SharePoint Site FeedbackGood or bad, like it or not, users and their opinions should be one of the most important drivers for your SharePoint implementation.  If they’re not, there’s always time to change!  Do you know how happy or disgruntled your users are with SharePoint?  How do they communicate their glee or frustration to IT or the SharePoint administration team, or better yet the SharePoint governance committee?  If the answer is “they send an email” or “they open a helpdesk ticket” or “complain to a manager”, then this is for you!  We have created a solution for SharePoint 2010 on-premise and SharePoint 2013 on-premise and Office 365 that provides a powerful yet simple mechanism for users to provide feedback.  Best of all, they’re free!

How Do I Get It?

C5 Insight Site Feedback DownloadFor those that just want to get the link, let’s get that out of the way.  The solution is available as a farm solution for SharePoint 2010 on-premise, and a sandboxed solution for SharePoint 2013 (on-premise or online).  To get it, just go to our downloads page off of C5 Insight website under Resources,  and choose your flavor.  They are free, you just have to fill in a few simple pieces of information.  It will then give you a .zip file with all the relevant goodies.

What is the Solution and How Does It Work?

These solutions create a link for the user to click, and automatically creates a SharePoint list called “Site Feedback” in the root of the site collection to hold all of the user feedback.  When the link is clicked, it opens a dialog box where a user enters their comments and hit Send.  To aid those who monitor the feedback, we automatically store the page URL that the user was on when the link was clicked.  That way, if they complain that “this page or site is too slow!”, then the support folks will know exactly what page and site they were on when they submitted the feedback. 

SharePoint 2013

For the latest flavor of SharePoint, we converted the solution from a farm solution into a sandboxed solution so it can work with SharePoint 2013 on-premise or in SharePoint Online (Office 365).  The instructions are the same for either, and are included in the download.  Bottom line is you just need to upload the file to the solutions gallery and activate the solution.  It creates and automatically activates the site collection feature for you.  I have noticed in SharePoint Online, you have to close the browser and re-open it then it will show up. 

In SharePoint 2013, we add a link to the top “Suite Bar”:

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Clicking this link opens the dialog box:

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Once they click Send, they receive a confirmation in the dialog box:

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If we look at the list, we can see the item was created:

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By default the list access security is set so users can only see feedback items that they submitted.  To change that, modify the list settings –> advanced settings, and modify the settings.  I would recommend only opening up the Read permissions. 

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If you want to maintain more anonymity, you can remove the Created By column in the default view.  You could also tweak the views further as needed.  This will eventually be converted into a SharePoint App but it works fine for now as a sandboxed solution.  You could then use Content Search web parts to roll up all of the feedback lists into a single source if desired.

NOTE FOR OFFICE 365:
In Office 365, Microsoft has provided a link for users to provide feedback for Office 365 located under the Site Actions gear.  Educate your users and don’t be confused!

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SharePoint 2010

The 2010 version of this solution is a farm solution, and obviously only works on premise.  The benefit of this is that it is available to any and all site collections already installed, it just has to be activated. 

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Once activated, it creates a link at the bottom of the Welcome Menu for users to click:

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The difference here is that in no matter how many site collections you activate it, it only has the ONE single Feedback list, which exists on the root site collection of the web application. 

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For more information about C5 Insight or this blog entry, please Contact Us.