D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

Office 2010 – Feedback Via Smiles and Frowns

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 12:12 AM


I installed the preview release of Office 2010 tonight. Just started playing through it, so I don’t have anything crazy whiz bang to report. However, for those of you doing an Office beta for the first time I wanted to share something I found in how we can submit feedback.

This is nothing new. Apparently it was part of the Office 2007 beta and feedback program also. But for those of us that are unaware, hopefully this is insightful.

After I installed Office, I noticed an interesting little application under the Office Tools menu:

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Send a Smile? Is this some sort of emoticon-based application that provides a new way to express your current emotional state with tiny yellow faces?

Actually, no. Send a Smile is a feedback mechanism for Office. When you run it, you’ll notice two little icons will become available in your system tray.

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While you’re working with Office 2010, you may come across a feature that you really like, and you want to let Microsoft know that you really like it (yay, good, awesome, keep this!). What you do is click the little happy face icon and you’ll be greeted with this interface:

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This will send your comments and a screenshot back to Microsoft. Keep in mind this isn’t necessarily a bug-reporting mechanism…its a tool to report on the features of the product: what it does well, what’s kewl, what’s missing, and what’s bad. Since Microsoft wants to hear both sides, that’s where the frowny face icon comes into play.

So for instance, you’ll understand my surprise when I discovered that, beyond *any* conventional wisdom, Microsoft has decided to bring along a new version of Access in the suite…

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Actual splash screen for the application…no really…not doctored at all.

When you see something that you don’t like, click the frowny icon to get an identical interface with some changes in the wording…

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And yes, I did actually submit this.

Not only is this a great little tool for providing feedback, but its an interesting model for developers to consider for soliciting feedback from end users of their products.

Happy feature submitting!

D




Feedback

# President

I'm glad you're taking some time away from your busy schedule slagging Outlook to find a new focus for your hate.

BTW, I don't see the purpose for telling MS if we like or hate certain features at this point in the release cycle for Office - they're not going to remove or add features in a Beta... 7/14/2009 12:55 AM | Eric Legault

# re: Office 2010 – Feedback Via Smiles and Frowns

But it does help prioritize where to focus on bug fixes.

Feature A - 50 high priority bugs
Feature B - 50 high priority bugs

Feedback shows that people really love Feature A, but that Feature B isn't as critical. So as the dev team, where do you focus your resources in fixing the bugs? You focus on the areas that have been identified as having the highest value to the customer.

That's why the feedback on features can be helpful. I don't doubt that people might use this as a way to report bugs as well, it just seemed to be more focussed on general feature feedback than bug reporting.

D 7/14/2009 1:01 AM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: Office 2010 – Feedback Via Smiles and Frowns

I have never heard of this feedback mechanism for any Office, or any other software beta. Very cool way of collecting feedback.

Also, I appreciate the shot at Access. It needed to be said. :) 7/14/2009 9:34 AM | David Wesst

# re: Office 2010 – Feedback Via Smiles and Frowns

Surely if they have released it already its going to make it in - I suppose it gives them insight for future dev, but then surely if they had cleverer systems to see where people choke most on their software this could be done automatically? 8/4/2009 7:53 AM | toshiba laptops

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