Jetpack Launches Customer Research Project to Improve the Plugin and Reduce User Frustration

Jetpack 9.0 Introduces Loom Block, Twitter Threads Feature, and Facebook and Instagram oEmbeds

Jetpack’s Design and Research Team is launching a new customer research panel as part of an ongoing effort to collect feedback in advance of launching new features. They are allocating one day every month to talk with users:

It’s a small step toward an important goal of better understanding what our users need, seeing and hearing first hand where they are frustrated, and learning how Jetpack can work better for them.

The relationship benefits both sides. Our customers enjoy a sneak preview of features coming down the roadmap, and are empowered to help shape the product’s future. And our design slash research team sees first hand, how our products perform with real folks using them.

Jetpack is recruiting customers for 45-minute long interviews on Zoom where they will preview some new designs and talk about proposed product improvements that are already in the works. In exchange, participants receive a $25 Amazon gift card.

This outreach effort may help in easing the periodic friction between Automattic and the larger WordPress community, which tends to emerge like pop-up storms on social media and quickly dissipate, but not without taxing onlookers’ good will. Although Jetpack is active on more than 5 million sites, and is marketed as “the most popular WordPress plugin for just about everything,” its team occasionally seems out of touch with users.

One recent example of this happened when Matt Medeiros drew attention to the wording for the Jetpack Scan upsells that appear on the plugins page in the admin. Specifically, people took issue with the claim that “adding plugins can expose your site to security risks.” While this is true, participants in the resulting heated discussion said it implies that Jetpack, the plugin that claims to do “just about everything,” is the only safe plugin.

Some perceived it to be in violation of #11 of the Plugin Directory guidelines, which states that plugins should not hijack the admin dashboard. The guideline also recommends avoiding advertising in the admin “as it is generally ineffective,” as well as frustrating for users who are not looking for additional complications while solving problems.

This particular case was resolved after Automattic product designer Jeff Golenski took the community feedback to his team. They updated the advertisement to be less fear-inspiring regarding the WordPress plugin ecosystem.

In another potent example of disconnect from

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This article was written by Sarah Gooding and originally published on WordPress Tavern.

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