Ive got no idea if this is the right place for stuff but thought I would let you know about it... the first thing I want you to know about the existing Yammer community is that it is not just a place where I got to get information... it is also a place where I go to connect with people who are friends - this desire is often the single reason why I visit, then contirbute. The existing community represents a spectrum of my friendships, ideas, events (such as coffess and drinks) and interests... please keep in mind that you are not building a technical solution; you are building a market place where friendships are made, and people share their own interests; if you build this the sharing of technical info will loko after itself - get this wrong and the community will be limited in its usefulness.
- UX: the current UX is really scattered and confusing. The whole "too much white space" this has been mentioned enough that Im sure you get what needs to happen but there are a few others too:
- The front landing screen is dedicated almost entirely to topic headings (I didnt even realise there was a "My Feed" section beneath that until today (day 3 of the new platform). Topics are less important than my own personal interests (maybe they could go down the side?)... this brings me to the next piece of feedback:
- My feeds are confusing: I have no idea what Im actually getting through my feeds... there doesnt seem to be any opportunity to follow groups... I can follow people, but only if I click on their profile, but even then I dont see their contributions coming through my feed, so Im not sure what the point of feeds are
- Make social interactions more prominent in the feeds: Currently the layout is mainly "title" and "a line from a comment"... this doesnt illustrate the diversity of people or conversations that are happening ie at most its 2 people talking per comment... this community needs to be seen as a market place of conversation where people are connecting and discussing topics (have a look at how Yammer does this) - limiting the number of visible people connecting to 2 per conversation: limits synchronicity; means that you are not establishing enough of an incentive for people to think theres is value in reading further; and misses the opportunty to reinforce the community is a safe place where people can contribute (trust)... by this you are also limiting peoples ability to comprehend the nature/diverstiy of the opnions that are being offered, unless they take it upon themselves to dig deeper and deeper (ie go out of their way) to find something of interest, they wont post... we need to lift as many of these potential interest points out of the deeper screens and put them straight under their nose (have a look at how Facebook &/or Yammer does this)
- The ability to Follow someone is too deep in the system: In Yammer if I want to follow someone, I can do it without leaving the conversation thread... on this thing, I have to browse away from the conversation and go to their profile page in order to follow; this then means I either have to navigate back to the conversation or remember to follow after I posted... have a look at how Yammer manages the ability to follow a person without ever leaving the conversation.
- User profiles: when I hover my mouse over a user profile it gives me info such as number of likes recieved etc... this information has some value but not much. Understanding if they are active is semi-helpful, but you are missing an opportunity to award people status... how about aggregating these activity metrics into a contribution metric? Possibly community driven, and a combination based on both recent activity (so someone new can get recognised quickly) and contribution over time (so SMEs can get kudos too)... this is valuable realestate and its not really serving any purpose right now.
- Use of badges: ok, I put a post up elsewhere and we argee that the current use of badges is lacking... was thinking about it over the weekend and given you are seeking to create a support community, how about enabling people who post problems to award a star/badge/point to the solution that meets their needs. These could then be linked against peoples users profiles enabling you to implement levels of solvers based on quality and quantity over time (this talks to the SME suggestion above and actually could be integrated with your MVP program someone in the future).
- Mobile integration: in the old yammer community I would often access the conversations when on the train or something like that through the mobile app. Given Microsofts "Mobile First" mantra, you obviously get the importance of this, so am officially letting you know that its really useful and we need it asap.
- Tagging people: People in yammer were often connected to the solution by users who didnt know the solution themselves, but knew who did and tagged them in. Not having this feature as standard means this platform will only ever be as good as your search function, or as good as the users good fortune in stumbling upon the answer... tagging people enables the users to connect to the solution even though they describe things in different ways.
Thats enough from me at the moment