Fall 2012. After extensive research on available options for a mobile evaluation system that could work on-site, I was feeling a bit beaten. I thought there were loads of solutions for this kind of problem, but for every option found, I noticed how they all were (at least) one of the following:
- Web-only interface. Sure, you could open some on an iPad but in a web browser, which has its drawbacks (you can read more about our take on web surveys used in iPads here).
- Difficult to manage, with tiresome setups and non-intuitive web-interfaces.
- Non-flexible. Few types of questions supported, no follow-up questions etc.
- No possibility to operate offline (the clinic’s Internet connection was very questionable and failed frequently).
- Non-engaging survey designs that didn’t encourage people to answer the questions.
Based on my findings, I set out to create what I thought would be perfect for the clinic. Moments later, a nu-disco track from SoundCloud and clicks from keystrokes were sounding my otherwise pretty silent living room. The first version of the Responster app was (slowly) being created.
It didn’t look like much from the outside and was pretty simplistic on the inside. A basic app-to-server connection stored all the answers, the questions were hard-coded into the app and all text was in Swedish. There was no user log-in. No web interface. And, to my own horror, no sense of design. But it got the job done.
I uploaded the app to an iPad and screwed it to the wall back at the clinic. And after just a couple of days, we saw answers pouring in.
The future of feedback is a 10-part series on how Responster grew into what it has become today. Every week I’ll publish a new post where I tell you about the life of a startup, the Responster-team and how a product is born.
Next week I’ll tell you about the team that got onboard soon after the alpha release of Responster, and how they helped me in developing Responster even further.