When you find something broken on the Web, product folks at small web sites are usually easy to connect with. But visitors to sites with significant traffic usually have a tougher time lobbing input directly to site development teams about the good, the bad, and the screwed up. That’s changing for Yahoo! — we’ve brewed up a swanky new community-based recipe for collecting feedback that’s making its way across a number of our sites. It started with Yahoo! Autos and has proliferated across 14 other properties.
We call it a Suggestion Board — you can browse suggestions from other site visitors or post your own. Digg-style voting means we can quickly discover what’s most important to users. In addition to reading feedback from other users, you'll find responses from Yahoo! employees about the issues. Product teams regularly read and take action on your feedback. Though we aren’t always going to immediately act on it, it’s incredibly helpful to us in making the best sites we can… and we’ve even been known to reward great suggestions with some Yahoo! schwag.
Check out the Suggestion Boards that are now live: Answers, Autos, Autos Custom, My Yahoo!, Pipes, Real Estate, Site Explorer, Travel, TV, Upcoming.org, Yahoo! Developer Network, and Yahoo! Developer Network Gallery. (You'll also find links for these in the footer of each site's homepage and a complete list is here.)
A special shout out to the Yahoo! TV gang, which scores big for bravery in launching a Suggestion Board in the face of an angry mob. That board has proven to be a productive place for us to exchange ideas with you about our TV listings makeover and other changes, and be sure we hear it all. The team is working on continuing to improve the Listings section to make it even better than ever.
The Tango Project (as it’s known internally because, after all, it takes two to tango) became a reality through the magic of Yahoo! Hack Day. We built a simple prototype of the site during our internal Hack Day last June and then built it out with help from engineers in Yahoo! Autos, HotJobs, Personals, Shopping, and Travel.
The Yahoo! Suggestion Board was inspired by a great presentation I saw in the fall of ’05 by Josh Ledgard from Microsoft at the Online Community Summit about their MSDN Product Feedback Center. Also of note is the feedlounge voting system.
More boards should come online on Yahoo! properties in the future (Hotjobs, Groups, and Local/Maps are already waiting in the wings). We hope you'll weigh in.
Senior Engineering Manager, Yahoo! Autos