image credit pxfuel
As we began thinking about a move from our current community platform to Khoros—soon to be the home of the Canvas Community—we saw an opportunity to realign our current goals and strategies in community input and communication with our Product and Engineering teams. To recap, our two main goals are to provide a way for Canvas users to understand what Product and Engineering are working on, and to give users opportunities to provide input in efficient and effective ways. These two goals have driven every design decision in building out the new community platform.
To facilitate the goal of communication around change, releases and deploys will be documented as they have in the past. Product will still provide a development roadmap, features available in the Beta environment, and features that have been released in the Roadmap page. Additionally, the TL;DR podcast will continue to host discussions about the decisions behind feature development and upcoming projects.
For collecting user feedback from this forum, beta user groups will continue to be used to to collect feedback on proposed new features and tools. Just as has been done in the past, every idea submitted by the community will be evaluated individually to ensure it is a new idea and not a combination of multiple ideas, a repeat of an existing conversation, and is something that actually can be accomplished in Canvas. Currently around 1500 feature ideas are open for vote in the community. All ideas that pass their initial vetting go forward for community input.
All of the ideas that were open for voting on the old platform (called “idea conversations” in Khoros) will be migrated to the new platform and remain open. Because the software is different, the current voting process will change to a rating system with one to five stars. The current vote tallies will affect the star ranking of an idea initially, but starting on day one, that ranking will begin changing based on how the idea is rated going forward. Over time, as new ideas are added, ideas with lower star ratings or less activity will be archived.
As in the past, initial ideas posted by the community as well as the ensuing conversations that develop in the idea comments will form an important conduit of user feedback and desires, which our Product team will review closely when expanding the road map. Often the entire body of ideas functions as a knowledge base of sort when our product managers want to understand how a given tool or area of Canvas is used and existing pain points.
Ideas suggested, vetted, and contributed by community members have been integral to the success of Canvas in the past and will continue to be going forward, even as the processes and community platform options change over time.