In this article we’re going to discuss how to harness the power of screen recording and video feedback from your users to help you build better products, faster.
As a product manager, user experience designer or member of a software team, you know that user feedback is essential to create a website or web application that meets user requirements. Without user feedback it’s almost impossible to nail product-market fit and realize other common SaaS goals, such as product-led growth.
User feedback helps to improve user experience and increase company revenue. User feedback should be collected throughout the product development lifecycle — from initial design through to prototyping, beta versions, user acceptance testing and ongoing quality assurance But collecting, assessing, and managing user feedback can be a daunting task. There are plenty of ways to gather user feedback, from surveys to focus groups, but traditional methods fall short of capturing the user’s experience.
It’s hard to assess and prioritize user feedback if you’re not entirely certain what you’re dealing with. And all-too-often developers are asked to replicate and resolve issues with incomplete or ambiguous feedback. In the end they have to contact the end user to find out exactly what they were doing when something went wrong.
This means that product managers are having to make assumptions when it comes to deciding which issues to work on first and developers waste precious time chasing the information they need to make things right… time that could be better spent actually building new features and functionality that users need.
The good news is, there are solutions to bridge the gap, such as screen recording tools, that help improve user feedback collection, assessment, and management.
So how can you effectively incorporate screen recording into your user feedback loop?
When it comes to screen recordings as part of user feedback there are two types:
- User captured screen recordings
- System captured screen recordings
User captured screen recording
User captured screen recordings are manually recorded by a user when they are trying to describe something, for example a bug or where they would like new functionality added. A user can do this using their own application, such as Snagit, or they can use a dedicated feedback platform built-in to your website, like Userback.
Screen recording using a third party application
If they use a third party screen recording application to report a bug or highlight where they want a new feature or function, then the user has to stop what they are doing in your website, open their screen recording application, determine what they are trying to do, start recording, go back to your website, replicate what they want to describe, then go back to the screen recording application to stop the recording, review it and (if they’re happy with it) save it and then submit it to you, often via email.
This can be frustrating both for the user and for whoever has to review, assess and action that feedback. The good news is that there are a number of dedicated user feedback management platforms available that allow users to capture screen recordings without leaving your website or web application.
Screen recording using a dedicated user feedback management platform
If you have installed a user feedback platform with screen recording functionality on your website, then the user can record and submit a video recording without leaving your website and without using any third party applications.
Userback also allows users to record audio at the same time that they capture their screen recording, allowing them to enrich the context of their feedback with running commentary. They can also annotate their screen recording — adding comments and scribbles to highlight specific things that are important to their bug report, feature request or general comment.
In addition to the enriched context and visual insights, all the feedback, along with the screen recording, will be stored in your centralized user feedback management system, making it easier for you to review, assess, prioritize, assign and action that feedback.
System generated screen recordings
System captured screen recordings are when a third party platform, like Userback, automatically records user activity during a session in the background. If that user reports a bug the recording is included with their feedback report and you can see exactly what was going on.
Now this could be done by actually recording video, but that would take up a whole lot of processing power and storage! What Userback does is it simply captures all logged user events, such as clicks, mouse movement and other interactions, and then uses this simple data to recreate a screen recording — or a ‘Session Replay’ — that you can review and comment .
In addition, Userback’s ‘User Identification’ automatically captures the users session and system information, such as operating system and browser details. This data provides additional context to facilitate and accelerate user feedback management.
6 Ways to Improve User Feedback Collection, Assessment, and Management with Userback’s video Screen Recording and Session Replays
1. Accurately capture user behavior
Screen recording and session replays help you to accurately capture user behavior on your website or web application. For example, when a user is stuck on a page or has difficulties completing a task, a user captured or system generated recording allows you to understand the issue better and identify even the smallest issue that might impact the user’s experience.
2. Save time on manual troubleshooting
Manual review and debugging of code can be a challenging and time-consuming process, but video screen recording and session replay can speed up the process. For instance, if there’s an error with your web application, session replays allow you to pinpoint exactly where the error occurred. This way, you know where to start the debugging process, which efficiently saves development time and resources.
3. Increase feedback quality
Traditional feedback methods like surveys, emails and forums may not provide the level of detail required to truly understand and improve the user experience. With video screen recording and session replays, you can get real-time feedback from your targeted audience. You can observe users completing tasks and identify areas for improvement. Best of all developers do not have to waste precious time trying to replicate bugs or getting caught up in back-and-forth dialogue with users in an attempt to understand exactly what was going on or what they meant.
4. Improve collaboration
Video screen recording tools can enhance collaboration when it comes to user feedback management. For instance, the screen recording can be shared with other team members — especially developers — for review and solution suggestions that can be worked on together in real-time. This creates a seamless feedback loop and more efficient workflow.
5. Track user trends over time
With video screen recording and session replays, you can track user trends over time. This means you don’t have to rely on a single set of feedback regarding your web application. You can quantify feedback data over a given time frame and get insights into what users like or dislike. Identifying user patterns helps you predict future trends and expectations. This provides valuable information in enhancing your application or website and keeping your product roadmap on track.
6. Maintain user privacy
User privacy and data protection is crucial when it comes to video screen recording and session replay tools. These tools allow you to capture user interactions but must be done with user consent and protection. Your tool should have comprehensive security measures to protect user data, and session replay should be done over SSL, a secure connection.
In a world of ever-increasing digital interactions, user feedback is essential for the creation of web applications and websites that meet user requirements.
Traditional feedback methods sometimes fail to depict the user’s experience accurately. Research and surveys only present the user’s version of the story, regardless of the broader context of usage. Video screen recording and session replay tools provide a way to capture a more accurate picture of users’ experiences. The importance of this information is critical to crafting a user experience that will optimize product-market fit and drive other success factors, such as Product-Led Growth.
Founded in Australia in 2016, Userback is a market-leading user feedback platform helping 20,000+ software teams to understand what customers need so they can build better web applications, faster.
Userback streamlines and automates the realtime in-app collection, evaluation and management of visual feedback and contextual surveys. Userback can be used standalone or seamlessly integrated into existing business workflows to allow product managers and developers to validate ideas, optimize product-market fit, refine roadmaps, prioritize features, fix bugs and deliver value with greater insight, impact and efficiency.
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