Nine reasons to ditch the public up-vote board

Think twice about implementing a public feedback board.

Public feedback boards are a great way to gather feedback. They are an easy way to collect ideas and promote a sense of inclusion with your customers. Unfortunately all too many products in the market today only offer public boards with up-votes. Up-votes appear to be a great idea, but on closer study, promote the wrong kind of feedback. Feedback that is low value and could be detrimental to your business.

Below is a list of 9 reasons why public up-votes are a bad idea.

1. Mob rule

More votes does not mean that idea is the best (or even good) for your business.

2. Low value feedback

Up-votes do not tell you much, such as if the feature will even be used!

3. Confirmation bias

You post an idea for feedback, the idea sounds great and receives lots of up-votes. You build the idea. No one uses the idea. Why did this happen?

4. High vote requests become stagnant

High vote ideas can sit at the top of the list for months or even years when they don't fit into your business goals.

5. Votes does not represent customer value

Your job as a business is to add and retain customers. Many feature requests are cool ideas, that no one actually cares about. In other words, they are not important enough for most users to care enough to buy or leave.

6. Feature may not be feasible for some product segments (hardware)

Sometimes popular ideas are just not feasible. They may not fit the business model or there may be technical challenges. In either event, you will need to shut down a very popular idea.

7. Votes mislead the purpose of feedback. Higher votes don't translate into priority

Posting feature feedback as votes is the wrong approach, this is not a poll or election. We are looking for the value in the feature and how it will be used.

8. Voters feel disenfranchised when high vote ideas are scrapped

Customers will feel disenfranchised when high vote ideas are scrapped.

9. High votes are shiny and distract from deeper engagement

High votes attract interest. Everyone wants to see the popular ideas. High votes draw in attention when you would get more value if the user checked out other ideas.

Embarkable: Turn feedback into action

Embarkable connects feedback to ideas so that you can build an informed roadmap.

Embarkable is a product management platform that connects customer feedback to product goals to help you decide what to build, and why. It lets you consolidate feedback from many different sources so that you'll have more confidence in what to build, and a stronger understanding of your customer needs. Spend less time searching for the right insight, more time building the feature that makes the customer happy, and drive your business forward.

In addition to building roadmaps and managing product launches, Embarkable allows you to monitor a single stream of incoming feedback to keep a pulse on what users are saying - something that would be much too time consuming to do manually. When you have different team members handling support or social media, Embarkable offers peace of mind because you'll know that critical feedback isn't falling through the cracks.

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