A few days ago, I sent out a survey to 5000 random long-time site users. 3055 responded, which is pretty good.
I first asked six questions about what people think about the site, then scored each of the answers in order to give an average idea of our users' thoughts. A score of anything over 50 is great, 25 is fair, 0 is tolerable, and anything under 0 is pretty much hated.
1. How do you feel about the GameFAQs redesign (not counting the new logo)? Score: 8.7.
Ouch. Not a popular design, but not the worst thing ever. About a quarter of the respondents actually thought it's better than the old one, but there are a good number of folks who can't stand it.
2. How do you feel about GameSpot being added to the GameFAQs logo? Score: 13.2
The logo change scoring better than the redesign? Well, that question was worded a bit on the negative side, so the higher score reflects that. In this case, it didn't really bother the majority of respondents, but there are quite a few that hate it (or, I suppose, haven't noticed the no-logo stylesheet).
3. Do you think CJayC has explained why the changes have happened well enough? Score: 41.1
Yay me. A big majority of respondents believe that I'm on the up-and-up, although knowing more would be nice. Of course, I'm used to be able to share everything (back from when I worked for myself), so I probably under-report what I can tell you just out of caution. Something I can definitely work on.
4. How do you feel about the future of GameFAQs? Score: 33.4
A good sign; more people are optimistic than pessimistic. Me, I'm optimistic, which is odd, as I'm just plain cynical by nature.
5. What do you think about the proposed premium GameFAQs service (no ads, new features, NO content put behind a pay wall)? Score: -0.8
To be honest, I initially didn't expect the backlash this has gotten. In my head, I couldn't understand why anyone would be upset that other people would pay for extra features, but I'm in the minority. The problems, of course, come with elitism by paying members, contributors feeling we're taking money for their work they post here for free, and so on. With overwhelming numbers of people just plain against it, it's a good possibility the proposal stage is as far as this one gets.
6. What's your overall opinion about GameFAQs today? Score: 53.3
Well, that makes sense. Most people don't visit sites regularly they hate.
For the next part, we asked what the top priority of the GameFAQs staff (meaning me and SB) should be. So, in order of priority:
Fixing bugs and errors: 69.0 Improving site performance: 59.5 Answering user feedback: 50.7 Keeping contribution queues clean: 44.6 Communicating with users (Daily Grind, Message Board Announcements): 45.3 Creating new stylesheets: 44.2 Communicating with users (Posting on other boards): 41.2 Adding new message board features: 35.0 Adding new main site features: 25.9
I also went through and read the comments that users sent in. Most were positive, many pined for the days back when CNET wasn't around.. although I'd have had to shut things down long ago if it weren't for them, and I can't imagine any other company giving GameFAQs the support it has over the past three years.
And so, the users have spoken, or at least the ones I really wanted to listen to, the ones who have been around the longest. It's given me a lot to think about, and some rather important goals as well. Here's hoping, for all our sakes, that I can meet them.
--- The great thing about schadenfreude is that it's something everyone can enjoy. Well... almost everyone.