Posts tagged feedback

Recently we’ve been lining up a few cool things which I want to share. Not massive things, no new services with bells and whistles, not even a shiny new design to look at. No, today’s changes are all about little things which most of people won’t notice, but which makes everyone’s lives a bit easier.

First of all, we’re beginning to push ourĀ Get Satisfaction feedback tabs onto more services. These delightful little tabs come in a variety of colours (depending on the service you’re using), but all live on the left hand side of the page and give you a pop-up feedback window from where you can tell us your questions, ideas, problems or praise. The whole thing is smoothly integrated with your University account so there’s no need to register again, and we really do value (and listen to, and reply to) everything we hear. Give it a click if you want to tell us something.

Secondly, we’re acting on some feedback! A few of you (read: a lot of you) have complained about the weird sign in page for our Wi-Fi network which forced you to click the ‘I Accept’ button instead of just hitting enter. You’ll be pleased to hear that we’re changing that, and you should see the results either today or tomorrow.

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Further to the revelation that there are students out there capable of voicing an opinion, we now have to deal with the resulting fallout. At this point I need to quote Joss, the nice man from CERD, who likened my approach to IT support to this:

Whilst I’m tempted to staple this notice to the front of the helpdesk and watch confused students ask “will you really set us on fire?”, it’s actually better to deal with stupid questions by documenting your response, on the basis that the universe never ceases to provide a constant stream of the terminally confused, people who don’t bother to read the dialog box which pops up with important information and clear instructions, and people who believe that the helpdesk are there to actually operate the computer on their behalf.

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If you’ve been keeping track of the joy that is LUNA, you will know that this week is the first time we’ve let the new scanning process loose on a select few guinea pigs in the Courts (and inadvertently Riseholme, sorry guys!). We also busted out a revolutionary tool, never before seen at the University. No, really. I checked.

The anonymous, free-form feedback box. A single box with no prescribed questions, no survey-style questioning, and no requirement to tell us who you are (although the option is there for you to leave an email address or phone number in case you’re happy for us to get back in touch). The result is somewhat more than we expected – usually feedback mechanisms get maybe three or four responses a week, we’re currently getting in the region of 20 to 25 a day.

Most of the feedback is little to no use – we have a wide assortment of “rubbish”, “useless” and “crap” comments. A few responses seem to be from people with broken apostrophe and shift keys (“its rubbish” or “i dont see y ur doin this”). A couple have broken exclamation marks (“!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”). However, despite this noise we’ve been able to glean a few things which we wouldn’t have been able to from simply relying on the helpdesk or by asking carefully selected questions.

Keep ‘em coming, although remember that every time you say “crap” without letting us know why God kills a kitten.

I’ve got the LUNA feedback server working, after a bit of prodding and getting other helpful people to fine-tune file permissions. Hopefully I’ll be able to requisition it for a few more things LUNA related in the future, like videos walking people through remedial actions and so on. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve also been mucking around with quick concepts for a set of posters, reflecting the ‘fresh’ ICT style you may have seen in the Gateway 2 mockups. Sadly the change.lincoln.ac.uk address doesn’t exist (And 1st February is an arbitrary date, nothing’s actually happening then) but I can dream. See what you think.

'Changing...' poster for LUNA Phase 2

This week has been one of tidying up loose ends. LUNA has had several minor HTML and typo fixes, and is currently undergoing a bit of JavaScript development wizardry to let users select their location during registration. JSON data from the server encodes how rooms, apartments and blocks are organised which is then extracted by the magic of jQuery into something usable. I’ve got the basics working (and the full thing if I generate a lot of unnecessary files), now it’s just a bit more work on extraction of arrays from within the JSON.

In other LUNA nonsense, working out which combination of technical features to use to let people provide feedback on Phase 2 changes (the compulsory anti-virus and anti-malware) is proving challenging and may lead to a new server being temporarily put together just for handling the feedback. I’m going to push for a LAMP stack, but since Lincoln is a Windows shop I’m not holding my breath.

Finally, balls are rolling on my posters project – a meeting for scoping and specification is booked where key parties can bang heads together until we get something reasonable before I begin doing hardcore implementation stuff.

Now, back to JSON.