Conferences are great places to educate ourselves about what’s hot in the industry, upcoming trends and networking with industry peers. Australian conferences and speakers have improved significantly over the last few years. This is largely due to the feedback shared by developers on social media, surveys, and rating cards at events. While helpful, they are not particularly exciting for attendees and so we decided to build an SMS Feedback App.
How does the Feedback App work?
Simply put, the Feedback app allows you to capture feedback and questions from delegates. It’s split into two channels – the feedback channel and the questions channel. The feedback channel accepts feedback in the form of emojis. Yes, you read that right. You can choose from any one of the following emojis – 😔😐😊😄❤ and text it to the Feedback app number to submit your feedback. Feedback received will be aggregated and put into emoji buckets and displayed on a webpage.
The questions channel works in a similar way, where you can text in your questions during a session. These questions will populate a webpage in real-time so the question be read by the MC during QA sessions.
How to build a Feedback App
The front-end of the Feedback app is built using React.js and the back-end is built using the MessageMedia Messages and Webhooks Management API, AWS Gateway, a few Lambdas. Finally, the feedback and question data is stored in a DynamoDB table. Whoa that was a lot of tech jargon. Let’s take a closer look at what each component means and what it’s responsible for.
Each time a message (either feedback or questions) is sent to the Feedback app number, it triggers a webhook in the MessageMedia system. The webhook returns a payload to the AWS Gateway endpoint which calls our configured Lambda and passes the data on. All of the application logic and processing takes place in the Lambda and once the Lambda has finished the heavy lifting, it stores the feedback or question in the DynamoDB table.
The React app polls for data from the Lambdas that are responsible for feeding information about the list of feedback received and questions asked during the current session. It then takes that information and provides a visual display of the data.
Should you use a Feedback App?
Gathering feedback at conferences is important but can be quite tricky and challenging and if not done in a timely manner. You may miss out on a massive opportunity to discover what delegates liked, disliked and thought about the event. The Feedback App is a fun and engaging way to allow delegates to rate talks and ask questions via their mobile phones. How convenient is that? Find out more about the apps that we’ve build over here and perhaps you can build something even cooler!