When it comes to developing mobile applications, one of the biggest problems developers have is collecting user feedback. Even the iPhone App Store, which features user reviews and star ratings, is often loaded with comments that skew either highly positive or negative, without much indication as to why a certain user liked or disliked the app, and next to no information on the users who leave responses. HaveASec is a polling and survey startup that’s looking to help. The service offers surveys that are optimized for iPhones, Blackberrys, and other mobile devices (and they’ll work on standard browsers as well). And it’s already got an impressive roster of clients, including ngmoco (the developer behind Rolando), AdMob, and Google, which used it during its Google I/O developers conference.
HaveASec made its debut last year, and was part of Stanford’s special class on iPhone applications. Co-founder Romain David says that the company grew out of a need to give mobile developers more insight as to why people were using their apps, the demographics of their users, and what they could do to improve their applications. In the pre-iPhone era of developing, carriers were the gatekeepers for key information like demographics and often left developers in the dark. David says that soon after the iPhone SDK was released he and the company’s two other founders began building a polling platform optimized for the iPhone that would help ameliorate this problem.
iPhone developers have two ways to integrate a HaveASec poll into their applications: they can either add a link somewhere to the app, which kicks the user to a web-based survey, or they can use the HaveASec SDK to embed their custom polls within their app (the latter is more desirable for developers that want to keep their users engaged). There’s also a standalone HaveASec iPhone application, but this seems primarily geared toward casual users who want to conduct a poll with other members of the HaveASec community, rather than a professional survey. So far, 3,000 surveys have been created and have received over 200,000 responses.
Finally, while the service was built with iPhone developers in mind, there are plenty of other possible use cases for it. The company notes that a research group has been using HaveASec to collect feedback from customers at a fast food restaurant, and doctors are deploying the service to help evaluate what their patients’ experiences.
HaveASec is free to try out (though you’ll be limited to collecting only 100 survey responses), and offers two premium packages for professional users depending on how many surveys you’ll be conducting, priced at $50/month for a premium package and $500/yr for the ‘Ultimate’ (you can see a full list of the features here.