There’s valuable feedback about your product and your business hidden beneath the surface.

Above the water sits the easily visible feedback: metrics you’re collecting in analytics tools, NPS survey responses, customer complaints, angry Twitter rants—and hopefully a few vocal evangelists. Often, this vocal and visible group is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease and gratitude and drives change. The problem is that this type of feedback is simply the most accessible rather than representing the reality of how people feel about your product.

Above: what you can easily see and measure.

– Unreliable image loader
– Poor templates
– Lack of particular features

Below: all the little problems that people forget to voice or don’t even bother to complain about that, over time, drive them silently insane.

– Slow page load
– Too many emails
– Confusing CVS import
– Slow support response
– Unclear user permissions

You’re probably hearing from just a sliver of your overall customers. One customer service expert has found that only 4% of dissatisfied customers voice complaints to businesses.

The Iceberg

What you see at the top is directly influenced by the base.

You need to think bigger. Go from details like elements on the page all the way to shifting mental models.

For more details and explanations, head over to the article. It also gives examples on how to move further down the iceberg.

The Iceberg Theory of User Feedback