How do you communicate how your ideas board works?

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Alex Dunne
Alex Dunne Vanilla Ice Cream

Hi everyone,

I wanted to pick the hive-mind about something.

Our community started as an Ideas Board only, but with the move to Vanilla, we've been trying to expand the use case. We now use it as a space for users to ask each other (and us) questions, we offer previews into upcoming feature enhancements (including the ability to play around with prototypes) and we more proactively reach out to involve users in feedback initiatives directed by us (among other initiatives). All of that is fine, but by far our biggest draw is still our Ideas Board. This is something we're trying to de-emphasize the importance of because, essentially, our product team is at capacity and can't commit to managing it.

We can't get rid of the Ideas Board since it's existed in some form for many years now and feedback and suggestions have to live somewhere, but we definitely need to find a way to communicate its changing role in the organization. Has anyone encountered any similar issues and if so, how did you go about managing it? It's obviously a bit of a sensitive topic but any guidance or advice would be appreciated.

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  • Adrian
    Adrian HLV Staff Alumni
    edited December 2022 #2
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    Hey @Alex Dunne

    Great question. I guess my question is: if not here, what place exists for ideas to go? How do customers share ideas? For example, for us, ideas only "exist" if in the community. They don't really accept ones by Slack or email. Is there a way to work with the current workflows to make it easier? For example our Ideas Board uses our ProductBoard plugin, so it's not an extra it's part of the PM workflow. I know others uses JIRA and email/API to make it work.

    Another option is to set monthly or quarterly PM focus topics. So you let the community know the shift, where the can suggest ideas as before, but only those within the defined theme for month/quarter can be considered at this time. Or you set a threshold of votes before a response. This should be communicated to the community and hopefully the PM team can commit.

    I agree it would be tough to close the ideas space, but I think you owe it to the community to be as transparent as possible. However, I think the Product Team hopefully can find a way to work with you either by opening up their workflows or clarifying what ideas/areas of focus they can support.