Features, clicks, and little details
Some people were afraid to post using their real names. So we recently switched on anonymous posting in our community. This could be a powerful tool if it were a ‘tick box’ alongside a comment someone was writing (like submitting reviews on our online community platform comparison tool below)
It doesn’t work well on Discourse. On Discourse it’s a strange symbol hidden beneath an avatar option no-one will see. Nice idea, bad implementation.
That small detail might prevent hundreds, possibly thousands, of people from sharing valuable posts.
One prospect has an SSO implementation which, when you log in, will take you away from the community site you were on initially. You can write a response to a post, click reply, be prompted to log in and wind up on a different site.
This is a community-killing problem.
We want to make it easier to share interesting links. It gives people a reason to return every day to see what’s new. Sharing links works when it’s just an URL and a short title. But the current forum requires the title, URL, a description, and categorization. Who has the time for that? Easier to wait for someone else to share the link.
One client introduced an activity stream without realizing it would be filled by most members replying to the same discussion. It was a costly waste of real estate.
Just because a problem feels small and niggling doesn’t mean it can’t completely undermine engagement in your community. You don’t realize how important it is to simplify, remove a click, and reduce the mental effort required until it’s too late.
When you’re developing a community platform, don’t assume your developer/implementation partner will get this stuff right. They often opt for the easiest solution to implement instead of the best option for your members.
Go into minute detail and detail exactly how you would like every single feature to work (and keep a record of everything you’ve agreed in meeting notes shared with everyone involved – trust me).