Usernoise is a great little feedback plugin for WordPress that lets visitors submit ideas, problems, questions or praise. The plugin is free to download though there is a pro version available with more features.
The discreet contact form floats at the left hand side of your page out of the way. When a user clicks on the link the page fades with the feedback form popping up in the centre.
The form is pretty basic. The visitor can leave their message, short summary and their email address. The short summary is essentially the feedback title (i.e. reason for contacting). It’s divided into 4 types of feedback: idea, problem, question and praise. I don’t think that this should be considered a full on replacement for a good contact page though with the feedback button being floated on every page you will probably see an increase in feedback submissions.
For such a simple form, there’s quite a lot of settings that you can change. It can be disabled on mobile devices and in the free and pro versions of the plugin the ‘Powered by Usernoise’ link that is placed at the bottom of the feedback form can be removed.
You can also change the font that is used in the form, the background and text colours, the form header and whether a border is shown. The form link is floated to the left by default however you can move this to the right, top or bottom of your page.
The form title and description can be modified in the feedback form settings area. The feedback type (e.g. idea, problem, question and praise) can be removed as can the summary and email fields. You can customise the thank you message that is displayed after a submission too.
Whenever a visitor submits a message it is added to the Usernoise messages page.
You can enable notifications so that you receive an email whenever someone completes the feedback form. Alternatively, you can just check it periodically. This could be a good option if submissions don’t need replies or if you get lots of submissions every day.
Once you have installed the pro version you will see the pro section in the settings area. This area displays a few additional options. You can enable a debug mode for testing, enable the discussions feature and hide the feedback button.
The pro form has an additional column on the right hand side of the page that shows previous feedback submissions. Visitors can read this feedback and ‘like it’ if they found it useful (it works the same way as Facebook likes).
The great thing about this system is that visitors can leave comments on previous suggestions. This enables discussions to develop around ideas, problems and questions. It’s a fantastic addition and one that really makes the feedback form more useful. Over time the popular issues could evolve into a frequently asked question type section.
Clicking on a message will display all of the information for that message. With the pro version this includes any comments submitted, original author info and the full HTML code that is used to display the form. The pro version also includes feedback statuses such as rejected, planned and in progress. This helps you manage feedback submissions.
Usernoise really does stand out from other feedback forms. I love how it is discretely hidden at the side of the page and how quickly a user can submit a suggestion and then click close and be back on the same page. The form is compatible on iPads and android devices too.
I recommend trying out the free version first though if you find it useful I encourage you to invest $10 in the pro version as the discussions feature and the ability to change message statuses really improves it.
* Many thanks to Usernoise developer Nikolay Karev for providing a test copy of the pro version for this review :)