Minor Tweaks To A New Community

January 16, 2014Comments Off on Minor Tweaks To A New Community

Cisco launched a new developer community

Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 14.50.50
Broadly, we like it.

It's a simple, clear, uncluttered community. The community isn't hidden behind a community tab. Activity appears above the fold.

I think we can do better though.

First, remove the text at the beginning. If you have to explain how the community works, it's badly designed. For a developer audience, this should be intuitive. If it's complicated, include that in your welcome guide. Don't waste valuable real-estate on this material. If you want members to participate in discussions, ensure the discussions appear in the most central location. 

Second, don't waste space above the fold. There is empty space on the left hand side. Highlight the most topical discussion/activity you want a member to participate in right now. Use it to highlight a tip of the week. Use it to draw attention to a new member or showcase an interview with an existing members.

Third, ensure discussions show the number of responses. There are two reasons for this. It highlights to members which discussions are most popular and it motivates you to solicit responses to discussions that are struggling (or prune the failing discussions). 

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