The Zoom Community (design and member needs)
Zoom launched a community recently.
It’s a good implementation of a new community and worth spending some time exploring:
The value of the community is clear; solve your zoom problems.
Zoom isn’t trying to fight against the tide by encouraging members to perform behaviors they’re not doing. They’re simply redirecting existing behaviors (trying to solve problems) into a more efficient place.
(It might be better to communicate this on the header though).
The design of the community follows most best practices too.
The banner is kept to a minimal height (although the image is familiar) and the search box is positioned in the most prominent location.
The community uses a two-level navigation system with the top level navigation letting members quickly browse through products, industries, and resources and the second-tier navigation menu using small icons to find the areas that the majority of members are looking for.
In addition, the getting started area is easy to find and the latest activity is above the fold on the homepage.
Zoom also know developers need their own communities (typically on Stackoverflow, Reddit, Slack or Discourse) and have created a separate zone for developers.
While it doesn’t appear efficient to be hosting two different platforms, it typically results in a better experience for both audiences.
Topic, Industry, Dev, Resources
The taxonomy of the site is one of its strongest assets. The site avoids the usual taxonomy problems by guiding members by topic rather than intent. Members can quickly browse by topic, industry, resources, or get help using the community.
There are some downsides too. There are some small bugs on the site, gamification feels poorly implemented, and just listing topic titles would probably be better than including content on the homepage.
Overall, however, the community has a strong purpose which is well implemented and likely to thrive in the long-term.