Make sure you capture feedback!
When your users are busy testing your portal solution, you want to make sure you capture their thoughts. Did they like their experience? Were they WOW-ed? Did you leave any critical functionality on the table?
They may not tell you directly (in a meeting, or via email), but if you create an anonymous feedback loop, you’re likely to have great success there. Try using SharePoint to create a Feedback Survey. Make it available on the HOME page of your portal, so everyone can see it. Then, announce its presence and encourage people to use it. If it’s anonymous – let them know! They’ll feel safer providing candid feedback.
Though some of this feedback can get ugly, it’s all good because the intention (ultimately) is to improve your portal offering and create raving fans out of your customers. Give the users comfortable options by which to answer your questions (I’m partial to a “One-to-Five” rating system).
What do you want to get from your survey?
For starters, you want to know if anything is broken or doesn’t work as “expected”. How was the user experience? Was branding consistent and attractive? Is the navigation intuitive and easy to use? Were they able to find things on the site – either by navigating to it or searching for it? We can go very deep with this, so I’ll leave you to view my Sample Survey, so you can see some more examples.
Additionally, you want to know how performance of your system was. Does it return pages, content and search results in a timely manner? Do the graphics load smoothly and quickly?
You also want to find out about what you missed (in the eyes of the users). You may have hit all of your target requirements as far as the project goes, but the users may have other ideas as well. Find out from them what they think is missing from your portal. Give them an opportunity to contribute new features for ensuing phases, as well as to be influential for future feature scope.