Using Feedback Army for clan.cx
Since I started working on clan.cx, I’ve been in a bubble. I didn’t show it to anyone and didn’t know how usable or broken it was. A month ago I decided to get input about it from others. I think asking friends or people I know is a bad idea. They can be biased because I talked about it or simply because as friend they don’t want to sound mean. Also most of the people I could ask for feedback are themselves developers. Today there are many services to get feedbacks quickly, and here nobody is afraid to hurt your feelings: they’re paid to do it.
I tried FeedBack Army, a few weeks ago. It’s a “Simple, Cheap Usability Testing for Your Website”. You submit questions, pay $15, and get 10 answers.
The submission process was quick and easy. The front page says “Start a usability test for your site in two minutes”. It really is that quick —excluding writing the questions. Answers come in quickly, within a few hours I had 10 well-written answers from people who tried the site for 5 to 20 minutes.
I wanted to check that creating and posting in the forum was straightforward. It turned out to be obvious for everybody, problems were elsewhere ... The reviewers wanted to be able to preview before posting. Originally the forum worked the way Reddit’s comments work: write something, post it, and edit it live. As obvious as it seems, I didn't consider adding previews before that.
Posts are formatted using Markdown, a lightweight markup language. There was a table summarizing the syntax below the textbox, but people didn't seem to notice it. So I added a link “formatting help” beside the Post / Preview buttons:
This should draw people’s attention more than just a table at the bottom of the page.
Most reviewers understood what the site was for, but found it empty. There was no about page, no help. This lack of information was noted in almost every answers. They didn’t request more features, but more “content”. At the time of this writing, the home page of clan.cx is just a big sign-up form with that on top:
clan.cx — Fast StarCraft II clan hosting
Clan.cx hosts your StarCraft clan. Communicate privately or publicly with your clan mates.
I knew more content was needed but it’s good to be confident that adding a description, screenshots, and help is what the site needs.
I’m planning on using Feedback Army or maybe other similar services at least once a month. $15 is a cheap way to get invaluable information for a project online.
I plan to advertise clan.cx in March. I’ll adapt depending on the response I get from potential users, and of course from Feedback Army.