly detailed. It can be good to give you a general direction, but you may end up using other methods for collecting more detailed feedback. There’s only so much you can derive from a two-second survey in an app.

You’re also not going to have the opportunity to go deeper into what led a person to leave the response they did. Again, it can be a useful starting point if you have an idea of what users’ thoughts are, but you’re not going to get far beyond that starting point with what you get in the app.

In-App Feedback Tips

If you’ve come to the decision that you want to incorporate at least some elements of in-app feedback into your continual improvement process, there are some best practices.

First, keep it short. Ask one question, and make that question as specific as possible. While you’re not getting wide-ranging input, you’re more likely to get a response, and maybe get more details related to that response.

Also, you want to work on making it so that your users easily see that you’re asking for feedback, but not to the point that it’s impeding their experience. If you’re clogging up their phone screen asking for feedback, it’s going to turn users off. It’s probably not even worth the information you might get at that point.

Make it a visible choice, but still yet a choice.

Finally, view what you gather in your app as a general way to move forward with more in-depth feedback gathering. It’s definitely shouldn’t be the only way you get feedback, but maybe just step one of a more comprehensive process.