Product suggestion category. Good or Bad?
We are on the fence about adding a section to allow users to suggest product updates. Has anyone done this? If so, how has it worked out?
Our hesitation is that we don't want folks only coming to the Community to suggest product features. Is this something you have had a problem with?
Any insight would be super helpful.
PiperWilson HLV Staff
When this community started (back before my time), the point was to provide support. What happened was that members came in and kept making suggestions. So, the community pivoted and met the members where they wanted to be. Eventually, the community's focus expanded, and more support came into play, but the point was that the community had to provide the members with what they wanted. One of the reasons people come to a community is to solve a pain point.
A question for you is, do you think you can turn those suggestions into conversations? For example, do you think other community members would collaborate on an idea to make it better?
Another question - what harm do you see coming from an influx of suggestions? My first thought is that your product team may not be willing to accept ideas from the community. If so, I would hesitate to open the community to official ideation. Being ignored is awful and breeds bitterness. I posted something about this recently - Guide the product team into supporting your community.
Other than that, I am curious about the fear behind your reasoning.
Thanks for posting this question. I look forward to the conversation!2
Genevieve P Vanilla Ice Cream
Yep, we implemented a Product Ideation space with upvotes last summer.
If anything, it's increased our membership and engagement as customers that normally wouldn't be introduced to the Community create an account to vote, then get more involved in other areas.
We have also seen top contributors hop into the Idea posts to provide alternate suggestions and workarounds while the feature doesn't exist.
My caution points would be as follows:
- Ensure the Product team is ready to provide public status updates and are committed to building this into their current workflow. (We review the top-voted posts once a month).
- Ensure your Moderation team is able to take on reviewing/managing these additional posts. We receive a lot of duplicate Ideas that need to be merged together. This requires your Mod team to have a strong understanding of the product and of customer requests (so when synonym words are used they can identify it as the same request)
- Reporting / Metrics via Vanilla is very limited. There's no way to export a list of ideas with their content. We have been diving into the API to gather content and bring it into a third party app.
Hey @Genevieve P!
Thank you so much for this insight!1
Alex Dunne Vanilla Flower
Hi @PiperWilson ,
I'd echo @Genevieve P 's points and just add that, whatever process you land on, make sure it's well documented so that users expectations are being level-set. We've had to be really clear that the Ideas space is a repository and that there's no guarantee they'll make it onto the roadmap.2
AndrewLapidus Vanilla Seedling
Definitely agree with the above — we've had Ideas categories since our community was founded, and while it's certainly true that many users often only jump into the community to give a suggestion, we definitely feel it's totally worth the additional signups and improved activation rates. After all, this "selfish" user journey isn't much different than when someone comes to the community looking to ask a simple support question. The key is activating these users and turning them into more engaged members.5
Alex Dunne Vanilla Flower
Another benefit to an Ideas category is that it helps you ID some users who are great at giving feedback that you can reach out to when opportunities for things like Beta testing/Focus Groups come up.2
- 145 All Categories
- 32 Getting Started
- HL Vanilla Connect
- Onboarding Videos
- 145 Community Hub
- 135 Managing Communities
- 10 Community Announcements & News
- What do you want to to do?
- Create an Account
- I'm new here
- Learn about Higher Logic Vanilla
- Learn about Community
- Check out the latest release
- Submit a product idea
- Get help