ThoughtCloud: situated digital feedback made easy

Design Futures

Collaborators Newcastle City Council, Nexus, Tyneside Cinema, NHS, Your Homes Newcastle, Northumbria University


A digital feedback system that makes it easy for anyone to capture situated feedback and opinions.


ThoughtCloud is a lightweight digital feedback system delivered through a simple website application that also allows for audio and video input.


Hundreds of people have given their feedback through ThoughtCloud in a number of different voluntary, community and care organisations.

ThoughtCloud is a digital system that makes it simple to get this feedback in several different ways. Delivered through a simple website application, it’s been designed to enable organisations to collect situated feedback and opinions in the form of ratings, video or audio messages from any sort of event, activity or meeting.

It’s been made specifically to allow organisations to pose questions about the activities that they provide, and allow people to express their thoughts and feelings honestly about the services that are important to them. This feedback can then be displayed on a website feed, where it can be curated, annotated or shared by organisation staff.

ThoughtCloud has been used with hundreds of people across organisations who work to provide services and support to their respective local communities.

If you’re interested in using ThoughtCloud at your next event, activity or meeting, contact Open Lab to find out more. Once you’ve set this up anyone can simply log on and reply to the questions that you’ve set.

How it works

ThoughtCloud works by collecting feedback and opinions through a web application that works on any device with a web browser. It works best on touchscreen devices, which allows feedback to be collected quickly and offers a range of accessibility features.

The app can collect three different types of feedback:

  • choosing one of four different ‘smiley’ faces (a simple likert scale)
  • spoken feedback
  • video feedback

While the likert scale requires little effort and allows for quick responses, audio and video recording features provide an opportunity to give richer and more detailed feedback.

The app is lightweight and cross-platform - simply visit the Thoughtcloud website on any device with a web browser and internet connection. It’s also designed specifically to capture situated feedback - that is, instantaneous feedback in the locations that people’s care is being delivered.

What we have been doing has produced some dividends for this person and that [Thoughtcloud feedback] is evidence for it. That is like gold dust. Deputy Chief Executive of a voluntary community organisation.


  • Thoughtcloud have been used by multiple organisations, including Newcastle City Council, Nexus, Your Homes Newcastle and the NHS. Thoughtcloud is being used by an NHS trust to gather important feedback on staff experiences during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Hundreds of people have used Thoughtcloud to give their views on the services that matter to them. It’s made a real impression on organisations too, many of whom have now adopted Thoughtcloud for use as part of their own feedback mechanisms.

You can visit the ThoughtCloud website here.


ThoughtCloud: Exploring the Role of Feedback Technologies in Care Organisations<strong> </strong>

  1. Dow A
  2. Vines J
  3. Comber R
  4. Wilson R

2016CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Metro Futures: Experience-Centred Co-Design at Scale

  1. Bowen Simon
  2. Wright Peter
  3. Wilson Alexander
  4. Dow Andy
  5. Bartindale Tom
  6. Anderson Rob

2020CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems