If a user provides feedback and nothing changes, is there a value loss? The answer is, well, yes. That’s why our philosophy at Foundation Source is to not only take feedback from users but actually use it to create the best experience possible for foundations who need essential technology that makes their philanthropy thrive.
In this edition of our Tech for Good Series, we’re pulling back the curtain so you can see the considerations and steps we take—and how involved our users are—in the making of some tech magic.
What do we consider before we release new technology?
There are two primary methods to releasing new technology. The first is quite traditional but is still used by some companies today. In the Waterfall Method, the complete design is done upfront—before any software has been coded. This leaves little room for revising the plan along the way because once the coding starts, it does not stop until it’s complete.
At Foundation Source, we use the Agile methodology when building new features and functionality. This approach is comprised of several shorter sprints (as compared to one long project) which provides the built-in flexibility to assess and take feedback from stakeholders and users at each stage. As a customer-centric company, it allows us to more fully understand the problem we want to solve and do the research to create meaningful and valuable experiences.
How often do you release new technology?
Since we roll out code every three weeks, we have many opportunities to continuously deliver new features. Our large projects, like the enhanced user dashboard, are broken down into smaller bodies of work that can be completed quickly. However, the result is a highly researched, new experience that evolved from the original idea–and made better through multiple iterations. As we receive additional feedback, we are able to implement it quickly and continue to iterate and improve our client experience.
What types of releases do you do?
Because we are constantly iterating and responding to customer needs, some features our clients don’t notice at all, such as implementing new base code that enables something to run faster or is the first step to a larger future change. On the other hand, some updates, like the ones released over the past few months, are very noticeable.
These larger changes are either adding completely new functionality, or a User Experience (UX) update. Many of these changes are a direct result of our current client feedback, which we are constantly collecting.
How do you capture user feedback?
On new features, we include a “Rate Your Experience” button to help users provide in-the-moment feedback. Here is an example of one on our Impact Planning module, which was released in December 2022. These buttons can stay on a new feature for up to a year so that we can best evaluate how a feature performs over time.
The other way that we collect feedback is through pop-ups on the dashboard when a user first logs into the platform. These kinds of questions are often broader and ask for a general opinion. Examples of past questions have included:
- What is more valuable to you: Board Management or Expense Management?
- What are the top three most valuable integration uses? (Ex: Your Calendar, Signing Documents, Making Digital Payments)
We also use a mix of industry data and customer feedback that we collect through surveys to build new products. Our Senior UX Designer Anthony Quarino gave us an inside look at how one portion of the enhanced user dashboard was created.
“With our internal analytics tool, we were able to see that users were leaving the dashboard to find financial data on another page,” says Anthony. “With this information in hand, we sketched out new concepts that would get foundations to the data they wanted quicker and directly from the new Impactfully dashboard. We tested the idea with foundations and our employees, which helped us validate that better visibility of their critical data would improve access and speed, and ultimately, deliver better user experiences.”
You can check out this video about the new dashboard to see it for yourself.
“Our new dashboard was recently released with brand new To-Do and Task Management capabilities,” said Product Manager Edwin Walker. “We’ve already seen astronomical engagement with these new features and have received meaningful feedback about other features they like and want to see more of. We collect this feedback and then implement it into the product. Soon we’ll be releasing a revised sorting feature for Task Management that is a direct result of feedback from the initial release.”
So what’s next?
You tell us 😊. At Foundation Source, our mission is to help you pursue your mission with the tools that help you maximize impact and create a legacy of giving. Our goal is to provide you with a platform that is easier to use and has more features that empower you and the next generation of grantmakers.
Have a Question?
Schedule a call with us or reach us at 800-839-0054. Together, let’s #begiving.