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Hi All,

First of all, best wishes to all! Hopefully you'll find a lot of happiness, inspiration and creativity in 2016.

The other day I was talking to my colleague at the coffee machine (what a wonderful place to have conversations), and we were talking about data and traffic, what topics do well and which don't.

He mentioned that the community was our number one 'section' to attract traffic onto our website.

But at the same time it also has a pretty high bounce rate.

For those not that familiar with these terms, it represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave ("bounce") rather than continuing on to view other pages within the same site. Bounce rate is a measure of the effectiveness of a website in encouraging visitors to continue with their visit.

In terms of behaviour one could say that users are googling a certain question, find the answer and continue with their thing. If I was in the middle of a project that is what I probably would do.

But it could also be users who are looking for an answer and don't find it, or who have more questions but are not invited/teased to browse the rest of the website to find them.

Since any modification to guide these users would influence the forum I wanted to throw this out here and see what your thoughts and ideas are.

For example, we were thinking of showing a couple of related topics at the bottom of a page or potentially where the OP block is (top right), and merge that info in the first post.

We could ask if a visitor found the topic useful or not.

We could implement a small menu on the side that shows what other categories we have on the forum.

What do you think?

Is there something you specifically don't like? Or do like?

Looking forward hearing from you! :)

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Meh, again I believe it is a "one time visitor" vs "community contributer" question. Or atleast, it is something that some new users might find useful. For me it would clutter my screen with information I already know about/where to find/irrelevant.

Also, I bounce a lot too. Check if there is something new, no? bye bye! Every hour or so.

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Well maybe it is between those 2 groups, but both groups are important and valuable groups to Ultimaker. Also, a one time visitor could become a community contributor.

There are so many people who say they have been 'lurkers' for quite some time (sometimes even half a year) before they decide to buy an Ultimaker.

If we can take these people's hand and guide them through the Ultimaker website they could eventually become community contributors.

The reason for me asking is if we could come up with an idea which would (minimally) clutter your screen and still help.

Maybe it doesn't have to be clutter, but it could also be useful?

And did you know we have email notifications nowadays? ;)

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showing a couple of related topics at the bottom of a page

only if it works! when going to other forums and seeing the 'suggestions' underneath and thinking: this is not what I was looking for..... Being a bit sceptic... because the search function is not optimal.... (carefully expressed)

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I think 95% of my visits at the forum are for checking, if there is something new I'm interested in. Especially in the morning in the sub, i open the latest threads on the mobile like others read a newspaper. so my way through the forum is: topic-overview -> interesting topics -> close. Nothing else intended.

Another use case is serching for specific info like: what settings did others use for nylon? When I have that info, I'm pleased and leave.

Edited by Guest

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Can you see where on the website has the most bouncing?

You might find there is a lot that do not contribute to the forum are just there to download or check cura.

There seems to be a lot of people just read on the forum but don't actually participate. I get likes from a few.

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Can you see where on the website has the most bouncing?

You might find there is a lot that do not contribute to the forum are just there to download or check cura.

There seems to be a lot of people just read on the forum but don't actually participate. I get likes from a few.

 

On the forum, or do you mean what pages in particular?

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As a "forum contributor" I do not have any misgivings, providing

a) I do no have to tick a box to get out of a thread I have viewed

b) page load times are not degraded

c) I have no idea how it all works, but you do not start displaying advertising boxes that display something I have recently viewed on Amazon - my greatest hate after semolina!

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Hi @yellowshark, thank you for your contribution.

if a) is about asking if a topic was useful, I was more thinking in the lines of having a checkbox available at the bottom of a thread and you can select it if you please.. or not. You would be free to leave ;)

b) and c) makes sense, also I don't see how c) would benefit the bouncerate if we start showing the latest Nike fashion ;)

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would using google to search the forum cause bounces? because that is the only way to search.

If the bouncers are actually newbies people coming to the site to look for something I bet they are coming here, trying to use the search feature, seeing it's total garbage, getting frustrated and leaving because there is no way that are going to find what they are looking for using the search.

My 2 cents .... I would put any extra energy you have into fixing the forum's functionality and usability which would make this type of user happy and stay since that actually get an answer.

I'm not sure collecting "this thread helped me" clicks will help you at all. I see those on google's help pages and other sites and I never get to use them since I'm typically not finding the help I need there but in some other forum. And the only way those might be made useful would be to know what the exact issue was that the person was looking for (their search terms) and which part of the thread (which often contains lots of good suggestions and fixes) was the part that they found useful.

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I find that I use the Ultimaker forum differently from other forums, and the main reason is the community lead page, i.e. https://ultimaker.com/en/community. It shows me my selection of subforums and (usually) the last three active threads. (Sometimes it shows more but I don't know when and why.) So I usually check the unread posts of threads I am interested in - and leave. So essentially anything beyond those three threads shown on that page has drifted off my radar screen.

In other forums I go to the subforum - i.e. Modifications and Hacks - and I get the usual page with 20 or so threads. I spend a lot more time browsing these threads, sometimes going back weeks and months looking for interesting topic.

What I'm saying is: While the community lead page certainly is convenient, it severely limits what's being presented. It encourages to come by, take a quick look at what's new, and leave. And I believe this is exactly what you are seeing in your bounce rate.

So if this makes any sense - I would get rid of this page. Give me an overview page showing the main subjects (The Art of Printing) with their subforums (Tips and Tricks), along with the number of threads and posts in each. Enough. Now, when I enter that subforum, I get a page's worth of the latest threads. And if I have more to choose from, I tend to start browsing - and stay longer.

As far as showing related topics is concerned: An interesting idea, but - like others have said - only if it works. My experience is that these topics will be selected because of similar headlines - but there is absolutely no garantee that this topic offers any valuable information. Which brings me to the topic of wiki - but I'll post that in another thread.

My 2c.

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Hi @aggertroll,

There is an option to customize your forum dashboard.

If you visit this link to your settings you can select in what order and quantity the forum is shown to you.

You can rank your favorite topics higher and show more of them (up to 10!).

Or you can minimize it to 0, and force yourself to visit every subforum.

Is this a helpful tip for you?

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Hi @aggertroll,

There is an option to customize your forum dashboard.

If you visit this link to your settings you can select in what order and quantity the forum is shown to you.

You can rank your favorite topics higher and show more of them (up to 10!).

Or you can minimize it to 0, and force yourself to visit every subforum.

Is this a helpful tip for you?

 

Hi SandervG,

Thanks for your response - and yes, this is helpful. But I don't think me tuning my settings will have a great effect on the forum's bounce rate.

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I kinda agree. I look at the dashboard more then the forum. I would prefer that the dashboard was more of a what you missed since you were last here kinda thing. I know there are settings for this on the forum but it doesn't show what people have actually typed as a reply. I find the written content entices me to open it.

If I make quite a few posts then the dashboard fills up with what I have posted. I don't want to see my own posts because I know what I have written.

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I kinda agree. I look at the dashboard more then the forum. I would prefer that the dashboard was more of a what you missed since you were last here kinda thing. I know there are settings for this on the forum but it doesn't show what people have actually typed as a reply. I find the written content entices me to open it.

If I make quite a few posts then the dashboard fills up with what I have posted. I don't want to see my own posts because I know what I have written.

 

As an alternative to the dashboard, if that doesn't fit your flow you could also use this filter to show the latest activity. You could also customize the forum-topics to show the threads you most care about and display the last 10 active topics. We have made quite a variety of filters, which you can save. You don't use them?

Anyway, I can understand that the search-function is not optimal yet, and the dashboard shows the last activities. But I don't think this is the main cause.

I think the biggest cause is that it ranks very high in google on keywords / questions (ours and not-community), people click and than leave again, satisfied or still searching.

I'm happy to hear 'related topics' are OK, when they are in fact related.

Looking forward if you have any other ideas!

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Yes I do use the filter and have set it all up but you have to open each unread topic to see what the new content is. Some times you open the topic to see the unread message and its just a "thanks"

while the Dashboard shows a bit of the reply so you can see if its worth opening or not.

It would be nice to have a filter to be able to show content inside a thread in the forum, and set how much of this content you want it to display maybe??

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