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Thomas Carney
Thomas thinks of ways to make Planio grow, writes content and ponders metrics.
May 12, 2016 · 3 min read

7 tips on how to build better websites

Ok, you know how web developers, well, develop websites?

It’s easy to assume that once the experts are done developing their website, work’s done. 

Sure, you need to do server maintenance every now and then, but other than that, you’re done.

Right? This might be true for a simple landing page, but for more complex projects, everyone that comes into touch with the website is a resource of feedback.

Today I’ve collected 7 tips on how to build better websites. With a special focus on the role of user feedback.

1. Don’t mess around with user feedback

The feedback that you receive - on new design drafts or on your live website -  comes in all forms. Sticky notes, telephone calls, screenshots, and lengthy explanations.

And that’s great, you now know that something is wrong and you need to fix it.

However, there’s one big drawback. Getting feedback the unstructured way feels like this:

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Be aware, that a simple thought of “Let’s ask them for feedback”, could end up in quite a mess.

2. Get started with a process

With so much unstructured feedback received from so many people, how could you possibly make sense of this all?

And on top of that, when you start collaborating based on all this information, there’s always a chance to miss a few crucial points.

There are so many people involved in receiving and managing the feedback that when it reaches the developer, there’s always a good chance of miscommunication.

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And when that happens, the whole exercise of fixing bugs and working on feedback becomes tedious and might never even yield any results.

A lot of time will be put into fixing the issue and instead of fixing it, a developer is forced to develop a workaround or never fix it at all.

Never underestimate the consequences of incorrect bug reporting.

It could result in a minor annoyance on the customer’s side, but in some cases, it could result in the customer losing faith in your website all together. A bug doesn’t have to be site-breaking to lose customers.

3. Deal with unstructured feedback

So, what’s the easiest, fastest and most reliable way of dealing with all that feedback? 

That’s where our partner Usersnap comes in.

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Usersnap solves the problem of providing and managing unstructured feedback.

Usersnap is a visual feedback and bug tracking application that can be implemented on any website.

Usersnap takes a screenshot of the user’s screen. The users can then annotate the screen to point out the problem they want to get fixed.

Many developers prefer using visual tools for receiving feedback and bug fixing.

It’s just easier.

The human brain can process visual information about 80,000 times faster than textual information.

That’s the idea behind Usersnap’s application. It allows the users to communicate visually.

The bug tracking and the feedback tool of Usersnap enables the users to show the problem area of any web page visually with the help of screenshots made in their own browser.

With point-and-click annotation tools, users can report bugs directly in the browser. So, with this solution the users won’t have to fill out lengthy feedback forms that just go on and on.

It just makes the whole QA and bug tracking process simpler and a lot easier.

4. Setup your tool chain

Usersnap can be personalized and modified to your needs. Usersnap is fully connected to your workflow and supports different frameworks, such as scrum kanban or even waterfall.

And the best part? It is compatible with Planio.

This means that you can send bug reports and screenshots taken with the Usersnap widget directly to your Planio projects.

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Making sure that your feedback workflows are laid out in your organization and for your customers is key to a structured feedback workflow.

5. Make your project team feel like home

However, having a feedback tool in place is just half the win.

Creating a vivid place where developers and designers discuss and collaborate on feedback is definitely the big win here.

So, if you already have a project management tool, let’s say Planio, in place, you can connect the Usersnap feedback tool.

Your team members can see & access new user feedback from your website visitors or users in real-time inside the place they are used to.

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6. Test your website. Just do it.

OK, let’s face it: Testing isn’t easy.

Your heart probably sinks when you think about testing your website on all kind of different devices, browser versions and screen resolutions.

If so, it’s definitely time to start with a testing plan for your website.

During the testing process a lot of ideas, issues and real bugs appear on the surface and someone has to deal with them.

From securing the perfect usability, to providing the right amount of information, to making navigation as easy & painless as possible.

During the first steps of testing your website, you might find the following tools helpful:

7. Meet your users’ needs.

Working on a new website means going through various project stages. From the idea phase, to designing a first prototype, to releasing the new website or app and measuring results.

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It’s a long way from start to the finish line and in many projects, the user’s needs which were obvious in the beginning just get lost at some point. Keeping your users close is an essential thing to do.

Wrapping it up.

The mentioned tips and lessons make collecting feedback simpler, not just for the customer but also for the entire team.

You can invite as many people as you want to the feedback workflow. Keeping developers, designers, product managers, QA and customers in the loop is exactly what you need to manage bugs properly.