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JackDunaway
Posts: 2,594

Idea Exchange for Forums

The Idea Exchanges seem like a great way for NI to judge customers' sentiment and importance of feature requests for LabVIEW. It provides a formalized and centralized means exclusively for improving NI products and services. I presume it also is a factor in budgeting resources for R&D.

 

I would propose an Idea Exchange be made for the forums as well. This forum (the Feedback on NI Discussion Forums) has got great little tidbits scattered throughout on features that would make these forums AWESOME (not to mention all the tidbits scattered throughout other forums). The problem is that those tidbits are buried in so many places that it would be extremely difficult to centralize them into one list, and it would be impossible to prioritize the ideas. The other problem is that since the ideas are so scattered, the number of people who would read them and say "YES! I want to see that too!" is dramatically reduced (compare readership of this current Feedback forum to that of other forums - it just doesn't get the same exposure).

 

Basically, it's unfair for me and others to continually make snarky comments here and there about how the forums suck and Lithium doesn't know squat about web development or user interfaces. It would be much more beneficial for the us the community and for the developers/maintainers of these forums if we could get some structured, formalized feedback on how to make the forums better through the use of an Idea Exchange. This would provide sufficient, constructive means for people like me to vent frustration about bugs and features that I want in upcoming forum upgrades. (I'm here because I like the forums, not because I want to gripe about the forums!)

 

One important benefit for both NI and the community that an Idea Exchange would offer is that we all can see loads of these Ideas being marked as "Completed" when forum upgrades are implemented. It feels good to see our feedback is being heard and knowing we have worked together to make a better product/service. If we don't see a list of "Completed" features and bugs, it will be all too easy to focus negative attention on the new bugs.

 

(I am aware the current process is such: one of us makes a suggestion here or there, and then Laura makes an Idea on the actual Lithium Idea Exchange. She's really diligent about this, but the problem with that process is that it's not our community that prioritizes the features we request, it's Laura's peers on that other forum who decide if our Ideas are worth implementing or not. I think it should be the LabVIEW community that prioritizes feature requests, and then Delegate Laura and Delegate Todd are able to go to Lithium directly with their constituents' priorities. I mean, it's not even worth bugging Lithium about a feature if nobody but the creator likes it!)

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tst
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Re: Idea Exchange for Forums

Either that, or we can be impolite, join the Lithium forums (if that's possible) en masse and flood them with ideas and kudos until they do what we want.

 

I would say that it could work, but it could also work if we simply had another board for it. You would just need people to look at it and vote and (crucially) you'll need a response from Lithium.


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JackDunaway
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Re: Idea Exchange for Forums


tst wrote:

Either that, or we can be impolite, join the Lithium forums (if that's possible) en masse and flood them with ideas and kudos until they do what we want.


 

I asked Laura if we could do that and be her lackeys, but the offer was politely declined. (We would probably all be suspended as spammers! I agree that this would probably not be the right approach)
 
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Re: Idea Exchange for Forums

In the meantime, all are welcome to join me in adding forum_improvement_ideas tags to these tidbits scattered around the forums. I have shotgunned 100 or so at these posts as a starter.
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Re: Idea Exchange for Forums


JackDunaway wrote:

tst wrote:

Either that, or we can be impolite, join the Lithium forums (if that's possible) en masse and flood them with ideas and kudos until they do what we want.


 

I asked Laura if we could do that and be her lackeys, but the offer was politely declined. (We would probably all be suspended as spammers! I agree that this would probably not be the right approach)
 

I actually talked to a contact at Lithium recently about our forum users voting on the Idea Exchange and it seemed like it would be fine.  If you want to register and vote on ideas that I've submitted on your behalf, please do so.  You could also submit new ideas, but they may get more visibility if I submit them as I am a known user / customer of the platform. 

 

One problem I also see with our users submitting ideas directly is that sometimes the idea has to do with a feature of the Lithium platform that we don't have turned on.  That just means that I can provide some insight into whether or not your idea falls into this category prior to submitting the idea to Lithium.

 

I am open to creating an Idea Exchange for the forums themselves.  Some of your suggestions are things that are not directly tied to improvements in Lithium's software but rather to how NI has chosen to implement the forums.  Those sorts of ideas we have control over.  I am solely responsible for the features on the forums now, so it may take some time for me to implement some ideas but I would be willing to give it a shot.  We would need to keep the Feedback board for bug reports and other more support focused questions.

 

However, my first priority is getting the forums upgraded so that you can see the new version because some ideas and bugs are addressed.  And then, we will start on a new list of ideas and bugs :smileywink:

 

I appreciate all of the time and effort all of you put in to make the forums better for everyone AND all of the questions that you answer throughout the community.  I look forward to continuing to work with you all on improvements.

 

Regards,

Laura

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JackDunaway
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Re: Idea Exchange for Forums


Laura F. wrote:

 

I actually talked to a contact at Lithium recently about our forum users voting on the Idea Exchange and it seemed like it would be fine.  If you want to register and vote on ideas that I've submitted on your behalf, please do so.  You could also submit new ideas, but they may get more visibility if I submit them as I am a known user / customer of the platform.  I'm convinced there's not enough crowd momentum of LabVIEW forum users who would invest the time to make this venture worthwhile. Also, based on your comment below, I realize I'm not qualified to do this.

 

One problem I also see with our users submitting ideas directly is that sometimes the idea has to do with a feature of the Lithium platform that we don't have turned on.  That just means that I can provide some insight into whether or not your idea falls into this category prior to submitting the idea to Lithium. See next comment...

 

I am open to creating an Idea Exchange for the forums themselves. Neat! This would solve your comment above. An internal Idea Exchange would help you prioritize which components/widgets to turn off/on without bothering Lithium with potentially moot requests.  Some of your suggestions are things that are not directly tied to improvements in Lithium's software but rather to how NI has chosen to implement the forums.  Those sorts of ideas we have control over.  I am solely responsible for the features on the forums now, Neat! I hope it came with a pay raise so it may take some time for me to implement some ideas but I would be willing to give it a shot.  We would need to keep the Feedback board for bug reports and other more support focused questions. Agreed, an Idea Exchange is not a replacement for the Feedback Forum. The Idea Exchange should not be used for "day to day" maintenance such as broken links, that's what this forum is for.

 

However, my first priority is getting the forums upgraded what's your expected launch date... days, weeks...? This forum upgrade I would like to see the Idea Exchange upgraded a few weeks before NIWeek so we can test-drive it a little while, because like last year, we're going to see a little surge on the Exchange after NIWeek. so that you can see the new version because some ideas and bugs are addressed.  And then, we will start on a new list of ideas and bugs :smileywink:

 

I appreciate all of the time and effort all of you put in to make the forums better for everyone AND all of the questions that you answer throughout the community.  I look forward to continuing to work with you all on improvements.

 

Regards, My reciprocate regards :smileyhappy: 

Laura


 

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tst
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Re: Idea Exchange for Forums

Having a local idea exchange would probably only be useful if Lithium looked at it as well. I get the feeling that they don't feel how much we want certain things.

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Re: Idea Exchange for Forums


Laura F. wrote:

... sometimes the idea has to do with a feature of the Lithium platform that we don't have turned on. 

 

 ...

 

Regards,

Laura


When deciding to go with Lithium, I was told that there was the option to let the frequent-flyers conduct our own polls.

 

Could you please turn that option on for everyone that has 1000 post or more?

 

Thank you,

 

Ben

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Laura F.
Posts: 1,900

Re: Idea Exchange for Forums

Jack - the current upgrade date for the forums is next Thursday.  It should involve just a short amount of downtime and I will be posting a notice the day before so everyone knows what to expect.  We'll have plenty of time before NIWeek.

 

After the upgrade you'll see a post from me with a list of changes.

 

Thanks!

Laura

 

 

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Laura F.
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Re: Idea Exchange for Forums


Ben wrote:


When deciding to go with Lithium, I was told that there was the option to let the frequent-flyers conduct our own polls.

 

Could you please turn that option on for everyone that has 1000 post or more?

 

Thank you,

 

Ben


Ben - What did you want to create a poll about?  I am happy to create a poll if action can be taken on the results of the poll.  I noticed that the Remove the "No Error" from the Error Cluster was posted to the Idea Exchange. For that particular poll idea, I think the idea exchange is the best place to find out how many users like the idea.

 

Thanks,

Laura