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SandervG

New improvements in the making

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Hi Friends,

In Q1-2015 on we want to implement some new features and improvements to the forum and I wanted to run them down with you guys to figure out how you feel about them and if perhaps we are missing some things.

The new forum will be pretty similar but will have a better search engine so it is easier (..doable) to find the answer you are looking for.

We want to support this by implementing something similar to 'yahoo answer', where the starter of the thread can select the answer which helped him the most.

We also want to give more recognition to those community members who actively contribute to Ultimaker and its community. We want to do this by expanding some of the features we already display on someone's profile, like the amount of posts someone has.

We haven't figured out exactly how but we were thinking about something in the range of making a variety of 'badges' members can earn by for example, writing a guest blog / helping other community members / participating in the 'post your latest print' / translating Cura etc.

Through those 'badges' I think users can recognize other heavy users and see onto what level they participate and contribute in the community.

Later we decided we did not only want to give those participating users recognition but also reward them. That is when we were considering making it possible to use some badges for discount on filaments etc.

Our goal is to maintain the current social and low-barrier environment on the forums, but add an extra dimension that gives you the option to convert your effort into more affordable filaments (for example).

Next we also wanted to expand the user profile, by adding other skills sets you posses. For example, CAD modeling / woodworker / electrical engineer / black smith / whatever.

We wanted to do this so you could let the entire maker out and profile your entire list of interests. This is of course optional.

There may be some more features and I will post those later, but for now I was wondering how you felt about these implementations.

It would be extra helpful if you can describe why you do or don't like a certain feature.

Looking forward to hear from you! :)

 

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Thanks for your feedback Tommy!

Very good point about the link profile and we will definitely include it in our plans.

This will also help showcase the innovative capabilities of users and show there interests.

Do you have input on what badges/categories would be interesting to distinguish?

 

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I do like the idea of a better search engine. With the ability to link to YouMagine it would be nice to be able to select which designs you want to show in your signature, although on the other hand all the pictures in the signatures make the forum look a bit busy.

 

I really wonder how you want to setup the measurement system behind the rewards.

My experience with corporate KPI's has made me extremely sceptical towards such an idea.

What are the indicators you want to use? quantity of posts? that will only increase the nr. of non relevant post, potentially making it even harder to find relevant information.

quality of post? how can you measure it? do we need to rank each other? that's probably not so good for the admosphere. Just based on nr. of likes? maybe some people are experts but not very funny...

The selection by the starter of the thread might be usefull.

 

I think it's much more complicated than it looks at first sight, with a big risk of breaking something good ... specially the introduction of rewards can encourage unwanted behavior. I would be in favor of changes that make users find better information faster. I know, I'm being sceptical again … all because of love for this forum ..

 

Finally a booktip .. reading this book certainly had it's impact on my aversion towards ranking systems ..

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Circle-Dave-Eggers/dp/0345807294

 

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Yes. No ranking please. For the very same reasons as UltiArjan wrote. For the forum's sake. Especially no bonuses such as filament discount based on the number of posts or similar. This would simply kill the spirit of the forum.

A better search engine would also be greatly appreciated here.

 

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I also agree on dim3nsioneers posting. As soon some kind of bonus system or batches or something else which could be misunderstood as challenge is introduced, the community steps back.

I saw this on the photography community of my girlfriend and on some other former helpfull groups where this systems kill the groupdynamics and friedships become competition...

Both thumbs down for this... Sorry...

Regarding search and the profile expansion I'm curiouse to see :-)

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SandervG. Just keep the forum as it is. It works fine and doesn't need additional effort spent on "encouragement" with badges etc.,

Instead, for the time being why not concentrate your efforts first on things that really matter... improving the packaging of the printer (which frankly is dire) and is a source of many problems for the end user (myself included)... then, get yourselves up to speed with shipping and revise your shop costs for spares... these are all issues which come up regularly. Address those first and then you won't have to repeatedly be spending your time apologising to fed up customers and chasing purchase orders that haven't been fulfilled. Arguably these are more important issues that need your focus than fancying up the forums imho..

Make sense? :smile:

 

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Hi guys thanks for the feedback :)

I've read that most of you don't like the badge/reward idea, i'm wondering the thing that's bothering you is the badge idea or the fact that it would give some discounts?

I understand your "fear" about people wanting to compete to get the most rewards and maybe turning the friendly community in something more like a competition. I'm guessing that this won't be the case if the badge system is only virtual but gives no actual gain.

I think that this should go asides with the proposition of selecting the best answer (thus by the thread starter). This is the way i think that the badge score would increment. It could be useful to let either the moderator team or the Ultimaker team to add a validation to the correct answer (or select another one if it's the case).

 

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Hi Guys, thank you all for the feedback!

First things first; @ Peggy & Chris, lets try to stay on topic. We know there is more room for improvement and you should be happy to know that basically all things you mentioned are things we are looking at and in some cases solutions are already in the works. I feel I should also mention that at Ultimaker we have different people do different things.

As community manager it is, among other things, my job to stay in touch with you guys and make the forum the best forum there is. We have different people working on assembly, on shipping and on R&D, same goes for the packaging design for instance.

Now, about the new features. I do not want to turn this forum into a competition.

I don't want people to compete to one another. The aim is more to create more insight in the activities and contribution of the user in the forum and with Ultimaker. If you are involved enough so you write a guestblog you can be proud of that and we want to offer those users recognition. If you are experienced enough to help other users, you deserve to be seen as an experienced user with a lot of knowledge.

The possible discount that might come in play, would not be worth being an active member if you don't sincerely care about the community. It is more of a thank you from Ultimaker. Only a few percentage on a few reels of filament, 1 time.

Another thing I feel like I should underline, is that Arjan mentioned corporate KPI's. Even though we are growing and becoming bigger, we are trying hard not to become corporate (in the bad way), and stay close to the community.

It is not part of who we are and it wouldn't suit us.

That is also why I want to discus this option with all of you.

How the ranking would take place? For best answer I think this honor is for the starter of the thread, in the end it is his/her problem that is solved. Just as now it is up to the moderators to possible add a footnote or make a change for the good.

I am still trying to pinpoint the common resistance. Would it matter if we did not add discount?

I mean it would be as a gesture for all of your work. if no one wants it, we can just leave it.

Just add more insight in the contributions?

I don't see why that should remain hidden.

I will also work on a list of things I had in mind that can be considered for the badges..

 

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Perhaps a system where the topic starter could mark an answer/multiple, as "the solution to their problem". Something like this:

http://supportforums.blackberry.com/t5/Native-Development/ListView-Elastic-Rubber-Band-Bounce/m-p/3025306#M69066

Again, no need to give credit, just a tool to promote the answers, leading to less double topics

 

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Hi Sander,

"I am still trying to pinpoint the common resistance"

 

I’m still trying to figure out what’s the problem you’re trying to solve.

It’s usually a good idea to define and prioritize problems before defining answers. Perhaps when you do this first, and ask the members of this forum what they consider the problems to be solved, you’ll have a better starting point.

 

For now I hear a lot of “solutions” focused on forum contributors, and less on improving the content of the forum.

 

“ The aim is more to create more insight in the activities and contribution of the user in the forum and with Ultimaker”

Why ? what’s the point? People don’t look for contributors, they look for answers. A system to rank the quality of an answer could very well be a good thing, but IMHO it should only be used for ranking answers in a search engine, and not be about ranking people. I can’t understand how badges and ranking people can help users get better answers…

 

Hope you want to share your problem definition...

And about the "different people doing different things" I'm sure this will dig into the same type of resources that could focus on YouMagine ... there's still a big gap to close with thingiverse ....

 

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Like I mentioned earlier, we are not trying to solve a problem, neither are we trying to fix something (because it isn't broken).. But we do want to evolve and (hopefully) improve.

Nothing is ever perfect, not the couch I am sitting on, nor the handle on my door. There is always room for improvement, growth... even here.

At Ultimaker we believe everyone is a maker, and I think being a maker is something to be proud of.

Being self-sufficient, being able to create that bridge between an idea and a physical object.

And if you look at, for example maker faire.. it is full of people who love to showcase what they have made.

And this forum, our community, is full of that same type of people.

People who make things, where they should be proud of.

Stories they should tell.

And, among others, but through this forum and the new platform we are working on we hope to create a stage where that is possible. And at Ultimaker we take pride that through the Ultimaker 3D printer we can empower people to make those stories.

The forum functions as something like a trouble shooting guide, but besides that the most popular threads are the Post your latest print-thread and the coffee amongst friends-thread. To me, that means something.

There is more then best answers and trouble shooting.

So that Arjan is saying that people are not looking for contributions, but for answers.. I disagree.

I feel users are also here to share experience, inspire and talk about 3D printing and things they do.

3D printing / making brings people together here, not the problems they are having. (that too.. but there is far more to it imho).

And with recognition, things to connect your 'online-being' too, we feel there is more foundation to share.

Those stories can be very broad, from just sharing a project, or through writing inspirational guest blogs or a simple snap shot of your latest print, etc.

 

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dislike the idea of badges, and dislike the idea of rating - in the same way s I HATE the FB decision to show me 'top stories' in my timeline rather than 'most recent'. It is my timeline!

I read the messages I want tor read and actually I think I am able to work out which ones are useful - and in fact I like to read all the answers/messages as they always throw some light on the subject even if the answer is wacky!

I DO understand that you want to improve what is probably already the best community forum - so this is not an argument for stasis, but 'badges' IMHO is not the way to do it (I would see it as dumbing down and be really sad :()

You already have a forum that makes me visit twice a day, with the best 'since last visit' function of ANY that I visit.

Discounts are always fun - but we are already fully engaged and a once off would be a bit strange (I get a regular one from my 3dhubs membership - which varies by how much I print - so a completely understandable relationship).

I love the variety of the discussion on here and anything changing how I 'see' them would upset me :)

Put a poll up (hate them too) and then obey the numbers !

James :)

 

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Arjan, happy to see we are both looking into the same direction.

Maybe badges is not the right word or the right 'tool'. We will give it some more thought.

But it is good to know we want to establish the same.

Sorry if I misread contributors for contributions, but if I did I still don't fully agree. If someone takes the effort

of doing a write up to help others I think it is fair if he also gets some credits for it. And during the regular visits on the forum the very active members are recognized and valued for there overal contributions.

At James, I am not 100% sure, but I believe the idea now was to display the 'best answer' when you use the search option (perhaps it will be optional?), so i.e. you are looking for an answer. And when just browsing the forum the 'best answer' will be highlighted, but the order in which it is displayed won't be affected. I think this is a good common ground, what do you think?

Nallath, that was one of the first things we handled :)

 

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There are different people posting different things on the forums, some only give advice and some only what they have made etc. there could be a badge for different types of fields and some people might have multiple badges.

For newbies it could be good to know you are getting advice from a good source.

if you see someones profile with a maker badge then you could click and see all the amazing things they have printed.

this could make you more inspired or you could ask tips on how they get those fine details etc.

 

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Hi Labern,

Thank you for your 2 cents. That is exactly our plan.

It can function as a source for more conversation and interaction.

I do feel resistance when we talk about 'badges', so maybe indicator is better. Dunno. But.. Do you have any suggestions on what would be good indicators or what would be a valuable distinction in all the content that is being shared?

 

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If someone takes the effort of doing a write up to help others I think it is fair if he also gets some credits for it.

 

Then ask people to do write ups for a news section of the site, or some blog, but don't do it for the forums.

Also, you'd have to back log everything, otherwise you won't do justice to the current contributors.

Perhaps tags for UMO/UM2/BOTH are interesting. I find myself reading things, realizing that they might just not be useful after all for me.

And what did you think of this Sander:

"

Perhaps a system where the topic starter could mark an answer/multiple, as "the solution to their problem". Something like this:

http://supportforums.../3025306#M69066"

 

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Sorry, perhaps it wasn't clear.

I do mean write ups for different sections on the website.. Not per se on the forum.

We now also have a guest blog-section where people can do write ups.

Ok, maybe I wasn't clear on that.

But the idea is that with your account you can log into everything.

So it would be the same account where you write a guest blog with on our news/blog section, and your contribution will show (through badges, or through something else..) in your presence on the forums.

Does this make it any clearer?

What do you mean with back logging everything?

Like that whatever people have done now, that they get recognition for that too/still?

That would be the ideal situation yeah, and onto what level that is actually doable we will try to implement that.

And Titus, Yes that is a great example of what it could be.

Nothing wrong with that, is there?

 

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Not to sure on what could be a visual indicator. Could be little icons like a little robot for a top maker, hand for a good advisor etc. Or it could be just a label like mine just says member. It could say top advisor. (Not that I am)

I only use selected sections of the forum so not sure of the full content shared here but I would think, advisor's, makers, hackers (for mods to um printers), designers (linked by youmagine), programmers and you could have a top socialite (for people here chatting away every day)

I think selecting the correct answer with a jump to answer in a topic would be great.

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Sander; How does youmagine fit in the picture? Your forum ideas about sharing & collaborating of makers, showing what your proud of etc... could also be integrated in youmagine. Probably good to clearly define a strategy on both. I would love to see youmagine f.e. reach the same technical quality and user friendliness as thingiverse... guess closing this gap will also require substancial resources. .

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As others have said, and in the prior thread.....fix the search function (or improve it)

Do not add badges. I have seen other support sites do this and some members will chime in needlessly to boost their post count (and reach a certain rank). Thankfully, here, almost all the forums have comments that help the original poster's question and minimal "noise" (junk posts).

Someone made a good suggestion....setting up Ultimaker Original and Ultimaker 2 areas. Since you have two products and a broken search engine, finding an answer for the Ultimaker Original brings up a lot of results for Ultimaker 2 machines. Do a search for underextrusion and other printing problems and you'll see that finding an answer for your particular machine can take longer to find answers to.

Document the firmware changes/Cura changes. Most would like to know what was changed from one version to the next.

Better communication on coming upgrades/new features. Most would like to know what upgrades are being researched and developed. I understand keeping some things secret....but too secret leads to rumors and speculation. :)

Lastly...I see a lot of custom parts for upgrading both printers. What are some "Ultimaker Approved" upgrade parts one can print? So many things I see, I am not sure if they would be good for my printer or cause damage. Some guidance would help me! If I should leave well enough alone, say, with a fan shroud, I would like to know :)

Thanks for listening!

 

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Someone made a good suggestion....setting up Ultimaker Original and Ultimaker 2 areas. Since you have two products and a broken search engine, finding an answer for the Ultimaker Original brings up a lot of results for Ultimaker 2 machines. Do a search for underextrusion and other printing problems and you'll see that finding an answer for your particular machine can take longer to find answers to.

 

Alternatively, one may introduce checkboxes labelled 'applies to UMO', 'applies to UMO+', 'applies to UM2' and so on (or a dropdown box at a later stage with many more products... :) )

 

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Hi Labern, thank you for the valuable input.

We will definitely take those into consideration.

At Arjan, it was decided at the foundation that YouMagine was dedicated to be an independent platform and therefor is not linked in the new platform we are building. However, the connection to Ultimaker is undeniable and therefor in the user profile there is room for a link to a YouMagine repository with files.

For feedback on the UI on YouMagine I would recommend to go to the YouMagine thread, that is being followed closely by the development team belonging to YouMagine.

LePaul, thank you for your feedback.

About setting up areas; the search engine will be fixed so that takes out the bigges thorn I think. Besides that the labeling sounds like a good idea. It is worth thinking over. I don't think opening 2 areas is better because some things concern both printers and opening 2 threads is pollution. Labeling would probably be better, and checkboxes would prevent typo's but then again you also want users to label it the way they want to.

Document firmware changes; there is now a https://www.ultimaker.com/blogs/news/categories/cura-release-notes in the news-page.

This will get a better home.

Better communication, I don't really see how that has anything to do with the forum, but more with the global company policy. But a brief answer would be that it is something we are still struggling with. We have already fooled ourselves before with release dates that could not be met, for what ever reason. And that causes a lot of anger and frustration.

Saving something until you are absolutely 100.000% sure is a better option, and that usually is on a very short term.

That is not necessarily how we will always be doing it, but for now it works best.

Ultimaker approved, good idea. How would you suggest we measure something to be Ultimaker approved?

What happens when something is Ultimaker approved but ends up giving someone problems?

Maybe community approved would be better, if it is downloaded a certain number of times.. or if it is downloaded a certain number of times and also has like a 4 star rank, so users also find it positive.

I don't think we always have the time to test everything and the community has far more many hands and eyes to do so.

(and plenty of expertise..)

 

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