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Q&A

Welcome to Codidact Meta!

Codidact Meta is the meta-discussion site for the Codidact community network and the Codidact software. Whether you have bug reports or feature requests, support questions or rule discussions that touch the whole network – this is the site for you.

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Q&A How about explicitly inviting new user feedback?

When collecting feedback, it helps to reduce barriers as much as possible. A common (and useful) technique is to have a little popup asking for a rating. Usually this is a Likert scale with a promp...

posted 6mo ago by Jon Ericson‭

Answer
#1: Initial revision by user avatar Jon Ericson‭ · 2023-12-11T21:19:39Z (6 months ago)
When collecting feedback, it helps to reduce barriers as much as possible. A common (and useful) technique is to have a little popup asking for a rating. Usually this is a [Likert scale](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Likert_scale) with a prompt such as:

> I found the answer to my question.  
> 1 Strongly disagree | 2 Disagree | 3 Neither agree nor disagree | 4 Agree | 5 Strongly agree

It doesn't have to be a popup necessarily, by the way. That's just an easy thing to add without impacting the rest of the site design. The details of the question and the response options aren't critical either.   What matters is having a number that roughly measures the usefulness of the page that people can easily pick without overthinking it.  

Tracking that data is _somewhat_ useful, but when someone answers, the popup could prompt the user for more information in a freeform text field. It can also be helpful to get an email address to ask followup questions. People _want_ to give feedback, but you gotta ease them into it sometimes. It's especially helpful to demonstrate that the site is improved based on that feedback, which creates a virtuous cycle.[^1]

Even more valuable feedback (which can be hard to hear at times) comes from [watching a user struggle with the site](https://jlericson.com/2016/06/30/usability_tests.html). Developers and designers make things that work for their own way of thinking, but new users rarely have the same mindset. So you gotta see the framework they come with and decide what you can change to make the site work for them without sacrificing critical functionality for established users. 

Meta can be really useful too, but remember people who post here generally have gotten past the barriers new users face. The feedback Meta is likely to miss is from users who have visited a few times, but haven't been motivated to post. Note: people are motivated to post when they think they have something valuable to add. That's hard to do on an active Meta where a lot of other people clearly know more than you do. The key is communicating that feedback from the earlier stage matters too.

[^1]: Discourse [excels at this](https://jlericson.com/2023/12/08/why_discourse.html), by the way.