The Purpose Of Member Profiles

Take a second to think about what the purpose of members profiles in your community (really) is before making further decisions about what should appear on it.

The best profiles tend to support one of three needs:

  • They let members find their recent activity. Members use profiles to find a list of the recent discussions they’ve participated in and keep track of responses. It’s easy for members to visit their profiles and check in on past discussions and content they’ve shared.
  • They let members show off their achievements. Members use profiles to highlight the equipment they’ve used, tools they use, events they’ve attended, awards they’ve earned, status they’ve gained etc… StackOverflow is a good example of this.
  • They let members create and show an identity. Members can customise profiles to suit their needs. This is often better for younger or more creative audiences. Members can create unique avatars, change the colors, update the design etc…

If members don’t have a pressing need for any of the above, you probably don’t need to spend too much time on them.

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