Feature voting: choosing the right tool - Excel vs. Sheets vs. Trello vs. Asana vs. Productific

Customers use your product in their business. They know what works well and where to improve, they can help you choosing the next feature to build. Feature voting gives you the ability to see which improvements are needed most by your customers. By voting for new features customers can shape a product roadmap according to their business needs. With the right tools they can be engaged to help your product grow.

Upvoting ideas and feature requests can be done in various ways. In this article we compare Productific to Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, Trello and Asana.


Intro

We compare tools based on the following criteria:

  • Time to get started:
    Easy testing and getting started quickly is important.

  • Feedback data privacy:
    Your product is used in a certain industry and your customers may be competing. They won't openly share business details when their competitors can gain insight.

  • Easy feedback:
    Do feedback users need to install/join any tools?

  • Open/private user groups:
    Sometimes you want to address open user groups with full web exposure, e.g. for your iPhone app. In other cases you manage a private & confidential user group, e.g. for a highly specialized business software.

  • Custom look & feel are of advantage to seamlessly embedd feature voting into your website.

  • Feature requests:
    When voting for new features your uses may want to throw in their own, new ideas to improve the product. Handling this right inside the feature voting tool drives engagement upwards. 

  • Cost
    The $ needed. While you may have budget available, for testing and evaluating a free trial option is of advantage.

The Tools

Google Sheets is a web based general purpose tool to organize data in sheets. 

Microsoft Excel is a general purpose software to organize data in sheets, needs to be installed on your computer. A web based version is available. 

Trello is a general-purpose collaboration tool that organizes projects into boards. For example, organizing tasks into open-progress-done. Trello can used for voting by enabling the "voting" power-up (one power-up included in the free plan). To use Trello for feature voting you do the following:

  • Create a public Trello board to manage ideas for your product's roadmap.
  • Add features requested by your customers to the list "ideas" in this board.
  • Enable the "voting" power-up such that the voting button is visible.
  • Users can now upvote ideas using the "Action" side bar.

Users need to have a Trello account and find the voting button which is a bit hidden at the right hand side of the board.

Asana is a general purpose project management tool. A web based version and mobile apps are available. Asana actively promote using the tool for managing roadmap projects and provide an easy to find how-to document.

  • Feature voting can be organized via "list" or via "board" in Asana.
  • Both options model feature voting as project tasks and apply general purpose project management functions like assigning features to owners, setting dates and attaching labels. Custom fields are available.
  • To collect feedback, you need to add members individually to the project. In particular, you may need to add a large number of customers.
  • Feature voting can not be done directly, you need to read and evaluate "project conversations".
  • Shipping a feature is modeled via "completing" a task.

Users need to join Asana (free) and understand the general purpose functions, like "add task" to submit a feature request.

Productific is a SaaS tool made for exactly this purpose: feature voting. It's tailored to the needs of indie makers and product managers and provides functions to submit and process feature requests and managing feedback data. Besides feature voting it automates outbound communication via roadmap and changelog.

Comparing the tools


Google SheetsMicrosoft ExcelTrelloAsana Productific
Time


everyone has a Google account and logging into Sheets is quick


need to install on laptop or join online


easy to join and set up


easy to join and set up


just login

Privacy


all votes visible and editable


privacy only when each customer works on a separate file copy


everyone can see feedback


everyone can see feedback


feedback is private, can show/hide ranking results

Easy feedback


web access, everyone has a Google ID


separate file copy for each customer


join Trello, difficult to find voting button


join Asana, need to use conversations


made for easy voting

Open/private


access can be restricted


via fileshare or sharepoint


public board


only invited users


only public, private groups planned on roadmap

Custom


not possible


not possible


limited


limited


pro feature (planned)

Feature requests


manual handling in sheet


manual handling in sheet


must be added manually


need to add new task, no review capability


feature request management included

Cost


free plan available


buy


free plan  available


free plan available


free plan  available

Σ pro
41225
Σ con
36552

Summary

General purpose tools can be used for feature voting. Trello, Asana and Sheets are great. They come with disadvantages and there are alternatives. A tool made especially for feature voting is the better option to choose, automating the process and providing a clear customer interface.


Are you ready to reduce your time spent on manual tasks and give Productific a try?

Find out more   Try Productific (free)