Overhauling the Visual Studio feedback system

Mads Kristensen

During the summer, we refreshed the experience for sending feedback on Visual Studio. It marks the first in a long row of changes coming to the Visual Studio feedback system. The result will be a more engaging experience that is also faster and more user friendly.

Developer Community

The feedback tool helps us fix more than five hundred customer-reported bugs and feature suggestions in each update of Visual Studio. It’s an important part of our development process, and now it’s time for an overhaul.

Over the years, we’ve collected feedback on the feedback system from both Visual Studio customers and from our engineers who investigate the customer feedback. This has given us a great starting point with a good understanding of what worked well and what didn’t work so well.

For practical reasons, we started by moving the reporting tool to a browser-based implementation. You still send us feedback using the same commands under the Help top-level menu inside Visual Studio. Clicking Report a Problem… or Suggest a Feature… will now open your default browser to the feedback tool.

Send Feedback

Moving the feedback tool out from being a modal dialog inside Visual Studio to be browser based has some benefits. Since it’s in your default browser, your normal browser workflow of copy/pasting, searching, using extensions, keyboard shortcuts etc. stays intact when filling out the bug report.

Also, the modal could sometimes cause problems when recording traces and taking screenshots as part of reporting a bug. With the modal dialog now gone, this is no longer an issue. Finally, the browser experience will allow us to innovate more rapidly without dependencies on the Visual Studio release schedule.

Streamlined flow

The previous feedback flow consisted of multiple wizard steps. That made it challenging to know exactly what information to give and how long it would take to finish the bug report. The new tool keeps it all on a single page, making it clear what to fill in.

Image devcom full

When writing the description, you can take full advantage of markdown to make it as clear as possible. A new impact selection dropdown helps the Visual Studio engineering team better understand the nature of a bug, which will help them fix it.

Async recording

Recording traces is one of the most helpful things in a bug report, because it gives the engineering team a much clearer picture of where the issue occurs in the code. We updated the process of recording to happen completely asynchronous so that you don’t have to wait for the recorded traces to finish before you can submit the bug report. It will automatically upload those traces in the background after you submit – even if you close the browser.

This feature is almost complete and ships very soon.

My Feedback

To follow up on your problem reports and feature suggestion, go to the new My Feedback page. Access it from within Visual Studio from Help -> Send Feedback -> My Feedback… or from the browser after you reported a problem or suggested a feature.

My Feedback

From My Feedback you can quickly check the status of your tickets or, if we have sent the issue back to you, provide extra diagnostics information to help us investigate the issue.

First of many updates

We started by updating the reporting flow, but we have many more updates to come in a wave of new features, tweaks, and redesigns. Customer suggestions drove many design decisions and we’ve been able to complete a high number of them with this first change. In the months to come, we’ll be able to complete a lot more as we start rolling out more updates. In the end, you’ll experience a faster and more user-friendly system that is more engaging to use.

If you have any ideas for improvements, please let us know in the comments below or on Developer Community.