Why User Feedback Is So Important For Software Development

Jeri Frank is the Co-Founder & CEO of STRATAFOLIO, a software solution for companies that own and manage real estate with NNN leases.

How often are you taking the time to collect user base feedback? When you’re developing a new app or software, it’s highly beneficial to learn from your user base. After all, they’re the ones who will be purchasing and using the product. You need to get to know your customers’ pain points and needs before you can figure out how to solve them. This is the only way to create something that will actually be adopted.

To do this, you need to create a more collaborative process that involves your customers every step of the way. In doing so, your user-based feedback can improve the development process, allow you to create better applications and help you grow. Here’s a more detailed look at the benefits you could see when you properly leverage feedback from users.

Reduced Risk

Without getting user-based feedback early and often, you run the risk of wasting your time and money developing something that doesn’t address a genuine customer need. Instead, you need to prioritize finding out what your customers do and don’t want. That will guarantee that you’re always spending time on something that is both valuable and useful to your user base. You can dramatically reduce risk and cost as a result.

Balancing Speed With Quality

In the past, it was standard to take years to push out new software or large updates. But now, people are used to speed. They might be willing to wait weeks or perhaps even months for a new feature, but they certainly won’t be around for any longer than that. Someone else will jump in to provide what they’re looking for if you’re too slow. You can leverage user feedback to eliminate wasted time and focus on what your customers want—when they want it. As a result, you’ll speed up the process while maintaining quality.

Greater Agility

When you’re basing your software development cycle on user feedback, you’ll inherently become more agile. This is essential in today’s world of software and application development. If you’re consistently listening to customers and making user-feedback-based decisions at every stage, you can quickly adapt, even if the market is changing at breakneck speed. And when you can ensure the scope and specifications of your project are on target, you’ll be able to figure out your top priorities and thus make better business decisions.

Ensuring You Have The Correct Audience

Your test group should represent all the different types of users you want to target. For example, if you’re creating a program geared toward real estate owners, it might be essential to find people with varied real estate holdings and varying technological skills. This way, you can ensure that you’re not alienating any of your desired customer bases and that you’re meeting everyone’s needs.

Improved User Experience

In addition to helping you determine your priorities, user-based feedback can help you with design and thus improve the final product. Improving the usability of your software is essential to long-term success, and it should never be an afterthought.

Improved Quality Of The Final Product

When you collaborate with your user base, you can generate a wider range of ideas. You can give more time and effort to ideas that get the most positive feedback and change (or scrap) ideas that are generating mostly negative feedback. If a certain tool is going completely unused in the prototype, you’ll know ahead of time that it isn’t working and you can make decisions accordingly. Features that you hadn’t even thought of might become the top priority, depending on what your customers need.

Retaining Customers

If you want to keep your customers around for the long haul, you’ll need to incorporate their feedback into your decisions from day one. Your user base wants to know you value them, understand their needs and are on their side. Collaborating with your users by gathering and incorporating their feedback is often an effective way to build customer retention.

The time is now to start incorporating more user-based feedback into your agile software development process. Don’t wait until your application is almost completed. With consistent user feedback from the beginning to the end, you can improve both the process and the product.

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