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SKYPE: A Good Way to Handle Bad Feedback

April 7th, 2011 by Thea

This morning when arriving at NSDesign’s HQ, I did my usual routine of switching on my computers, making a tea and performing my  morning perusal of a emails, blogs and the like – when one LinkedIn group post caught my eye. It was all about one of my favourite things in the world – Skype!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am an absolute ambassador for the program. Truly. I’ve used for more than a handful of years to keep in contact with  family in friends (periodically) and my dad back in the Silicon Valley  daily. I love the program by and large. It’s on my Mac, my PC (which I seldom use anymore), Nokia phone, iPad and iPod, too. I am pretty much logged on to Skype 24/7.

Lately though, they’ve updated the Skype version for MAC version from 2.8 to 5.0 and ever since I’ve absolutely loathed the user experience. Well it turns out, I’m not the only one.

A whole blog this week was dedicated to the feedback they’ve been receiving on the latest MAC update.

Skype Screen Grab 2.8 for Mac

Skype claims it’s trying to build for the Grannies in China to the students in New England and everything in between. Well, that’s, of course, fair enough. They certainly don’t have a “typical” user demographic.

But  instead of being more streamlined and sleek, the new version was bulky and constricting. It was less easy (impossible?) to have multiple chat windows going on (and multi-tasker that I am, I often carry on several conversations at once). Instead of it being the “simple” program I’ve known and loved it became too complex and no longer user-friendly to be enjoyable.

Enough about my opinion on Skype’s update though, what was really interesting here, to me, is how the company has used its blog to address issues and feedback and then adapt to it. It’s arguably a good case study of the advantage for adapting customer feedback on a blog.

There continues to be an exhaustive amount of feedback  on the subject continuing on:

“The new interface is horrible, frankly its down to where I only login if I know someone needs me otherwise I don’t run the app.” - alexrodriguez

“I have no complaints with 2.8. I’m not sure why you felt it needed such a drastic overhaul. I can multi-task, phone, IM and video just fine. So can my 70 year father and 90 year Grandma. Seriously. They tried Skype 5 and I had to revert it back for them. There is just too much going on there for it to be at all user friendly.” – selfpartwo

I am rather pleased to see that it appears that Skype is taking its criticisms on the chin and will hopefully go back to the drawing board with 5.0 and re-think it.

For those like me, who have been unhappy with this recent overhaul, Skype is now making the old version 2.8 available to download the foreseeable future.

As soon as I read it, I reverted and I feel like all is right in my world again.

Thanks Skype…

(Now if they could just sort out the recent upgrade on the Nokia handsets, I’d truly be over the moon. It’s as bad if not worse than the Mac upgrade.)

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