"Initial Stage: We are reviewing your idea"

Community Team
Community Team
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tl;dr: Newly-submitted ideas will start out in a new non-voting stage: Initial Stage: We are reviewing your idea.

 

Next week, starting on Monday, June 17, we will change how newly-submitted ideas behave and display. When someone creates a new idea, it will be in a not-yet-open-for-voting status called: Initial Stage: We are reviewing your idea. This should improve the experience for the vast majority of users.

 

Why the change?

We are aligning the behavior of a brand-new idea with what has long been the practice. A member of the Community Team reviews every idea that comes in. Many of these new ideas turn out to be duplicates of existing ideas, or contain multiple separate requests; when that’s the case, we move the ideas into a non-voting status. While our documentation asks our members to wait for the review process to unfold before promoting the idea, we recognize that not every person has seen that directive before submitting a new idea. And while we strive to review each idea as quickly as possible, the reality is it might be a day or two before one of us gets to it.

 

What problem does this change solve?

When new ideas arrive in the Ideas forum open for voting by default, we’ve seen scenarios unfold that do not make for a good user experience. For example:

  • If the author and/or proponents of an idea promote it widely and many people vote upon it before the Community Team has performed its review, and a member of our team then closes it for voting, it results in a poor user experience for those who have voted upon the idea, only to find that they are now being directed elsewhere. (In case you’re wondering why we don’t just merge the votes for the new idea with the ones for the existing ideas: yes, we’d love to be able to do that, but our platform does not afford us that functionality.)
  • If the idea has been promoted widely and a member of the Community Team moves it to Moderating status to request clarification, ask the author to edit the idea, or archives it as a duplicate, that too creates a poor user experience for those who have received the idea link and come to the Ideas forum with the intention of voting for it, only to find that they are unable to do so.

 

What can I expect?

Starting next week, when you write a new idea, it will automatically go into a non-voting status called Initial Stage: We are reviewing your idea. We hope the stage name and its status will make apparent in the UI what has already been the documented practice for ideas.

 

This small change is part of our continuous review of our ideas process. If you’re interested in the evolution of the ideas process over time, please have a look at Adaptation: Feature Idea Process Changes.

 

Thanks for being a part of the Community and sharing your feedback and ideas with us!

7 Comments
Navigator

stefaniesanders Thank You

I mostly love this idea!

I can think of a couple of downsides, but overall, I think it's good. It may just be my workflow that needs adjusted.

First, I'll miss the "thanks for pointing out an existing idea" comments from you. These are always a highlight of my morning, but I can learn to live with those.

A benefit to having people see the ideas immediately is that it refreshes our memory that this really is a thing and here's what the solutions are. When you answer the same "question masquerading as a feature idea" three times in a week, it has more impact that getting three additional votes on an existing idea, which may not get noticed at all. In some ways, that's good because it cuts down on the noise, but it's been beneficial for me as someone who is, hopefully, providing answers.

Timing is everything. Okay, not everything, but it plays a big role. I might know of a work-around to something but I was super-swamped with my regular job when a feature idea came in the first time and so I didn't have time to respond. For me, if I don't work on it immediately, it's forgotten about. I'm reading Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and I don't think I'm the only person with that affliction, it seems to be a function of System 1. The next time it comes in, I might be able to spend more time on it or I might have read something somewhere else in the Community that I didn't know the first time, but because I'm not actively going through the existing feature ideas, I wasn't able to contribute.

Again, I probably just need to adjust my workflow and maybe start going through old feature ideas rather than relying on what comes into my inbox.

Overall, I'm glad to see the change. Consolidating discussions makes it easier to find things.

Community Team
Community Team

james@richland.edu‌, thanks for the words of encouragement! Actually I don't think your workflow will require any changes. New ideas will still be visible to everyone; they'll just start out in a non-voting state. Please continue to look through the new ideas and identify existing ones, as that is unbelievably helpful, and will allow me to continue to say "Thanks for pointing out an existing idea." I love giving out thank-you badges and points for this.

Navigator

Awesome!

Community Coach
Community Coach

Thanks for the update stefaniesanders.

I think it's great that not only is Instructure open to ideas about improving from its users, but it's also open to taking stock on the systems it has in place for such things. AND they communicate these changes so openly. Top work.

Good luck james@richland.eduwith adjusting to the new regime. I'm sure you will be fine. Your book sounds fascinating by the way. 

Community Team
Community Team
Community Member

James Jones wrote:

...

For me, if I don't work on it immediately, it's forgotten about. I'm reading Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and I don't think I'm the only person with that affliction...

As usual, you are right on the money with this and I just grabbed this book and downloaded it so I'll actually listen to it soon. Thanks!

Community Member

stefaniesanders‌, thank you for this explanation.

IMO, the Community team has formalized a process you were already doing: flagging duplicate ideas, and consolidating ideas that are related to one another. I see this Initial Stage as a way-station for new ideas, streamlining the process james@richland.edu‌ and most of us follow as we click on our Inbox links to group/section discussions.