Go Beyond

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Rantbin: Minimalist website feedback

Back when I worked at ThousandEyes in 2014, I noticed a "I wish this page would..." form on the left side of the main application page. It appeared to be a very easy way for users to point out UI issues, their own impatience, or whatever else.

I'm starting to get SporeStack a bit more SEO optimized and I'm definitely driving more traffic to the site. I also don't want to load it up with all kinds of fancy Javascript trackers or use anything like Google Analytics (maybe self-hosted, maybe...). I don't want to track my users unduly, but I do want anonymous (unless opted out of explicitly) metrics and feedback. Metrics are a good way to have data, but you still have to know how to interpret it. Sometimes, user feedback is by far the most useful.

This could be something like:

  • Well, Teran, I'd use this SporeStack thing if you offered a CoreOS alpha image.
  • Hmm, this would be great if it had a pricing calculator.
  • I'd use this if the documentation was better.
  • I want to spend $2,000 a month with someone and I'd use you if you turned that awful memory number field into a slider.

Etc, etc. I very occasionally get feedback like this by email, but rarely and less than I could use. I suspect that internet users, myself included, adjust their behavior to be as lazy as they can expect they can be. I imagine email comments were more common when websites were less sleek and people had to take time to do things anyways, so sending an email wasn't a big deal. Now, the extra mental effort and thirty seconds to just get an email going (plus the mild formality expectations) may elminate that opportunity.

I imagine that if I make it as simple as a text box and a button, people might use it.

So I figure I'll roll it out here on my blog and shortly onto SporeStack. Maybe in the morning after some sleep.

Happy Independence Day! (In local time it just passed midnight on the 5th, but I feel like it's still the 4th.)

Oh, and the code. Yes, it's also in Go. I imagine you'd rsync down rants or something and delete them off the server after you do.

To use it, look below this text and you should see "Say something..." or the like. It's Javascript free.

PS: With this update there are also some theme updates and switching to Bootstrap 4.