We have a team of 42 people at Albert. The Schools and Engineering teams are each 14 people, there is a Content team of eight (four on ELA/ Humanities, four on STEM), a Product team of four, which includes our in-house designer, our CEO Luke, and our office manager, Molly. We all sit in one big room in an office above a Thai restaurant in the River North neighborhood of Chicago.
Because we’re still quite small, it’s fairly easy to pass information from one team to another, and this is particularly helpful when it comes to sharing user feedback. Over the years, we’ve had different systems for how we collect and track user feedback but one thing hasn’t changed: user feedback drives the evolution of our product. It’s important for us to hear when things aren’t going well because we know the stakes in education are so high. If we have a bug, a confusing interface, bad content, or are in any way not meeting a teacher’s desired outcome, it negatively impacts teachers ability to teach.
However, listening to feedback is not enough. We have to act on it too. Below outlines how we think about user feedback at Albert and the changes we’ve made to our site because of it.
A few features that were directly influenced by user feedback:
We ❤️ teachers.
Anyone using Albert should feel empowered to submit feedback but we more heavily prioritize feedback from teachers. We do look over feedback from students (and it’s particularly helpful when they find errors or typos), but we typically don’t implement major changes because of student complaints. Member of our Schools team have strong relationships with teachers and always pass issues back to our Product team. We also proactively seek teacher feedback through annual roadmapping surveys (surveys that ask teachers for feedback on several different features we’re thinking about implementing).
Sometimes we flag teachers who have given us particularly helpful feedback in the past. If you provide good feedback (rich, detailed, give reasons why), the Product team might want to hear more from you. You might be invited to try out a beta version of a new feature, be a part of a feature request community, participate in user testing, or simply have an informal phone call with someone on Product to tell them your thoughts.
We think about our user feedback in two buckets: bugs and feature requests.
Bugs are issues on the site: a button that takes you to the wrong place, a page that has a slow load time, etc. When we learn about a bug, we start by simply trying to replicate the issue. The more information a user gives us, the easier that is. We’ll typically ask users to answer the following questions. If you have this information ready to go before you report the bug, we can resolve your issue more quickly!
Feature requests are suggestions from administrators or teachers on how Albert could be improved. When our team reads feature requests, what we really want to know is, “What core need does the feature fulfill for the user? Two users might request two different features, but they both have the same core need. The more we can understand why you want this feature, the easier it is for us to develop solutions that meet your needs. Some questions we ask users when they submit a feature request:
We care a lot about what our teachers have to say, and we’re always thinking of ways we can incorporate feedback into our product, so keep it coming!
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