Digg-style bug reports = great feedback

Long Zheng’s Windows UX Taskforce is notable for several reasons. Zheng devised the site in order to give Microsoft feedback on quirks and annoyances in the Windows Vista user interface. He hid it by designing an application that lets users promote or demote user reports, Digg-style. To give you an idea, top of the list right now is that bewildering dialog that appears when trying to safely remove a USB thumb drive card reader – with 262 votes.

So the site is notable, first, for what it says about the Windows Vista UI; second, for what it says about the number of people who care about it and are willing to submit detailed feedback; and third, because it shows what a great way this is for managing bug reports and feature requests.

Actually, Microsoft already has something along these lines, called Connect. It’s fascinating to contrast Zheng’s quickly-assembled but easy to use site, which is attracting lots of users, with Microsoft’s site that is slower, more complex, and less compelling. It’s incomplete too. How do I submit feedback for Microsoft Word, for example?

It strikes me that software vendors have just been shown a simple and effective way to improve their products. I wonder how many will take it up?

One thought on “Digg-style bug reports = great feedback”

  1. Not using Vista (XP ftw!) I hadn’t come across Zheng’s UX Taskforce before. It’s definitely a good model to follow and I think others following it would be great for customers – I find it frustrating having to master all the various feedback routes used by different systems to the point that often I don’t even attempt to leave feedback because I now assume it will take time and annoy me.

    Good thinking Zheng and good shout Tim!

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