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Explorer III

Too many Feature Ideas up for voting

Hi All,

I set a monthly reminder to come to the Ideas page and survey the new items up for vote.     Looking this morning, there are 1229 items up for voting.   At 20 items per page, that's 60 pages of ideas I need to scan through to decide if I want to vote it up or down, or ignore.   That's too many.   I have some questions.  

1)   Is this large number just housekeeping from the ZenDesk transition?   That is, can we expect this number to go down in 2 months once the initial month of voting has cleared the 3-month limit?   Or is 1200 the new normal for outstanding ideas?

Thanks, Glen

22 Replies
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Hi Glen,

Unfortunately I don't have good numbers on that.  It is an interesting line of inquiry but I don't have a good way to track it as of now.  We are working on that currently.

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Community Member

I started something similar a few months ago here:  Limits on Feature Requests in Jive?

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Deactivated user, correct me if I'm wrong, but the process seems to punish ideas that would never generate interest. For example, I have a suggestion in the voting queue related to accessibility. If every single person in the Accessibility Group were to vote for this it wouldn't have enough votes to advance. While accessibility is the law, no one really cares about it (except us Accessibility Compliance Officers). I would recommend that ideas be categorized, so the accessibility experts at Instructure can evaluate the value of accessibility topics, the interface experts can evaluate the value of interface topics, etc.

Just my 2 cents. Smiley Happy

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Community Coach
Community Coach

mworden@coastline.edu​, there's a similar discussion going on about mobile feature ideas - Feature Request Threshold for Mobile

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Community Member

Thank you kona@richland.edu​. I'm not in the mobile group so I can't comment on it, but it's a valid concern in all areas that don't generate high interest. I'm glad to see that this topic is being discussed.

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Thanks, Mark.

Accessibility, mobile, API, Commons - all examples of sub-sets of ideas that cannot compete in popularity with the wants and needs of mainstream web canvas users but are never the less important.  We are still evaluating how to best get this feedback from users to decision makers.  Sometimes, such as with Commons related ideas it will be by pushing them into an alternate forum space.  Other times we'll collect info via a focus group (see focus groups coming soon to the Ideas space overview page, next to Feature Ideas).  More to come soon.

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glparker@usf.edu​ I think you're assessment is spot on. I think that the number of FI's that "make it to the top 10 before they are archived" is going to be small, relative to the number of ideas that exist. But don't fear!

I think it's important to reiterate that we esteem "archived" ideas in a different light than the traditional sense of that word. "Archived" is simply a holding place where we can continue to engage with our users and glean insight from them as we make progress toward developing these new feature ideas.

For example, as I mentioned in my post above, we are working with our product team, behind the scenes, and they are looking at Feature Ideas in ALL STAGES of development (except 1 and 1.5 probably Smiley Wink ).  Let's say we are going to be doing a refactor for quizzes.  The product team will go to the doc #Quizzes to learn all about  community sentiment related to quizzes. Here's a clickable version of the #quizzes doc so you can see what it's like. One thing you will notice is that over 90% of the ideas on that list are "Archived." But their votes, and the community sentiment within each thread still carry the same weight as they do for any other stage of the Feature Idea process.

In summary, you're absolutely right that there is an overwhelming number of feature ideas that have been submitted. I'm sorry that Jive only allows us to see 20 feature ideas on a page. It would be nice if you could define the number of results you want to see on a page!

Not every idea will go "prime time" (past 100 votes)  and even some that do get past 100 votes might still not be developed. But we are still monitoring and taking into consideration even those feature ideas with smaller amounts of votes, so it is not a popularity contest. If an idea has 2 votes and it's something we could easily include as we refactor a given feature, we won't ignore it just b/c it had 2 votes. This is why we have 4 community managers watching and engaging with the community, so we can report community sentiment to our product team.  I imagine the amount of feature ideas being submitted will plateau eventually, and we'll continue to cycle through and revamp old ideas.

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Hey Mark, thanks for expressing your concern. I addressed Glen further down in this thread and I think it might shed some additional light on this matter - Re: Too many Feature Ideas up for voting

We still monitor and glean insight from ideas that have not garnered a lot of interest or votes. We have a roadmap of things we are working. The community feature ideas help us prioritize our development, along with other factors. When we begin development on a new component of Canvas, this community helps us quickly sort out all the relevant ideas pertaining to what we are building. If we were making some improvements to accessibility, for example, a PM can quickly see the related feature ideas and how the align with the big picture. Whether the feature idea has 10 votes or 100. Whether it's in the "Gathering Info" stage or the "Archived" stage, we do our best to review all relevant feedback that can help us make  that particular part of Canvas better!

I think it would be nice to have "Categories" and it's something I've brought up to the team. Hopefully that extra layer of organization will help use keep tabs on all the great ideas out there!

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Community Member

I just stumbled across this feature idea:

A good example of an idea that existed and had very little exposure/support from others. We didn't drop everything to build this feature but it was perfectly aligned with our roadmap and it made sense for us to include this into our development.

I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of this that we expect 😉

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Surveyor

Scrolling through the new features a couple at a time has gotten very annoying, especially given the lack of good filter and display many options. I would like to see a filter associated with ideas open for voting and the ability to show all in one long listing so that I can quickly review the relevant ones up for a vote and vote on the few that seem compelling.