Guest post by Mikah Sellers, Project Phoenix team In January, the Society will be launching several new websites, including a completely redesigned and enhanced version of STC.org. Over the course of the past few months, the Society collected information on the wants, needs, and desires of its members relative to the redesign and development of these new websites. Many members have provided their insight and offered suggestions on how STC.org and the publication websites can be improved. As the new websites come online, it will be essential to implement a process and suite of tools that enable the Society to continuously capture member feedback on the user experience to learn what features and functionality are providing the most value, and what needs to be improved in order to deliver the desired value. In What is web 2.0: design patterns and business models for the next generation of software, Tim O’Reilly, founder of O’Reilly Media, discussed “End of the Software Release Cycle.” In the article (O’Reilly, 2005), he stated, “So fundamental is the shift from software as artifact to software as service that the software will cease to perform unless it is maintained on a daily basis.” The primary takeaway from the O’Reilly article on web 2.0 is the concept of a shift from the traditional software development lifecycle to a continuous development paradigm. Managing continuous development requires a solid closed-loop communications system between the architects, designers, developers, and the service consumers—in this case, the membership. The closed-loop communications system facilitates customer/user feedback and enables STC to treat its users as co-developers of the solution. As feedback on the user experience is collected and assessed, it can be almost instantly integrated into the next release cycle, which can be managed on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. There are a variety of solutions that enable the closed-look communications with member-users including:
  • CrowdSound.com
  • FlashFeedback.com
  • GetSatisfaction.com
  • Kampyle.com
What effective methods or tools have you seen in the past that assists managing and measuring user experience? The Society welcomes your insights and would like to see a dialogue around this topic prior to the deployment of the future versions of STC.org and the publication websites. Reference: O’Reilly, T. (2005, September 30). What is web 2.0: design patterns and business models for the next generation of software. Retrieved from http://oreilly.com/pub/a/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html?page=1
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3 comments

  1. Bill Swallow

    Have you engaged the Usability SIG for assistance? This is right up their alley. I am happy to see STC finally adopting a continuous development approach to online resources.

  2. Sara Galloway

    Have you tried using MileMarker? It helps to open communication for ideas and allows for for constant employee and customer feedback.

    MileMarker creates prioritization, discussion, and roadmaps of new ideas so companies can take a continuous development approach.

    1. Mikah Sellers

      Sara;

      Thank you for pointing out MileMarker, it looks like another terrific tool that we should definitely add to our matrix for review and consideration. The pricing seems pretty straightforward; I am going to take the test drive and get a sense of how the solution works under the hood.

      – Mikah

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