Continuing the discussion from Challenges and opportunities for improving member experiences on TuDiabetes:
I agree that the new platform feels less homey than our previous one, and I miss that as well. Our admin team and the Diabetes Hands Foundation staff have been brainstorming ways to re-capture that cozy, community feeling, and we feel certain that it’s possible!
Three of the main things that I think changed in the migration process in ways that have made our community feel less homey are:
- many members’ usernames changed, because the new platform requires that every member have a unique username
- profile pages on the new site do not have a place to comment, upload personal photos, customize colors…
- in trying to make the site visually cleaner and less overwhelming, we may have made it a little sterile (read: TOO clean).
Do you agree with this list? Are there things you would add to it?
Here’s what we have planned so far to address these losses:
“Tell Your Story” campaign: this idea came from our wonderful Lead Admin, @Brian_BSC, and you’ll be seeing more about it in the next week or so. The concept is to each post our diabetes story in the “Community - Share Your Stories” section of the forum and then add the URL to that post to our “member cards” so they’re easy for others to find, read, comment on, etc. (the member card is that box that pops up when you click on another member’s avatar in the forum). Several members have already done this: MarieB, Brian_BSC, Lorraine, CatLady06, DrBB. Check them out, and then share your own!
Adding some more visual design elements to the site, to re-establish its unique look and feel.
We’re re-igniting the artistic projects that TuDiabetes is famous for! Word In Your Hand, No Sugar Added Poetry, Drawing Diabetes… are all artistic programs that were begun very early on in the life of this community, and which really set TuDiabetes apart from other online D-communities. You’ll start to see posts about these later this week.
Regarding the unique member names issue: there’s not actually much we can do about this one. It is absolutely required by our forum platform. In some cases I can manually change a member’s username to something s/he specifically requests, but that something has to be unique (so if you want “Joe” and were assigned “Joe37” by our system it means you are the 37th “Joe” in our community and I can’t give you that name).
Please share other ideas you have about how to recapture our homey, friendly feel!! It will be an ongoing process