Monthly Community Goal: August

Community Manager
Community Manager
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It's August, and August is for advancing-the-community-structure-and-layout? That may sound a little funny, but for this month's goal we are focused on getting your feedback.

 

You may have seen a discussion thread I posted a few weeks ago, Navigating the Community - What's your experience?​ We are looking to make some changes to our Community - the structure, the look, the feel, the experience, etc. However, we don't want to make these changes solely based on what we want, or generic community best practices. We want to know your thoughts, so we can tailor everything to OUR audience - you all.

 

The goal this month is to comment below and provide your thoughts on our Community.

 

Some questions you could answer:

 

- Community structure - how do you get to things?

- What do you think of discussion forums being more open to the general public? (We would do this so more people could benefit from your expertise, feedback, as it would pop up in Google search.)

- Do you want to see discussions organized by topic?

- Do you want to see designated product discussion areas?

- Does the top navigation bar make sense?

- How should user group spaces be organized - by location, by your stage in the customer lifecycle?

- Are there too many clicks to get to one space?

- Are the spaces too busy looking?

 

If you already answered this question on my other post, you'll notice you've already earned the August badge - yay!

 

So please, comment below and let us know what we're doing well, what we could work on, and what new ideas you have!

 

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18 Comments
Grill Chef sharath_sathees
Grill Chef

I think having the capability to search and find results in google will be helpful.

May make sense to bring the critical notifications to the home page as well and not just on the support page.

Community Manager
Community Manager

So opening up the forums might be more helpful for those searching for help in Google! And maybe somewhere on the homepage we can include critical notifications, or have a direct link to them!

Thank you

Staff Chef richard_lewis
Staff Chef

Hi Nicole Guzzo​, I found this post from Ron Carr​ which is a good idea for making the link between the community and support easier.

Create a case for Smax from a question posted on the community

Regards, Richard

Community Manager
Community Manager

This is a great idea, and something we're extremely interested in doing! Thanks for letting us know that this is something you want to see. Richard LewisRon Carr

Staff Chef richard_lewis
Staff Chef

Hi Nicole Guzzo, I would like a section of the community where I can go to see recent posts and activity but that doesn’t show me my activity. Even better than this would be if it was dynamic and removed the new post from view if I had read them or interacted with them. I will take what I can get but wondered what your thoughts are? It can be hard to make sure I am up to speed with what is being posted etc. 


Regards, Richard

Community Manager
Community Manager

Let me reiterate to make sure I understand completely! You want an area/widget that shows new activity, and filters out your content and any content you've already seen, right? This would allow you to get caught up on what's going on in the community quick and easy - the main goal.

I think that makes sense! I can't enable that currently, but it's something we could plan for the future. 

Staff Chef richard_lewis
Staff Chef

Hi Nicole, yes that’s correct. Even if it is just and activity feed that filters out my activity that would be a start.

Regards, Richard

Grill Chef warrenhalbie
Grill Chef

Hi Nicole

I think there is still a lot of simplification that can be done on navigation and the options presented to users. Every time I haven't logged in here for a week or 2 I have to try and remember where to look for things - an example is the Product Hub being so completely separated from 'Network and Share' or 'User Groups'.

Ultimately I think there are too many sources where information can be placed and it may be difficult to find what you are looking for.

One thing that I think needs improvement is the ideas exchange - this is where customer ask for product improvements and I don't think this is reviewed timely by the product team  - I would expect replies from product on all ideas - both negative and positive - if an idea is not going to be considered then indicate this... If it is then give next steps timelines etc, otherwise sometimes it just seems like they go into a black hole which is very frustrating.

Staff Chef richard_lewis
Staff Chef

Hi Nicole, I agree with Warren. Particularly on the idea exchange.

How often are the ideas reviewed, what is the criteria used by Product to be reviewed. When were they last reviewed or modified by the Product Team.

There needs to be moderation done of the ideas and other key posts. If the description is not clear then it needs clearing up so we know if we should vote or not. If necessary this needs doing in conjunction with the user who logged it but some ideas need rewording and further description before they are able to be voted on. Maybe a status of more information required.

Ideas for feature development on the classic app should be closed out as rejected or not implementing. If that is the direction that ServiceMax are taking which is what I understand.

I recently went through all FSA ideas with Warren Halberstadt​, Russell Jacobs​ and Dave Salter​ and some of them had clearly not been touched for some time.

It would be great to easily be able to access grouped ideas like this. Say the Product Team could provide their own clustering and show us all ideas related to FSA or all ideas related to the dispatch console.

Then we could be guided to go in and look at all of these ideas and add our own as the first stage of development of an area of change like we have seen with a push on FSA, dispatch console 2.0 and the SFM management user experience.

As you can see we are keen to input into the product and welcome the opportunities we have had so far with what has been done but the ideas part of the community does have some improvement needed.

If a product is on the roadmap then lets have a safe harbour idea of when. If it changes then change it and add a comment so those of us following get notified.

I could go on, but I will sit on my hands and suppress my passion for now.

Regards, Richard

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Warren - thanks for your feedback!!!

Simply the navigation - got it! I definitely agree. Tell me, do you think it would be beneficial to have ONE space for ALL questions and discussions? Or would you rather see multiple discussion places with set topics, like ServiceMax product/functionality?

Regarding the Idea Exchange - your feedback has been duly noted! Same with yours Richard Lewis​!

Community Manager
Community Manager

Amit Jain​ just an FYI, see feedback above, we'll connect.

Grill Chef warrenhalbie
Grill Chef

Hi Nicole

I would prefer the suggestion from Richard of different product/function topics thanks

Pastry Chef mmajerus6
Pastry Chef

Hello Nicole Guzzo. I try to spend about 5 - 10 minutes each day both learning from and responding to posts that I can help with. So my main focus in the community is finding real user issues/answers quickly. I like the Recent Activity section as it's a quick place to see what's happening in the user-base. I would like it to be more prominent though. In my opinion, the Recent Blog Posts take up too much space. They are mostly written by SMax and seem more like general news rather than time-sensitive updates. I do read through them sometimes, but maybe not as relevant on the front page center.

As a user, I would like to see relevant questions, issues, and discussions from other users that might affect my company in one place. Maybe these could be 'promoted' by the Community manager to appear in a new 'Trending' section. Items like the upcoming Chrome update to Flash is a prime example that should be front and center on the home page until it's resolved. Right now that's buried in a discussion but will affect all SMax users globally starting next week. Could we have a separate Trending section as well as the Recent Activity section? The difference being that Trending would include questions and discussions that are promoted for a period, whereas recent activity is chronological and shows the most current activity.

From a screen real-estate standpoint, I would swap the Recent Activity for the Recent Blog position on the home page and make the search section smaller. Between using the search bar and the upper right-hand Navigation links, I'm not sure how much value the 'Maximize, Browse, Educate, and About' section adds. I do like the use of white-space on the site.

The goal would be to have users land on the home page and see the most relevant topics for them without excessive scrolling. My other wish-list items would be to have mobile releases and topics easier to find from the home page.

Thank you again Nicole for asking for input. The ServiceMax Community is a great resource for the global user-base which I can see growing more and more robust over time!

Nicole Guzzobio-rad servicemax community servicemax community experts navigating the community

Staff Chef richard_lewis
Staff Chef

Great ideas Michael!

Pastry Chef russjaco
Pastry Chef

Agree with other posters, the blog sections and the recent activity list should be swapped, also within the activity list, either break out or in someway demote, my recent actives such as my likes, and the social news, its can interesting in a fun way, but not that important.

The filters for trending are a bit obscure and of no use, i would like the ability to filter the list to show, or exclude idea's, product support, discussions, blogs etc.

The banner area is too big, i would like to see an area, where critical news items can be shown, like the recent Chrome updates, new release, major bug fixes etc, in my opinion these should be front ,centre and the first thing you see. Also it would be great if the users could have some control of what is seen in this critical news section, rather than just Smx, as sometimes what is important to the users, may not be considered important by Smx; this could be controlled by some sort of voting mechanism.

As i mentioned last time, searching is my main way to try and find the data i am after, and i quite like the results page, where you can filter for different types of posts, these should be available for the recent activities list. Using the search facility means i don't really use the site navigation, which i find confusing, i'm not sure if i need to look in Network and Share or Product Hub to find some info, for instance. I think a simplification of these groups should be considered.

Staff Chef richard_lewis
Staff Chef

Hi Nicole Guzzo​, I have been looking at the ideas in the community again. There is no way to filter to see multiple different statuses, such as excluding delivered ones but seeing the rest. Also there is no way to sort the list of ideas by number of votes. I just saw a reply on one with 41 votes saying it needed more interest for consideration so I am curious how many votes the top ideas have and if they have lots then why are they not on the roapmap. Feels like the current community solution hides a level of transparency here.

Regards, Richard

Employee
Employee

Russell Jacobs​ I'm in the same boat as you...I use search rather than site navigation.  Agreed that a simplification should be considered.

Employee
Employee

Richard Lewis​ I actually had this as a take away from a customer conversation today.  I'll share any feedback I get as I pursue this conversation.

About the Author
You can usually find me posting on the Community, tweeting off the ServiceMax account, or telling some of our great customer stories.