Community and UX Issues –
Just came back from the WANA con. Abu Dhabi. Wow, what an experience, what wonderful people and stories. I think the strongest message from this is that we (the teams and workspaces) should work more like a community – locally, regionally and globally.
makers shouldn’t work alone – and many of us were making the same mistakes without sharing them, sometimes not even sharing our success because of reasons:
Community-related issues –
– some felt as if they are competing in “who makes the greatest product”
– some simply “didn’t have time for” or didn’t prioritize documentation
– some describe feeling weird with the fact that this is a “dave hakkens” forum rather than “precious plastic”. (I think it’s a matter of UX and hierarchy more than an ownership issue)
– some stated they posted a question and it was never answered, so they gave up. let’s say for some reason I got here – took me about 30 minutes to answer him. yes the UX is currently not so convenient but people, all of you (including myself) – is this a community or not? or, as most people ask themselves – is anybody here at all?
– some were thinking “The videos are simple, It’s me getting this all wrong”, also “Why should they help me personally? they seem to be busy on V.4”.
UX-related issues – (I know you are working on this <3)
– data is not organized categorically / logically, so if you are not used to using open source forums for browsing (and if you get tired of reading English after a while) – it makes you think you should not depend on them.
people should be able to create topics, but it’s clutter. not finding what you are looking for means you leave and never come back.
-other UX Issues (because this is taking waaaaay to long but we should all talk about this). remember the topic (again – not –thread- but topic) from before? I believe this is also a UX issue:
-the question is in free text and I need to read through it. no tags, no topic categorization – It’s like we are in the nineties
– nothing encouraged me to answer
– when I copy/paste stuff into the new message it smashes everything to a big block of unorganized text. that really sucks.
– Did I even hashtag the right person? how do I know? is there no better standard way to do this? are we inventing everything from scratch and if so – why?
– why am I seeing this? (on personal messages)
– why can’t I copy paste images? (more in the one image that contains the images)
It really was an effort, but I promised myself to bring this up. hope this will be helpful.
please share your thoughts.
i totally agree with many points,
and i think the main issues are :
1- how to find what i’m looking for ?
-> currently the search bar make a global search in all forms and categories so we have to look over all results to check if it’s related with the subject we are looking for and many times that ends with making an new topic that is already discussed or by leaving the forum without posting a question or getting an answer …
=> maybe adding the same search bar in every level with filtered results can solve this problem
=> also when creating a new topic you can freely add tags and you can misspell this tags, so maybe adding suggestions on wrinting, and using the suggestions to the search bar too can avoid writing differently the same thing
2- how to notify the right person ?
-> currently in the forum we are notifyed if someone mention us “@user” or replies to a topic (not sure it works when you reply to a reply) but no one is notifyed when a new topic is posted
=> may be showing the tags on posts and adding the possibility to subscribe to a tag can help people bing notified if there are other posts with the same tags or if they want to help other people about these tags
=> the replies within a topic should be nested to correctly read related ones
hope the UX team can implement this suggestions
thanks for the feedback. love it, very helpful! Basically ALL points are on our list to be fixed for V4! Except for this one “some felt as if they are competing in “who makes the greatest product” Not sure how to go about this one, open for suggestions!
Very happy to hear that and thank you for actually reading through this post. back in NYUAD we were getting the exact “They’re drawing it” vibe from Kat – so it is nice to know all issues are being addressed. if there is anything we can help with – we are in – I can only speak for myself and the PLSTLV team but this is the same for most of the guys who participated in the WANA conference.
I have been working on forming communities, and still couldn’t understand that some content is making people more discouraged than inspired worldwide.
People see a great project and think all sorts of discouraging things – I think if the rest of the issues are addressed – if content is more informative and less “Captain Random” – if it’s less “how it’s made” and more about “How WE Made It” – it is better accepted.
Datasheets are important and should cover more than they did in V2, of course, but stories and people are more inspiring than data.
For an example – when a fellow pp maker sees the story of mattia in Koun Casablanca – He sees a modified extruder (“How can I do that without a machine like this? impossible! I don’t know how to make this”) the workshop (“how do I do that without a huge space in the city?”) and the workers (“I don’t have any workers! How did they get so much money?”). of course – meeting Mehdi and hearing it all from him – the story is much more interesting and complicated once told – and all of us can learn a lot from the Koun team – especially us in the middle east and Africa.
I think Telling these stories – the current PP success stories -is currently the best content we can share community-wise (and maybe also press-wise).
Regards and the greatest thanks for all that you and the team have done so far.
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