Mahalo: Yikes…that’s product marketing and data analysis?

Update: CEO Jason Calacanis was nice enough to respond to our post below:

His comments:

fyi: we have a user lab at mahalo at did 75 hours of testing over the last year. All of our site changes are considered deeply with a combination of user testing, user feedback, and metrics testing.

In terms of who’s responding there are normal folk in there, user experience folks, and designers. I would go read the 200+ comments and 50+ notes on the image a day later. Some are very considered, and the feedback while not a perfect roadmap is very helpful.

Talking to users is NEVER a bad idea. Listening to everything they say? well, obviously you don’t want to do taht or you have chaos.

best jason

Jason, thanks kindly for responding to this blog; it is well appreciated. I agree talking to users is never a bad idea; I said as much in my customer service as the new marketing post.

And I agree that if you get user feedback from UI folks and designers, it is priceless. So I will reflect that in the post.

However, two things:

1) I think there is a user fatigue that comes with too much messaging. If everyone twitter’d or flickr’d all their site designs a user would become deluged with noise.

2) You have to ask or beg the question of the feedback: How often do you use Maholo? If not the feedback itself is noise.

My conclusions:

– Talking to users is never a bad idea

– Processing their feedback correctly for the product roadmap is crucial

– Who is the target audience for Mahalo and have you reached out to them effectively through social media circles?

Thanks so much for responding.

 

——

I’ve commented before on Mahalo.

Upon a post by their founder on his blog, I am exceedingly worried for their investors.

The title of the post is Social Media Focus Groups as a value for Twitter and other quick-response, signal-frequency services. Most who read this blog know I feel the value of Twitter is in labeling the data with statistics for personal review and reducing the noise.

In terms of the blog post referred here, I couldn’t disagree more on both the use for Twitter and the explanation for the social media focus group.

First, on the social media focus groups, anyone who does online site optimization knows that what users do is very different then what users say. That is nothing new.

Second, on using Twitter and other such services to gain feedback, probably best to use this avenue to comment on large news than rudimentary page designs lest people stop paying attention to your posts. Do I really care if I use a service whether some guide thing is on the left or some links are on the right? Probably not, so I would label that message as spam going forward. If you released a new service that added value, told me about it that way, and I found it immediate value, sure I would be accepting of that message.

Further, as I’ve talked about in past posts, “who” is responding is just as important as what they do. The folks responding to a little usability focus groups on Twitter or even Flickr are probably not the audience that you need to gain and or optimize for to increase growth. Except if these users are UI or design experts that are offering feedback (thank you for the correction).

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1 comment so far

  1. Jason on

    fyi: we have a user lab at mahalo at did 75 hours of testing over the last year. All of our site changes are considered deeply with a combination of user testing, user feedback, and metrics testing.

    In terms of who’s responding there are normal folk in there, user experience folks, and designers. I would go read the 200+ comments and 50+ notes on the image a day later. Some are very considered, and the feedback while not a perfect roadmap is very helpful.

    Talking to users is NEVER a bad idea. Listening to everything they say? well, obviously you don’t want to do taht or you have chaos.

    best jason


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