Too Many Channels for Feedback
Develop | Posted March 27, 2009

The other day I wrote a blog entry on the importance of multiple channels of feedback. Which led to this comment from Andreas Wicker:

This is nice in theory, but pitily in practice SmartBear is acting at least partly contrarily.

Nearly everytime I ask if some feature exists or inform about a bug (via email to support@smartbear.com), I get a useful answer from the support. But additionally I am requested to put the same thing into some feedback page of yours: http://feedback.codecollab.com/

If "Multiple Channels for Feedback" means that I have to give my feedback in EVERY SINGLE channel, it is just nonsense.

Fair enough - the point is well taken.

But I would like to add a bit of background, not as an excuse, but as an explanation. As Jason wrote about a while back on his blog, for a product like Code Collaborator, Uservoice is great.

Part of our need for Uservoice arose from the fact that our bug tracking system is behind our firewall. But the bigger problem is that we are using FogBugz for customer support and bug tracking and it lacks some features that Uservoice has. In particular, the voting and searching capabilities on Uservoice come in really handy.

So for feature requests we like to point folks to Uservoice. But if you have a bug and you need a solution then we still want to use the tracking features of FogBugz. The problem comes in that gray area where its hard to determine whether you are encountering a bug, or instead a feature that does not exist. Or perhaps the discussion starts out concerning a bug and then the resolution uncovers a feature request.

That's where our current process is lacking, as Andreas pointed out. I don't have a perfect answer - what would be great would be a feature in FogBugz that would export a conversation thread to Uservoice. Until that arrives, we will work with the tools we have; 2000 feature
requests are great to have but too unwieldy to work with individually.


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