How to make your own ’User Voice’ with SharePoint

15-06-2021 If you want to collect as many ideas from your colleagues or users as possible, a User Voice is the answer for you. Use it to gather feedback, ideas and needs. With a simple voting function you can see the most popular suggestions rise to the top. Best of all, you can design your own User Voice with SharePoint in 10 minutes.

If you're also upset that Microsoft is shutting down its User Voice, you'll be glad to hear that you can just make your own.
And honestly with the new winds blowing today, about low code and how everyone at some point will be creating their own little apps, then maybe it's time to look at how we can pave the way from idea to reality.

A User Voice is ...

A User Voice in its simplest form is a list where users can submit their ideas. At the same time, others can vote for the proposals they like, whereby the most popular and useful solution proposals stand out clearly from the crowd.

How to use a User Voice

If you are in charge of product development, business development or similar areas, it is essential that you can collect ideas from across the organization. Often times it is the one who speaks the loudest who is heard. With a User Voice you can give everyone a platform where they can register their ideas, wishes and needs on an equal footing.

Only 54% of product teams get their product and development ideas directly from users. This can lead to product development that pushes users away, rather than new features that meet the users' needs.

With a User Voice, you can get the inspiration you need, directly from your target audience. With a built-in voting system, users can vote on each other's suggestions and help you prioritize which areas of development will create the greatest impact and satisfaction. This allows you to use your time where the need is greatest.

Make your own User Voice

With a simple SharePoint list, you can create a User Voice that lets the idea makers have their say, where they can market their own ideas and vote for each other's.

Design the list
Your list should only needs 4 columns. This can of course be customized as needed, but our columns are:

  1. Idea - The title of the user's idea (single line of text)
  2. Idea description - Detailed description of the idea. For example, what needs does the idea solve and how. (Multiple lines of text)
  3. Business area - Here you make a number of choices available to the user so they can categorize the idea. (Choice)
  4. Number of likes - With this column, users can like each other's ideas so that the most popular suggestions can be identified (Rating - note, rating cannot be turned on, on a Communication site).

Figure 1: Picture of test environment

Get the most out of your new User Voice list

Finally, here are 3 tips to get your new User Voice up and running:

  • Spread the good news among your users
  • Tell users how to use the list and, just as important, how you plan on using their input
  • Use the feedback you get and share the results with your users

In a world where the possibilities are endless and where even the smallest ideas can disrupt entire industries, you must listen to those who are impacted by the problems, because in reality they also have an idea for the solution and only need help to make it a reality.