PowerPoint Feedback and UserVoice: Does This Go Anywhere?

Created: Thursday, February 4, 2016, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 4:00 am



UserVoice at Microsoft PowerPoint Facility
Picture Courtesy: Shawn Villaron

Do you see the dashboard-like screen in the display shown in the picture above? There’s a story behind that display!

Feedback from end users is always important for any product. However, what do you do when the product in question is PowerPoint? Yes, the same PowerPoint presentation program that millions of people have been using for more than 25 years. Predictably, feedback just needs to raise itself to a whole new level.

Microsoft has always made a huge effort in trying to use all the feedback users want to provide, but that is easier said that done. Why? Because all feedback is not the same. Also, feedback received needs to be compiled and then segregated so as to reach the exact teams that are responsible for any feedback area. In the past, you could use the Microsoft Wish feature and put in a request for your requirements via the Answers forums. Clearly, this was not enough. And thus started the UserVoice initiative.

What is UserVoice? It is a site that many companies use to support their products. And PowerPoint is one of the products that’s present on the UserVoice site.

UserVoice at Microsoft PowerPoint Facility

So what happens to all the feedback to submit at UserVoice? Yes, let’s now make this a full circle: the picture you saw earlier is that of a display in the main PM hallway at Microsoft’s Silicon Valley Campus, where the PowerPoint team is based. Through this continuously updated dashboard, the PowerPoint team tracks the site! Besides, they also track Twitter feed live.

Shawn VillaronThanks to Shawn Villaron, Partner Group Program Manager at Microsoft who is responsible for the PowerPoint team for sharing this picture, and his insight.

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1 Comment

  • Great to see. Thanks for the insight.

    I wish MS would be more active in explaining the simple existence of UserVoice and how they use, or not, suggestions.

    Frankly, their approach to UserVoice is totally disorganized:
    – There is no overall MS site to provide links to ALL of the subsites (SHOULD be something like the Answers forum)
    – There is no naming standard for the various subsites (so you can't find all by trial and error)
    – There are different rules on various subsites
    – limited number of suggestions allowed by an individual (based on "votes")

    I have collected links to the sites I have found, but I'm willing to bet there are more "hiding" out there:

    http://ANSWERS.MICROSOFT.COM/EN-US/WINDOWS/WIKI/WINDOWS_10-DESKTOP/MS-SUGGESTION-BOX-SITES-AT-USERVOICECOM/7397119C-6D48-49E6-8D94-7BD0A50D214F

    One of the most "popular" suggestions I've seen, to get rid of requirement for an email address to simply install Office 2016 (not 365) had 785 votes over several separate suggestions (that I could find) on Feb 1, 2016. But MS is still not reacting at all.

    Frankly, most people find it impossible to provide feedback to MS. And any feedback they provide might as well be sent to a black hole for all the response they see.

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