Kayce Basques

Use Red Buttons To Get More Feedback On Your Docs

Technical Writing

Asking users whether or not they found a doc helpful is an easy way to measure the quality of a doc. However, very few users take the time to leave feedback. If you've only got 2 or 3 responses on a doc, you can't trust that the data represents the opinion of your audience at large. I've been conducting various experiments to find out how to maximize the response rate. In this experiment, I learned that red buttons appear to generate significantly more responses than blue ones.

Thanks to my teammate Jason Miller for suggesting this experiment.

Question

When asking users to leave feedback on whether a doc was helpful, will red buttons generate more responses than blue ones?

Figure 1. Red buttons
Figure 2. Blue buttons

Prediction

Red buttons will lead to more responses than blue ones.

Experiment

50% of readers saw a red version of the feedback widget. The other 50% saw a blue version. The color of the buttons was the only difference between the 2 versions of the doc.

Result

Figure 3. The results

If red buttons did not have an effect on users, then we would expect the red buttons to generate the same amount of responses as the blue buttons. The red buttons generated ~26% more responses than the blue buttons. 6709 / 5315 ≈ 1.26 ≈ 26%.

Interpretation

Next steps

Email me at kayce@basqu.es or kayce@google.com to discuss.