Collecting End User Experience Data Using Google Apps

In this three part series I will explore how to collect End User Experience data using Google G Suite Apps, how to automatically consume and quickly dive into the gathered results using Splunk then how to integrate the end user experience data logs with the SaaS based monitoring tool Datadog.

Live feedback provided directly by the customer or end user can give technical teams additional operational insight and event correlation data that helps close the gap between the perceived performance of their digital service and the experience being observed by the end user as they interact with the service.

In part one of this series we will go over creating a Google Form, automating the results to Google Sheets and various methods of delivery.

Part One: Collect EUE data using Google Forms.

Google G Suite (or Apps) is a powerful workbench of cloud based productivity tools that come in the form of browser based apps and services. The Google Forms app is a custom form and workflow tool that can be used to gather live time series based data about the users experience then automatically store the information or send it to relevant parties.

Questions can be related to customer satisfaction, product features, service performance or anything else that will help better observe the customer experience. In this example the form will query the end user about their perceived speed of a website.

Pose the question you want the answer to

  1. Create a new Google Form.
    • There are a number of good tutorials on how to get started creating Google Forms. I’ll skip over the basics for the purpose of this article.
  2. Enable the following Google Forms add-on’s.
    1. AppSheet – How to use add-on’s and sheets.
  3. Ensure that the answers to your question or survey are the data points that plan on observing or monitoring.
    • In the example below I created a form that allows end users to report on their perceived speed of a website.
    • This form could act as a stand alone support page, be embedded in a web application or displayed on a device such as an iPad or LCD screen at a kiosk.

 

Automate the results to a Google Sheet

  1. Ensure that the AppSheet add-on is installed.
  2. Switch to the “Responses” tab of your Google Form using the form manager console.
  3. Click the “Create Spreadsheet” button in the top right corner. 
  4. When prompted, Select “Create New Spreadsheet” and name the spreadsheet accordingly.

Now all responses to your question(s) will be automatically populated with time series based data points to a Google Sheet that can be found in your Google Drive. You now have the ability to import this data into other tools such as Splunk, Google Dashboard, etc.

google forms results

Share or embed the form

There are various ways that you can share this form with end users.

  • Send as an email survey.
  • Send as a shareable URL.
  • Embed the HTML code using iframe code.

Your select method(s) of delivery will depend on both the service being monitored and the format of the questions you are asking. Email and shareable URL surveys are great to ask more complex questions that require detailed answers while embedded forms are more effective in giving you a pulse on the end users opinion as they are interacting with the service.

Additional customization

There are many different features and workflow customization that we did not touch upon in this example. Take time to check out other add-on’s, scripts and workflow features. Here are some examples of what you can do.

  • Email a individual or DL based on a specific response.
  • Embed self help knowledge docs or resources based on a specific response.
  • Create additional drill down questions based on an initial response.
  • Use scripting to automatically retrieve information such as the end users GPS coordinates or device details.

What’s next – Analyze the results using Splunk

In Part 2 of this series I will examine how to leverage the Google developer console to automatically import the collected data from Google Forms into Splunk and how to analyze the time series based results.

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