two construction workers at work

By Elyse Turner

You’ve worked really hard creating personas, done research on what these types of users like, determined what their pain points are, and defined why your product or idea will be important and useful to them. You’ve gone as far as actually building your product or application, either in-house or with a partner. Once your app hits the store, and people download and use it, you find that you have… feedback.

Feedback is a gift. The good, the bad, and the ugly, it’s all important. The true value in feedback is in how it’s received. Are you willing to listen to your app users? Are you willing to make changes based on strong app reviews?

Good feedback about your mobile app is always nice to hear. It makes us feel good about our work and fuels our passion for what we are building. Good feedback motivates teams. Good feedback helps to build a community around your product. Unfortunately, good feedback is often shallow. Things like “great job!” or “keep it up!” are certainly nice to hear, but they aren’t overly helpful. In fact, sometimes you can become numb to good feedback.


Critical feedback of your app is where it’s at. First, think about how it is delivered: often with passion, often after a very specific experience. Think about yourself for a moment. When are you the most fired up to leave a comment about a product? Usually, it is when you had a terrible experience and your feedback tends to be more, shall we say, pointed.

As the receiver of this feedback, if you can get past the sting, it can be gold.

Often it is descriptive and to the point. It highlights a real pain point in your product or application. The best part is that it gives you an opportunity to connect with that person. I am always inspired when I see companies truly listen to their customers and change something that caused or contributed to the bad experience. Oftentimes you will see people leave a follow-up review highlighting that an issue was fixed. This is key; it shows others that you care and that you have a living, breathing product that likely will not go away the next day.

Treat app feedback as a feeder to your backlog, or even as an area to prove out through building a proof of concept. Make time in each sprint to tackle one or two issues you hear about from your customers. That may mean less time for fun, shiny, new features, but it will build a strong, growing, and supportive customer base.

One of my favorite examples of feedback that IS constructive is a review of assistants, on your phone and in-home hub products. Dan Ward frames the question really well, asking if after all this time in the market, does a digital assistant actually help you in a way that you would expect from an actual human assistant?

In the end, feedback is a guide to help you make your products better. If you’re looking to prove out an idea, check out our Proofs of Concept.