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jtroup
Community Participant

Make Rating/Voting/Stars/Whatever more Transparent

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I've been using Canvas for years and only just discovered that enough users have to "vote" to get a suggested feature implemented.

Then I found that the voting system was replaced by stars.

This all sounds nice, but the problem is I never would have found this out without digging through all the support articles about it. I only accidentally saw info about voting in one of the last help articles I read. 

The problem with this is that this implementation artificially reduces (I think potentially drastically) the number of people voting/rating a particular topic, and thus drastically reduces the chances that some much-needed features get implemented.

For this feedback mechanism to work, it needs to be highly visible to all users of Canvas, not just those who accidentally find out about it while reading about a help article that just happened to contain information about it.

It is noteworthy to me that I was able to use Canvas for the better part of a decade without ever realizing that features have to be voted on to be implemented. Perhaps you can blame some of that on my poor observational skills, but not all of it. Where are the notifications in the Canvas system to vote on/rate potential features? (I just found a link to the idea conversations page, though not until I knew exactly what I was looking for. You have to hit Submit a Feature Idea and that's what takes you to the "Idea Conversations" page.

It also took some digging through outdated help articles to figure out how to "vote". I saw a reference to a green up arrow to vote for an idea, but that doesn't seem to be there.

Then I finally found the star rating instructions, which seems to be what's current. I found the five black stars next to the idea conversation topics, but when I click on five stars, nothing seems to change. (Is my default a five star vote on everything? I guess that's better than the default vote being zero. But the problem remains that I have no idea whether my "vote" is actually being counted or not.)

All of this together has led to the impression that Canvas idea conversations is specifically set up to minimize work for the development team, and consequently to minimize the possibility of any actual new features from being implemented.

Please make sure all Canvas users are aware of how to vote so that Canvas can come off as being less anti-user than it currently feels.

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1 Solution
Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

Hi @jtroup 

Thank you so much for your thoughtful research and feedback around Idea Conversations.  As you read through the current documentation and some of the archives I'm sure you could see that we've evolved this area of the Community a few times in efforts to make it more clear and easy to participate.  It's never perfect, and always a work in progress.

You referenced the voting information (green up arrow) you found and you are accurate that the information there is no longer relevant. When we moved the Community to a new platform we evolved the voting to the star ratings to help with the perception that number of vote is equal to something being built - that's just not the case.  It is true that we looked at total vote counts - and now we look at the number of people rating a conversation thread - but that is not the sole data we use to determine if something makes the roadmap or not.  We also look at number of comments, use cases shared in the initial post and comments, and ultimately the underlying problem the user(s) is trying to solve for.  We also will share ideas will smaller numbers of ratings or comments with product teams that are based around a roadmap theme they are working on - to share a bigger picture of an area they are working in.  So there is some quantitative consideration, but mostly qualitative. 

You mentioned that this space was hard to find - I just checked your school's help menu and it looks like the 'share a feature idea' menu item is on the help menu, so I'm glad you have that path available for you. Sorry to hear you didn't find this space sooner since it sounds like you are very interested in being a part of the greater good here.  

If you're interested in being a part of helping influence how we make Canvas and other products better I'd encourage you to share your thoughts via idea conversations, but also 1) keep tabs on the roadmap to stay up to date on what's being worked on and where there are opportunities for input 2) follow the product blog for insights on the questions the product teams are asking and the problems they are seeking to solve & 3) keep tabs on the Feature User Groups to see what's out in beta or as a feature preview and interact with those features early on.  Then, of course, don't forget the Release Notes where you can see what is released but also any idea conversations that influenced the development and release.

Because the idea conversations space is set up for product features I am going to archive this idea, however I want you to know we hear you.  We will continue to work towards clarity and simplicity in helping your voice be heard by other users and our product team. 

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1 Reply
Renee_Carney
Community Team
Community Team

Hi @jtroup 

Thank you so much for your thoughtful research and feedback around Idea Conversations.  As you read through the current documentation and some of the archives I'm sure you could see that we've evolved this area of the Community a few times in efforts to make it more clear and easy to participate.  It's never perfect, and always a work in progress.

You referenced the voting information (green up arrow) you found and you are accurate that the information there is no longer relevant. When we moved the Community to a new platform we evolved the voting to the star ratings to help with the perception that number of vote is equal to something being built - that's just not the case.  It is true that we looked at total vote counts - and now we look at the number of people rating a conversation thread - but that is not the sole data we use to determine if something makes the roadmap or not.  We also look at number of comments, use cases shared in the initial post and comments, and ultimately the underlying problem the user(s) is trying to solve for.  We also will share ideas will smaller numbers of ratings or comments with product teams that are based around a roadmap theme they are working on - to share a bigger picture of an area they are working in.  So there is some quantitative consideration, but mostly qualitative. 

You mentioned that this space was hard to find - I just checked your school's help menu and it looks like the 'share a feature idea' menu item is on the help menu, so I'm glad you have that path available for you. Sorry to hear you didn't find this space sooner since it sounds like you are very interested in being a part of the greater good here.  

If you're interested in being a part of helping influence how we make Canvas and other products better I'd encourage you to share your thoughts via idea conversations, but also 1) keep tabs on the roadmap to stay up to date on what's being worked on and where there are opportunities for input 2) follow the product blog for insights on the questions the product teams are asking and the problems they are seeking to solve & 3) keep tabs on the Feature User Groups to see what's out in beta or as a feature preview and interact with those features early on.  Then, of course, don't forget the Release Notes where you can see what is released but also any idea conversations that influenced the development and release.

Because the idea conversations space is set up for product features I am going to archive this idea, however I want you to know we hear you.  We will continue to work towards clarity and simplicity in helping your voice be heard by other users and our product team.