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Feature Requests: How your feedback makes Looker better

  • 27 October 2020
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We have fully transitioned to the method of feedback described below. While you can of course discuss new and desired features right here in the online Community, in order to get your vote counted and officially surface your idea to our product team, please follow the instructions below. 

We are in the process of migrating all old Discourse feature requests to the new portal. When that’s done, we’ll have an archive of old FR’s here in the community.

Your Feedback Is Important To Us

We know that every company says your feedback is important to them, but it’s hard to think of a major advance that we’ve made at Looker that wasn’t directly tied to customer feedback.

Customers told us they needed better-looking, faster dashboards, so we rebuilt our dashboard infrastructure from the ground up. Customers were coming up with amazing workarounds to use scheduled data delivery for alerts, so we built native alerts into Looker. Customers started embedding Looker in other environments, so we developed Powered by Looker.

That’s why every team at Looker—from Product to the Department of Customer Love to Customer Success—takes customer feedback so seriously: We know that the next great innovation is probably lurking in a request from a customer.

But as Looker’s customer base has grown, the stream of great customer info has become a flood. And we want to make sure that our systems can still extract valuable data from this flood and route it to the right place so it can make Looker better. That’s why we’re rolling out a new system for gathering your feedback and requests.

 

Got Product Ideas? Share Them!

Our new system allows you to submit your feedback directly, to add your vote to ideas others have submitted, and to see what’s been released recently and what’s coming soon.

For us, this makes sure that we can organize the feedback that’s coming in, hear the unfiltered needs of our customers, and gauge interest in various features. It also tells us which users to reach out to when we’re developing new features to get their feedback and dig deeper into their usecase.

For you, it gives you an opportunity to add your voice directly into the product development process, a way to make sure that your needs are communicated fully and accurately, and a place to discover new features you may not have even known existed.

To be clear, customer feedback is one of several critical inputs to our product planning process, but it’s not the only one. Just because a request is popular does not mean it will float to the top of our queue. Read on to understand more about what will happen once you submit a request.

 

How To Submit Feedback

We’re rolling the new system out slowly so we have the opportunity to refine our processes. So if you don’t see the link to submit a product idea yet, don’t worry, you can still reach out to your friendly DCL member or your Customer Success Manager with your idea and they’ll pass it to the appropriate person.

Once you’re on the new system, you’ll see a link in the help dropdown in Looker that says “Product Idea?”

 

Click that link and you’ll be taken to your request dashboard. From here, you can see what’s coming, what others have suggested, and what’s recently been released. You can also submit a new feature request (and if others have already suggested something similar, we’ll suggest similar requests so you can add your vote or your comment).

 

When you submit a request, give as much context and information as possible about the problem you’re having and what you’re trying to accomplish. This context is absolutely critical for making sure we really understand the problem and can think about solutions that would address it.

Telling us “I want to control the width of lines on graphs” is far less helpful than telling us what you’re trying to do. Some people might want thicker lines for displaying charts on televisions, while others might want to use line width to show confidence intervals. If we don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish, we might misprioritize your request or even build a solution that doesn’t actually solve your problem.

A few tips for submitting good requests:

  • Comprehensively describing the problem you’re having is much more important than describing the solution you think will solve it.
  • Make sure it’s clear what business problem you’re trying to solve and for whom.
  • Sharing screenshots or examples of ways you’ve seen the problem solved can be helpful.
  • To read more about how you can submit the most impactful feature requests, RStudio has a great guide.

 

What Happens After You Submit Feedback

We review requests regularly to read and tag them, but you shouldn’t expect a direct response immediately. Our roadmap doesn’t change that frequently, so if a feature isn’t already on it, the most likely situation is that we’ll mark it as “Awaiting Feedback”. You may also find that we edit the language in a feature request to make it easier for other users to find it and add their thumbs up, or to add information about existing workarounds.

This means we’ll keep an eye on the request, see if other users are running into similar problems, and think about how we can address it in the future. So if you see a request that you’re interested in, be sure to add your “thumbs up” to the request. That helps us gauge demand and lets us know who we should reach out to about the feature in the future.

As we adapt this new system, we’ll work to find the right cadence for reviewing requests to make sure our Product and Engineering teams can stay focused on building Looker, while also staying in-sync with customers’ needs. As we lock these down, we’ll update this post with those cadences. We may also establish vote thresholds after which a request will receive an “official response.”

We’re also excited about this new system because of the ways it will improve our ability to communicate status back to you and our ability to follow up with questions when we’re designing new features. While we’re launching the new system, we don’t want to make any firm commitments about what shape that will take, but as things progress we’ll update this post.

 

Legal stuff:
When you provide us any sort of feedback (like suggestions, comments, corrections, ideas, enhancements, feature requests, etc.) you agree that such feedback is given voluntarily, and that Looker may use, disclose, reproduce, modify, commercialize, license, distribute and exploit the feedback freely, in its sole discretion, without any restriction or obligation of any kind. And to be clear, anything that qualifies as your confidential information or your data does not count as feedback.


7 replies

Userlevel 5
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What would be the ways to promote some important ideas inside the community to bring more visibility (more :thumbsup: )?

Currenlty pendo’s feedback and discover for ideas is non-existent.

Userlevel 3

What would be the ways to promote some important ideas inside the community to bring more visibility (more :thumbsup: )?

Currenlty pendo’s feedback and discover for ideas is non-existent.

That’s a great question @er1k . Everyone needs to log in to the feature request system directly from their instance for tracking purposes.  But once you’re in, it should be relatively straightforward to find any requests that are already in there, either via search or a URL (though note that if you try to access a URL before logging in from your instance, you’ll hit a login screen and get stuck).  

 

So, for instance, if you wanted to promote the request for a Native Mobile App (now in open beta), you could encourage folks to log in and search for “Mobile App” or to log in and then navigate to https://portal.feedback.us.pendo.io/app/#/case/14980

 

Would that work?

Userlevel 5
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That’s a great question @er1k . Everyone needs to log in to the feature request system directly from their instance for tracking purposes.  But once you’re in, it should be relatively straightforward to find any requests that are already in there, either via search or a URL (though note that if you try to access a URL before logging in from your instance, you’ll hit a login screen and get stuck).  

 

So, for instance, if you wanted to promote the request for a Native Mobile App (now in open beta), you could encourage folks to log in and search for “Mobile App” or to log in and then navigate to https://portal.feedback.us.pendo.io/app/#/case/14980

 

Would that work?

 

“Encourage folks to log in” should this be then a part of new community post or should I promote it somehow outside of this community? :slight_smile:

For example I have listed an idea of confidence intervals for line chart. https://portal.feedback.us.pendo.io/app/#/case/32852

When I would share it in community as a separate post then it would be listed also by google search and new people could already learn about this idea/solutions, people could also tell me some alternatives/hacks to achieve this with current functionality or even maybe pivot this idea into something better.

When adding it to pendo then it doesn’t gain any attraction and it’s not publicly visible(google searches) so it pretty much ends up in the parking lot until some product manager picks it up.

Not saying pendo as an idea is bad but community has proven to have many pluses over closed services. (maybe some integration solution for the future?)

Userlevel 7
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You raise a really good point there around discoverability and traction and make a strong case for more community discussion of product ideas. I also fully agree with the importance of searchability given the prevalence of workarounds for feature requests.

 

Whether it’s a mirroring of ideas or some other sort of flow between Pendo and a community space to discuss product ideas, I agree with you and I’d like to keep space open here for all of you to brainstorm ways to make Looker better. 

I feel like there’s much more opportunity for constructive back and forth and ideation here than in Pendo, but there’s much more opportunity in Pendo for internal visibility and fast routing to our product team, so there’s a bridge we need to build there to make sure that all the great discussion + ideas are actioned on. 

 

That’s a bridge for us to build, though, not you! When the dust settles on this initial migration, I’ll prioritize an integration for ideas and make sure we have something to fill that gap.

 

Appreciate your feedback and we will work on it!

Userlevel 6
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I totally agree with Erik, I have missed the feature request section here and unfortunately Pendo seems dead. When I logged in I had hoped that some of the discussion missing from here would instead be there but with the Looker product team. At most there is 1 comment from someone saying that it’s been logged.

I would like some brutal honesty on there and even removal of things which Looker are just never going to do as I would have thought this would be known about some of the items there, or a not in 12 months kind of tag for example.

Userlevel 5
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Is there any update with Pendo @izzy?

It seems that there is no feedback from there. Also releases and what’s coming is super static and sometimes reflects things that were built already long time ago.

Userlevel 3

Some additional discussion and details around feedback on the feedback system (let the meta continue!), including responses from Looker Staff are available in @er1k’s thread here: 

 

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