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Behind the Community - Creating a Better User Experience

Community Manager tylerdo
Community Manager
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This article was written by Cassie Torda - UI/UX Designer

 

A community is a great place for users to communicate, get product support, and discover new ways to use Egnyte. Our previous community was more of a support forum where users received product help from Egnyte reps. To improve this experience, we designed a new community to encourage more peer-to-peer interaction.

 

The Opportunity

In a truly successful community, users support each other by responding to posts and believe they’re contributing to a helpful, collaborative process. During our research, we discovered that the strongest communities are designed to include gamification. Incorporating fun and a little competition gives users the opportunity to earn high-rank titles, acquire badges, and gain special rewards. We also wanted to include a way for customers to request and vote on new product features, allowing easy product feedback. After comparing different community options, we decided on Lithium - a community platform offering most of the features we wanted.

 

Defining Goals

Lithium worked with us to define what would make our community a success and was very involved in helping us get there. We worked closely using a shared folder in our Egnyte domain and invited Lithium employees as Standard Users to upload and download files. This allowed us to collaborate securely in one folder, avoiding multiple email attachments and file versioning issues.

In a brainstorming session, Lithium and Egnyte reps from support, marketing, and product completed various exercises, providing valuable feedback that helped us determine how the community would operate. From that day, the goals of our new community were to improve user satisfaction, allow users to find information easily without filing support tickets, and make Egnyte products even more powerful by allowing customers to be heard. In order to meet these goals, users must interact with each other, provide feedback and product requests, and share personal best practices to help others become more productive.

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Design and validate

Throughout the design process, we wanted to ensure user participation was easy and finding answers was simple. We decided to nest our other two help resources, Helpdesk and Egnyte University, under the Community to provide ease of access to additional resources in a single hub. We wanted the navigation bar and Latest Topics to make choosing where to post easy, while also allowing anything related to Egnyte to be discussed.

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We validated our design by conducting one-on-one user studies. We spoke to Egnyte customers to ensure they understood where to post specific questions, different topics, and how to find help. We also spoke to external, non-Egnyte users to understand their motivations for posting in other online communities. These user studies helped further identify what we had to do for our community to become a success.

 

Creating a better user experience

Our application of workshops, brainstorming, design and user studies enabled us to create a better community experience for Egnyte users. Now that we’ve made it easy for them to search and post, we’ve seen an increase in peer-to-peer communication, collaborative problem solving and shared ideas.

 

Already an Egnyte user? Introduce yourself, help a peer, and shares your ideas.

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