Update About the Development of Priority Features
A month or so ago, Oliver Kohl shared the roadmap for the new community. The team has also been publishing release notes twice a month — outlining bug fixes and feature development resulting from our team’s biweekly sprint cycle.
Beyond that and some public one-on-one interactions with individual community members…we haven’t told you much about what’s arrived or what’s coming. This will change, and moving forward, we plan to promote the release notes more prominently and highlight key achievements in the community itself.
We want to show you how your feedback is guiding what we do.
And what we will do.
In the coming weeks, we will share a more detailed version of the roadmap, and we will update regularly to give you better insight into our plans.
For now, I wanted to inform you that — based on your ideas and input — we have made the following new features the highest priority. While I don’t have details for all development timelines (the forthcoming roadmap should have more specifics), I wanted you to know what is getting the most focus:
- Improved tagging experience: The new community depends upon tagging to serve up content, and getting these tags has been a chore for you. As a short-term solution, we published an Excel spreadsheet and community members have shared their own approaches for working with tags. Looking toward the long term, we are working on a tag browser for finding content across the entire platform, and also adding functionality to make it easier to choose the appropriate tags when creating content (such as suggesting tags based on content context and user history).
- E-mail notifications: This is one of the features requested most. We will roll this functionality out — and improve it– incrementally. In the first phase, members will have the option of receiving (or not opting in for) general e-mail notifications. We’ll deliver this by December. As next steps, we will make sure that the e-mail notifications give specific details about what has happened, and you’ll be able to personalize what you receive.
- Easier activity stream: More like an activity river, amirite? The activity stream works — at delivering everything. If you’re following content, people, and/or tags, your activity stream is probably overflowing. Sifting through all those updates is painful, and it’s not even clear which items have been read. That’s why we are working on a grouping approach that condenses activities. (For example, in the current setup, if you’re following a post, and that post gets 10 likes, you get 10 items — one for each like. With grouping, you’d get only one single item in the activity stream for the 10 likes.) We’re also looking to overhaul the overall activity experience, with more information provided for each activity and functionality that shows which items you’ve already clicked on.
- Intuitive Q&A experience: What’s an answer? What’s a comment? Members have made it clear that the answer to answers is questionable. We revised the Q&A resource page to give a bit more explanation, and we’re planning on a Tip in a Minute training video on the topic — but the important thing is that we’re working on delivering a more intuitive Q&A experience for users. We are gathering input — and we even shared some proposals at SAP TechEd Barcelona to get real-time feedback from our members.
- Clearer navigation: Speaking of an intuitive experience (or a lack of one)… Don’t you just hate it when you’re having trouble finding content, and then you think you found it, and you head into the archive (if you’re lucky, because this content isn’t tagged), aaaannnddd…you hit a dead end? Of course you do — as well you should. Our experts in user experience are putting their heads together to come up with improvements for content discovery.
- More powerful search: Community discussion about more useful search is as hot as…uh…the “hottest” questions filtered in search. Right now, you have a variety ways to filter search results — content types, answered and unanswered questions, relevance, popularity. You know…the basic stuff. But that’s not enough, and we’re working on more filtering options — such as the ability to filter results by tags.
As always we want you to continue to provide input that helps guide our efforts. Report bugs with the Using SAP.com tag as outlined in this post. Offer — and vote on — suggestions in our Idea Place.
We can’t do it all, and what we can do can’t be done overnight, but we are listening and working behind the scenes. As Gali Kling Schneider reiterated at SAP TechEd Barcelona: We want to build this community with you.