Microsoft is shifting its delivery of information to Windows 10 Insiders from lengthy online blog post to detail-rich Insider Hub post. The ‘Made by You’ series of posts are just one of the new initiatives the Windows team has begun to help inform and highlight the impact Insider feedback is having on the continued development of Windows 10.
In the latest series entry, Rajkumar Mohanram, engineering manager for Microsoft Edge and senior software engineer for Microsoft Edge David Rubino discuss the feedback they got about Windows 10’s newest browser.
According to Mohanram and Rubino, aside from their primary duties of developing the Edge browser, the two also are responsible for mining and driving actions on the customer feedback they get from users such as the trusty Windows 10 Insiders to increase customer satisfaction. More specifically, “we are the people who are reading and analyzing your feedback on the core Engineering team."
Before addressing feedback, Mohanram and Rubino gather piles of notes, telemetry, and suggestions through several channels. While, perhaps, their most direct source for feedback may be the Insider Hub, Mohanram and Rubino also source from “System Initiated User Feedback (SIUF) responses, Microsoft Community forums on the web, Consumer/Enterprise product support channels and even social media channels like @MicrosoftEdge on Twitter.” Once collected, the Edge team then sorts through and establishes which pool the information is coming from, be it, Microsoft internal users, Windows Insiders, or Windows 10 users at large.
While it’s fine and dandy that the Edge team collects all our suggestions and complaints, but what do they do with them?
- Look for hot issues in the days immediately after the release of a Windows Insider Preview build
- Present the top trending feedback to the team on a weekly basis
- Ensure an issue is entered in a database tracking all feedback with a certain minimum number of votes
Monhanram and Rubino further discuss how the collection, sorting and analysis of feedback resulted in real-world changes, listing a few examples of how users requested features were implemented or re-implemented in later versions of the Edge browser. Perhaps the two most notable changes occurred when the browser brought back the ‘Home Button’ that was removed from the first iterations of Edge and moving the address bar from the top of the screen to the bottom on phones.
When we designed the new user interface for Microsoft Edge on the phone, we decided to go with a look that was more consistent with the PC version and with other mobile browsers. The address bar was on the top of the screen, and the toolbar was on the bottom. We thought users would find this more familiar and comfortable, and while that may still be true for some users, we heard the feedback loud and clear from our faithful fans who were previously users of Internet Explorer for Windows Phone. You like the address bar on the bottom, and for many of you, it was a key reason you preferred Windows Phone over the competition. It was a fair bit of work, but we moved it back to the bottom quickly as we could before the public release.
Other user feedback notes helped Monhanram and Rubino prioritize less publicized, but equally important features such as how opening downloads would occur, InPrivate browsing mode, importing favorites from IE and Chrome, context menus, tab-dragging, and hoverable URL tooltips.
Monhanram and Rubino do not offer new notes on what they have prioritized for upcoming iterations of the Edge browser, but they encourage Insiders to continue to voice their opinions, grievances, and suggestions. As Insiders get their hands on the latest Windows 10 Redstone Insider build 11102 with new Edge additions; it is clear that the team is listening to feedback and working to address user concerns, albeit, at their own pace.