How-To Engages Users In Active Conversation With Usabilla Live

4 min read
  • “The feedback and user comments are very valuable, because they offer qualitative insights. We learn a lot about our users and how they use This helps us further improve our service.”

— Michelle Theeuwen, Econometrics and Operations Researcher at

The company

Industry: Social, dating
Using Usabilla Live Since: January 2013 is a Dutch dating site. It was started in 2011 with the goal to create a dating site that was different from all the others. A dating site that shows people the way they really are. A dating site with profiles that are transparent and fun, both to set up and to use. In order to achieve this, based their entire concept on the needs and desires of actual users: daters. A group of five daters took the insights they got from conversations with each other and with more than 1000 Dutch singles and turned them into a trendy and popular dating site.

The Opportunity

At, everything is about conversation. That’s why offers easy ways for users to get in touch with their matches. That’s also how was created and why they are one of the most popular dating sites in the Netherlands. In the past, used different tools, such as Surveymonkey and Salesforce to start a conversation with their users. However, these tools were limited. For example, with Salesforce, would get detailed information about why people decided to cancel their account. The problem: People had already left wants to start a conversation with their users. wants to know what users don’t like, what can be improved, or what doesn’t work. They want to listen to their customers, get to know them, and take their complaints and concerns seriously – before they decide to leave.

With this motivation, was looking for a solution that would combine all their user research activities in one tool. While the marketing department wants to run targeted surveys on the site, it is also essential for to offer an easy to use feedback mechanism for visitors on the site. is based on user insights and that should also be the input for continuous improvements to the site.

The Solution

With Usabilla Live, found the ideal solution to combine active marketing efforts with a passive feedback mechanism. The feedback button invites active users to share their thoughts and concerns about the site. Targeted (exit) surveys allow the Marketing department to run regular surveys on the live site to learn more about their users.

The custom Live Feedback button blends in perfectly with the rest of the site.

Passive Feedback uses a custom Live Feedback button that blends in perfectly with the rest of their site. They get more than 100 feedback items per day on all different kind of topic. Users offer ideas for improvements, report bugs, and complain about missing or complicated features. For example, users want (1) better filter options for their matches, (2) better access to their personal messages, and (3) easy editing options to delete or respond to messages.

Feedback items get labeled automatically with one of eight different categories. These categories are selected by the users themselves when giving feedback. Based on the different labels, Michelle Theeuwen, Econometrics and Operations Researcher at, organizes the Usabilla Live feedback. Once a week, Michelle analyzes all Feedback by label and exports it to Excel: “It is important to look at the feedback regularly. We gather feedback, because we are interested in what our users think. If we don’t act upon feedback in a timely manner, we shouldn’t ask for it.”

All feedback is automatically labeled with one out of eight feedback categories.

Michelle clusters the feedback by comments and prioritizes them for further processing. She explains: “The user comments are very valuable, because they are qualitative. We learn a lot about our users and how they use, but we have to take the time to read and cluster all comments.” Recurring complaints get picked up and fixed immediately, while less urgent feedback is marked on the roadmap for future improvements.

Active Feedback doesn’t only listen to their users, they also use targeted campaigns for marketing purposes. For example, over the period of several weeks, they invited their users to participate in a series of quick slide-out polls. This data was used to create a festival survival guide for singles in form of a fun infographic. With some creativity, Usabilla Live can turn any website and its users into a goldmine for marketeers:

Sabina Idler
Sabina was technical writer & UXer @Usabilla for 5 years before she started her own UX research and consultancy firm; UXkids. With UXkids, Sabina leverages her academic research expertise, know how in child development, and strategic vision to help companies build successful digital products for children. You can connect with Sabina on Linkedin or follow her on Twitter.