Your feedback forms, surveys, and project workspace are more than just boxes you tick off of your test prep checklist — they’re an essential element of your Customer Validation project’s success. Like recruiting a willing and able tester team and keeping the lines of communication open, ensuring your tools are helping (not hindering) your testers’ efforts is critical to maintaining engagement and securing ample, high-quality feedback.
When your tools and structures are disjointed, disorganized, or challenging to access and use, it becomes too difficult and too time-consuming for testers to engage during your project. The fewer hoops testers have to jump through to find information, submit feedback, and communicate with you, the easier it will be to maintain a steady flow of tester data.
Here are the warning signs that your engagement rates may be suffering because of friction between your testers and the tools you’re giving them to use.
Friction from Tools: Warning Signs
- There’s a very low amount of incoming feedback. This could be a sign that accessing or interacting with your feedback forms is more inconvenient for your testers than they’re willing to deal with.
- You’re not getting enough of certain types of feedback. If there’s not an easy channel for submitting each type of feedback (e.g., issues, ideas, or praise), testers will simply submit feedback however it’s most convenient for them. This can create the illusion that you don’t have enough of any one type of feedback.
- Testers aren’t completing their weekly activities. If your testers are completing fewer and fewer activities, it might be a sign that your activities are structured in a way that is making it too difficult for them to get through (e.g., there are too many activities each week, or they are too prescriptive or complicated).
- You’re getting incomplete surveys or feedback that’s missing significant information. This can be a sign that your feedback forms are either too long — taking focus away from the information you really need — or that they don’t provide an easy enough way to include the information you need.
Quick Fixes for Friction from Tools
Your tools and project structures are the bridge between you and your testers out in the world. Since testers have a finite amount of time and energy to devote to your project, getting healthy participation from testers means keeping that bridge free and clear of obstacles that might sap those reserves.
Here are the steps to take if you’re seeing the above warning signs of friction with your tools pop up during your CV project.
- Check Your Feedback Forms. If you’re seeing fewer feedback submissions or not enough of any particular feedback type, check your feedback forms. Is there a separate form for each type of feedback? Are they easy to access? Are your forms too long, or do they ask for too much information? Are you asking for data — like crash logs or diagnostic reports — that is overly inconvenient for testers to gather?
- Check Your Surveys. If you’re seeing too many incomplete surveys, evaluate how much time and effort it takes to complete those surveys. Do your testers have an easy and obvious way to access the survey? Are you asking for too big a time or energy commitment? Is your survey long (more than 20 questions) or mentally draining (more than four open-ended questions)?
More Tools for Increasing Tester Engagement
Now that you have a better understanding of how your tools impact your testers’ ability to provide quality feedback, get familiar with more ways you can increase engagement in every area of your CV project. Download the Tester Engagement Pocket Map, a compact ebook for diagnosing the common causes of low tester participation.