Nov 2, 2023
5 min read
Last updated Nov 16, 2023
Products are meant for the users. It does not matter how many features a product has, or how good a product is, if you don’t listen to your users and consider their feedback, it’s bad news for your product. There is no simpler way to put it in words.
When we talk about a product, what we mean is the right solution. It’s meant to solve a problem. To state the obvious, a solution is meant for the users.
User feedback is the voice of the customer. The feedback can be about anything. There is no limit to it. It can be as small as a small suggestion or an opinion about the product. Others can include the issues or complaints from the users.
At Linearloop, we believe in adding value through the right solutions. User feedback is an important part of our product development process. It’s valuable to us and a key to creating strong products.
In this post, we will share with you, how we use user feedback to improve our software development process and outcomes.
While we share the ways in which we develop products, it’s an opportunity for us to help you understand our process in the most convenient way. At the same time, we are excited to present the big picture of everything.
So, let’s get started! 😊
User feedback can come from various forms and channels. We believe in using a feedback loop throughout our product development process. These come in the form of direct or indirect user reviews.
Whenever we take up a project, it is important for our team to get detailed information from the business analysts and their research team. This information usually comes from real-world users and is provided to us by our partners. We carefully analyze those with our expertise to plan and develop our project in a strategic way.
Including user feedback in our SDLC process guides us in developing relevant and the most effective solutions. It makes the decision-making process much easier and this is how we do it:
Planning Stage 📝
It’s important for us to understand our target audience in the best possible ways through the feedback loop. The needs, preferences, and expectations have to be kept into account. This helps us plan accordingly come up with the most relevant solution and plan our project. We make sure that the product is aligned with the needs and feedback from the product owners and the analysts. This way we can prioritize features and functionalities to meet business requirements.
Design Stage 🎨
Scenarios, user journeys, and stories are created as per the requirements. Since we use agile methods in development, we test the designed wireframes, mockups, and prototypes including key project members and their feedback in an iterative way. Based on the feedback, a product is designed and the modifications are done if required as per the feedback.
Development Stage 🧑💻
Agile development is done in an iterative way with pre-defined sprint durations. Product owners and other team members are usually part of the scrum team keeping check of the updates and progress at all stages. They provide feedback more like the end-user. This helps us validate our development process in a much more organized manner. This also helps us in developing, testing, and debugging as soon as possible.
Deployment Stage 🚀
The deployment process is the most crucial one for all teams. Once a product is deployed by our team and available to use we make sure that the KPIs for evaluating and monitoring the product are in place. User feedback is a lifesaver at this stage since it helps us to fix issues rapidly.
Product development is not something that can be done just with the best practices and latest technologies. User feedback is one of the most effective ways to create a strong product collaboratively and we truly value it.
Univia is an agri-tech startup that aims to provide a phygital (physical + digital) agri-input distribution network to the farmers and retailers of India. Univia’s vision is to empower farmers with tech-driven farming solutions that can improve their productivity and profitability.
Their platform connects farmers with local retailers who can provide them with quality agri-inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, etc. at competitive prices
We created a mobile solution that enabled seamless communications and transactions between farmers and retailers. Apart from English, the app supports regional languages as well like Gujarati and Hindi. We were very satisfied with our work like our partners. It felt so good to develop an app that helped farmers, especially in a country like India, where agriculture is usually done manually with limited access to advanced farming techniques and communication channels, unlike the developed nations.
We were very proud to contribute with our expertise for better farming leveraging technology. The app also enabled users to get and analyze data from the field for better farming and networking improving profitability.
Feedback played a very important role while we worked on the project. We believe that it’s an important component of creating great solutions. It helped us to understand the needs and expectations of the users.
Additionally, it enabled us identify to gaps and errors, and improve the quality and usability of the product. We follow a feedback-driven approach in all stages of development, from ideation to delivery.
In this case study, we will describe how we used feedback to create a mobile app solution for Univia.
In the starting phases of the project, we had detailed discussions with the concerned analysts from Univia to understand the goals and objectives. As per the discussions, we were able to funnel out and work on the information to create a clear plan. Once we had positive feedback, we started to roll out the development plans.
We gained insights into their business model, customer segments, pain points, and opportunities. We also conducted market research and competitor analysis to understand the trends and best practices in the agri-tech domain.
Based on the information gathered and feedback from Univia and the farmers themselves, we created user personas and user stories to define the features and functionalities of the mobile app solution. It helped us to empathize with the users and design the product from their perspective.
They provided suggestions on how to refine and prioritize the user personas and user stories. They also validated that our plans were aligned with their vision and goals.
We used Figma to create wireframes and prototypes of the mobile app solution. We ensured that the wireframes and prototypes followed the best practices of user interface (UI) design, such as simplicity, responsiveness, accessibility, etc. We also ensured that the wireframes and prototypes supported local languages such as Hindi, Gujarati, etc.
We shared the designs with Univia for more user feedback. They provided their input on how to improve the UI design of the app screens and helped us validate the user flows.
In the next stage, we started developing the solution. We used Laravel (a web framework) and Android/Kotlin (a mobile platform) to code and then tested the mobile app solution. We followed the best practices of development, such as modularity, readability, reusability, security, etc. Additionally, we tested the application to make sure that everything was in place and there were no issues with the app.
We followed an agile methodology, which is an iterative approach that allowed us to implement frequent changes and updates based on feedback.
Next, we deployed the application on the Google Play Store. We ensured that the app was compatible with different devices, operating systems, and network conditions. We also ensured that the app was compliant with the legal and ethical regulations of the market.
We made the suggested changes in the last stages of the development lifecycle for final validations before delivery and launch.
Once the mobile app was developed and deployed, an additional feedback loop was set up by our team and their management to see if our solution was able to do what they expected.
Post-launch the application was monitored and the bugs were fixed as they were reported by the management team and the users. Areas such as performance, usability, reliability, and security were also tested and feedback was collected regarding all of these.
Feedback was beneficial not only after development but also during the development phases. We have been on a successful venture utilizing these in all the projects that we developed.
User feedback helps us to break the complexities of developing an application into small components. It’s like breaking a big problem into smaller problems. After solving and validating these small problems, they are combined to develop the right solution.
Since we include the feedback loop throughout our SDLC, we remain confident about the product at all stages.
Let’s go through some of the ways in which user feedback contributes to a polished product:
Users’ feedback helps us test user expectations in the correct way. It’s not only about what features we are providing, but it's also about what the user needs. What matters most is that the solution is right as per the users and nothing less.
This is the most positive thing in a product when users’ feedback is taken into account. Agile workflows make use of modern tools to implement updates to a product in a continuous way. Improved product means happy users. We consider user feedback to be the key to improved products.
Faster Issue Detection(and Faster Release of Improved Products)
Users’ feedback is a great way to identify issues rapidly. This also helps us to identify unforeseen scenarios and events. The limitations of the product can be brought to light and addressed accordingly. In a nutshell, an improved product can be released in a faster way.
Better Resource Utilization
User feedback helps us to allocate resources in a better way. This helps us to improve our productivity and not waste any effort. We value our partner’s time. This lets us to work in an efficient and organized way.
Identifying Market Gaps (and New Opportunities)
Users are the best judges of a product. Their feedback helps us to identify new market opportunities for the product, whether it's directly from the client or from the research and marketing teams. Even if a solution is already there, user feedback helps in identifying gaps. The right solution can help fill the market gaps. We are committed to creating new opportunities rather than waiting for one. User feedback helps to do these in the most effective ways.
Enhances the Brand Value
When a company responds to the users of its products, it shows that they care about users’ opinions and suggestions. Yes, businesses are meant for profits but not at the expense of their customers. It also helps the product to be easily recognizable in the competitive market.
Delivering with Confidence
Since we include user feedback in phases of product development, it boosts our confidence while we deliver them. It helps us to show our commitment to our business partners in the form of a polished product.
Taking users’ feedback seriously is valuable to us. It builds a sense of trust and strengthens our relationship as business partners. We want our partners to be confident and happy with the product and we make sure of it through the right solutions.
A solution is never too big or too small. It has to be right. It does not matter how much effort, time, or resources are put into developing a product, what matters most is how the users feel about it. There is no better way to test it than including user feedback in the entire product development process.
You listen to your customer; We listen to you to make the best version of a growth product.
We are on a great track by including user feedback in all steps of software development. We believe that user feedback is one of the most effective ways to make our products perform in the real world.
We appreciate all the user feedback that we receive, whether it’s positive or negative. It's a way for us to grow and learn in a competitive market. We value it more than anything.
We hope you enjoyed reading this post and learning about our development process. We would love to hear your feedback on it. Your feedback matters to us. It helps us improve our products. It’s a great way for us to get better at what we do and grow as a product development company.
Thank you for your time and attention.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.