How does the feature idea process work?

Document created by communityteam Administrator on Apr 9, 2015Last modified by Renee Carney on May 8, 2017
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Input from existing users is a very important part of how Instructure prioritizes work on new and existing features as well as fixing bugs. We look at data from support, get feedback from customer success managers as well as from the Community directly. In the past 2 years, 95% of releases have included features originally suggested and voted on by the Community.


The goals of the Canvas Studio idea forum are to provide:

  1. Insight into what our Product team is working on right now and a way to give the Product team timely feedback to help guide their decisions
  2. An opportunity to share ideas about anything to do with Canvas, whether Product is focusing on that area of the application right now or not.




Who can submit ideas?

All registered users may submit an idea. Anyone can create an account for free and become a registered user.


When can I vote?

Ideas are opened for voting immediately upon submission.


How are ideas processed?

Canvas Coaches and the Community Team  review new submissions. A new idea may be pulled out of voting if the idea is incomplete or needs clarification from the contributor.  The Coaches and the Community team may also apply organizational tags, or archive any idea with explanation.


How long are ideas open for vote?

Ideas are open for six months. Following six months, ideas in the top 10th percentile of vote will remain in the general forum.  Ideas in the bottom 90th percentile will be archived and moved out of the general forum, which makes room for new ideas. The archive process will occur monthly, on the first Wednesday of each month.


How do I vote?

You must be logged into the Community to vote

The vote score is located at the top of the idea, below the title. To add your vote, click the Vote up button, or to decrease the vote, click the Vote down button.



How are ideas connected to Product priorities?

Ideas are connected to product priorities using tags. We search by these tags to provide a list of related ideas.


What do the idea stages mean?


Product Radar

Product Radar ideas have been selected by the Product team for official response. These ideas may be selected because of their vote count, market group (K12, HE, etc), overall view count, comments, or other factors. These ideas represent a pool of our wish-list items as much as yours! We would love to build everything, but resources are limited.


In Development

In Development ideas are being worked on or plan to be worked on in the next six months. Most of these ideas will be linked to a Product priority, which include related ideas and other activities around development. If we mark an idea as being 'In Development', we will comment and say whether the idea might be implemented soon or whether we know it will be more long term.


On Beta

On Beta ideas have been implemented in the Beta instance of your Canvas environment. Check out How do I access the Canvas beta environment?



(Not Currently Planned)

Archived ideas may have fallen short of rising to the top in six months or it may have been marked as 'not planned.' We will comment and provide clear reasons for why an idea has been archived. Some ideas cannot be developed because of a technical limitation. Others do not fit with overall product direction, or do not warrant the resources they would take to implement, relative to other requests.



Complete ideas have been implemented and deployed to Canvas. Yippee!


Can I resubmit an idea after it is archived?

Technically, ideas can be resubmitted. As the needs of Canvas users change, an archived idea today may resurface with greater momentum months from now. (Unfortunately, our pandas cannot predict the future.) A re-submitted idea may or may not move through the voting process again, depending on the reasons for its archive.


  • A re-submission may not be likely to move forward in the voting process if our product team has indicated why the idea is not currently moving forward for development.
  • A re-submission may warrant a second look and open another round of voting if the original idea was too vague, didn’t showcase enough use-cases, lacked a critical number of votes, etc.


As the Community Team, our goal is to foster a place for ideas to surface organically and encourage community members to support those they believe are most relevant and timely.


What is 'Cold Storage'?

Honoring our commitment to not delete Community content, your idea may have made the journey to Cold Storage  because of one of the following following factors:

  • The idea was not in the top 10 percentile of votes within its lifespan
  • The idea is a duplicate
  • The idea contained multiple ideas in one submission (aka: kitchen sink)
  • The idea is off topic
  • The idea may now be obsolete 


We move select ideas from the general Community to keep the Community search results precise and uncluttered.  If you are one that likes the additional chaos of more abundant search results, you can elect to join Cold Storage  in order to see ALL idea submissions.


Are there any considerations for voting on feature ideas?

Although we will consider all ideas equally, your vote will help us better prioritize to meet your needs. Read the considerations below to help you during the voting cycles. (We even used C.A.N.V.A.S as an acronym to help you remember these tips.)


C = Core Products

The feature ideas forum is primarily dedicated to ideas about Canvas and the core features that support the product. Consider those ideas that you think will effectively enhance the application of Canvas, both in the immediate future and in the long run.


A = All Users

We understand that every institution or organization has different needs. We want to get a better idea of ways an idea might impact all users across all markets or audiences. Your votes will help us identify these needs more intuitively.


N = Navigation

Interested in just admin feature ideas? Want to see the ideas submitted for quiz settings? We've done our best to add tags to help you navigate and filter through ideas more effectively.


Click on the ideas "Open for Voting" and filter by text or tag

You can even grab the RSS feed so you can be alerted on all new ideas related to a specific text or tag that are ready for your vote.


Or, Click on the Role/Interest buttons already create for you <insert link to page>


V = Vote (Up and Down)

You know the saying "a rising tide lifts all boats"? While it's easy to vote every idea up, we are looking to your guidance to help us differentiate various ideas, which means we want to see many ideas voted UP as well as DOWN.


A = Add a Comment

Like you, we are seeking to understand the applications and use-cases for each idea. If you stumble upon an idea that is interesting, please help us by posting follow-up questions or additional insights. Every idea has an option to 'add a comment.' Sometimes the best 'a-ha' moments come from reading through various comment threads.


S = Share

Next to each idea is a 'share' link. Use this link to share the idea via direct message,  email it to your faculty or post it to your group in the Canvas Community. This is your way to advocate and gain support for an idea for which you feel strongly.



Your continued support and participation in the community forums are very valuable to Canvas as a product and to the user experience. We urge you to keep sharing, commenting, and voting.


We periodically clean up the comments on this document to keep them manageable for our readers.  If a question or comment has been addressed we may remove it.

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