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This post was updated on May 21, 2013

It’s really hard to say no. We believe intensely in the value of community feedback – we live it, we love it, and we make a tool that encourages it. Every day I look through the latest ideas and comments on our UserVoice Feedback Forum to understand what it is you want from our product. We’ve made over four hundred changes to our product based on your fantastic feedback, from improvements in the Admin Console to the implementation of a new Sign-in System to the creation of UserVoice Helpdesk.

However, listening doesn’t mean implementing every idea. We often have to internally debate how to try to satisfy some of your requests, and whether they benefit the overall UserVoice community (see the direct-login via email concerns, which took some creative thinking to solve without breaking admin workflows). One such idea is Allowing Negative Votes.

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We will not be allowing negative votes, because we think they are ultimately more harmful to UserVoice forums than helpful.

Here’s why:

That said, your feedback on this decision is, as always, welcome. We’re listening, even when we have to make decisions that people disagree with.

If you’re a forum member, not a forum admin…

…this probably seems really dumb. You want to kill those ideas you don’t like! However, we design our products to be of the most benefit to the companies who use them.  Having only upvotes makes for a simpler, more usable, clearer experience for the companies seeking your feedback, and we think that’s a good thing.

Finally: votes are becoming less relevant in general


One last note. With the advent of SmartVote in Touchpoint Toolkit, votes are only going to be one part of the equation. It’ll be good to know if a lot of people like an idea…but the true measure of whether that idea should be acted upon is how often it wins when compared to other ideas.

Despite what I’ve said, it was hard for me to click “declined” for this idea. I know many of you are interested in this, and many will be disappointed that we are not implementing it. But we think that this is the right call for our business, and that in the long run it will benefit even those requesting the feature.

-Evan Hamilton, Head of Community, UserVoice

Evan Hamilton

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