Give users power over sites!

    imageToday, the vast majority of sites are totalitarian. Power (developers) for the people (users) decides how the site will be further developed. At the same time, on most popular sites, it is users who create content that brings developers money. Developers forget that they perform a service function: they create a tool so that people can realize their ideas on their website. The decision to introduce the next feature or change is most often made by the team of creators, only occasionally addressing questions directly to users.

    If the Internet is a place of freedom, then why are the relationships between developers and users uneven? The users who create the content are part of the team, but they are not given the normal opportunity to speak out and influence the future of the site.


    imageFeedback from developers on most sites is implemented as a barely noticeable email address in the footer of the page. Sending a message to developers in this way is the same as writing a letter to the president with your suggestions. The user does not see any guarantee that his idea will reach the recipient and interest him. He is not involved in the process.

    There are various services that provide a plugin with a feedback form. Using it, a site user can publish his complaint or idea, which will be stored on an external feedback site. Theoretically, the developer can answer it. But this does not happen often, because reviews about the site are located somewhere on a third-party service, where not everyone will go. The site developer no longer feels responsible for people's suggestions and for solving their problems. This is the same as if the guest book in the restaurant was not at the entrance, but in the back office of the public relations manager. It turns out that this is just an illusion of the significance of the opinions of users.


    It is necessary to give people the opportunity not only to express their idea on the site, but also to evaluate the ideas of other users. Moreover, you need to do this in a visible place so that every visitor to the site can see the reviews of others and understand that his opinion is highly appreciated by the developers.

    imageThere are many advantages to this solution. According to the results of evaluations of proposals it will be seen how much the idea is in demand. Perhaps the implementation of this idea was not enough for the site. There may be a discussion among users that may lead to an even cooler idea. And if the site developer joins the discussion and approves the proposal, then its author will be very pleased. And if this idea is also implemented, then its author will feel pride and involvement in the creation of the site and will tell friends about the site. In this situation, both the wolves are fed and the sheep are safe.

    It is necessary to decentralize power on sites. Open source, user-moderated content are great steps to this. Wikipedia, one of the most popular sites, is moderated by users, each of which can contribute and appreciate the work of others. Users have full control over the content, and their influence on the site is limited only by their work and desire. It was openness that allowed Wikipedia to become one of the most useful sites for the whole world. I believe that developers need to look up to Wikipedia as the ideal free site.


    What gives me the right to talk about all this? I am a co-founder of the Brainlook project, a voting analysis site. On this site people express opinions on any topic and vote on them for or against. Statistics show that it unites voters and allows people to find like-minded people. At the same time, everything is free and open to everyone. Our global goal is to gather the opinions of people from all over the planet and provide everyone with the opportunity to find out what the majority thinks on any issue.

    Initially, we did not even think about the fact that people would use the site’s functionality as a form of feedback from developers. Users themselves began to post opinions in the form of ideas that they would like to see implemented on the site. For example, one user suggested proposalAdd alerts to the site. According to statistics, it became clear that this feature should be implemented as soon as possible, which was done.


    If the user notices some kind of bug, he creates an opinion about it. For example, another user reported a rare bug on the main one. People voted in favor if they faced the same problem - the developers immediately realized how widespread it was.


    Now, before starting work on a feature, we are asking users if they want to see it on the site. For example, we asked about the possibility of anonymous publication of opinions. And after the feature is implemented, we ask if users like it, for example, if they liked the notification system .


    These are just a few examples of improving user feedback. I believe that a similar approach should be integrated into all sites.

    Specific actions

    What steps do developers need to take?
    • Add feedback to your website. Make a convenient input form and display a list of ideas from all users.
    • Add the ability for users to rate and comment on others' suggestions.
    • Respond to their ideas, approve of them or argue why you did not.
    • Pay attention to the opinions of people and do not assume that you know everything for others.
    • PROFIT

    If you are not a developer, then ask the creators of your favorite sites for this approach. Write letters to them and leave comments with a call to place the feedback section in a public and visible place.

    If we do not fight for the right to be heard, soon we will not have the opportunity to fight for anything else. Recently, the Internet is being regulated more tightly, leaving users less freedom. We must counter this by increasing the role of users on the network!

    Finally, I want to clarify one thing for developers. Fully agree with users is not worth it. They do not know what the creators of the site know: the distribution of resources in a team, the complexity of the task, market trends, and so on. But now, many developers refuse to listen to users at all, guided by these arguments. Do not push people away from yourself and, perhaps, you will hear from them an idea that will help your project and you personally.

    It will be interesting to hear your comments and suggestions on how to more specifically implement such ideas. Leave an opinion on the article on . Have a nice discovery!

    Z.Y. Choose your side in the poll below. We created the exact same survey on Brainlook .

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    Each site should have a feedback section, where you could offer your idea to the creators and evaluate the ideas of other users

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