After a week of checking the beta of the new SCN I still struggle with the navigation. As a member of the Strategic Advisory Board I saw and tested single features like the blogging already long time ago, but I had not seen all parts together.
While we started with theory from a high level view we later continued digging into the details of single features. Now I know how to post a blog, create a question, write direct messages, start a discussion in the coffee corner and even moderate blogs.
And even the fact that some features are still a bit buggy, I am confident that these issues get fixed, probably sooner than later. And a good portion is anyway not important enough for a show stopper.
But after this week of testing with quite a lot people the content in general and personally became more and more and allowed a sneak preview of how it will look like after a Go-Live and I am a bit worried now how I can manage my "workplace".
As I said already in the beginning, I struggle with navigation, between the single features as well within those features.
On top left the Community drop down, to switch between blogs and Question&Answers and the Archive (old SCN content).
3 separate areas compared to just one area in the current SCN where I can see blogs and discussions and even the old content from 2004 to 2012 in one space, and I can filter by the content category if I want.
On the right the avatar for people related navigation, for account settings, Notifications and followed activities (tags, people, touched content), and direct creation of questions, blogs and messages.
On the right of the content below the Avatar the Actions menu, which is content related and a bit different per content. From here I can jump into the content moderation. 2 different moderation tools for blogs and Q&As with quite a different appearance.
Wow, while I just wrote this, the navigation became much more structured and clearer to me, now. So to speak the same effect that I saw often when sitting over a problem and finally while explaining it to a colleague, I found the answer myself.
Okay, still one thing needs a fix: from Blog moderation I can't go back, the community menu on top left is missing.
Navigation within a page.
When I am in the blogs I see the blogs in descending order by creation date.
There is no option to filter, e.g. by tag to get only blogs that are created for a certain tag (lets compare the tag with a space in the current forum for now)
There is no option to change the sorting.
And blogs just remain at their creation date, which means I have to scroll, to scroll, to scroll... to find a blog that stuck for many days in a moderation queue.
And also comments on a blog do not push this blog again to the top, it just remains where it is and sinks into oblivion quickly.
Quite different to the current SCN.
When I am in Questions & Answers I have some more options, I can sort by Updated, Created, Hottest and Votes.
Something similar would be good for the blogs too.
Still by far not sufficient. Again a filter by tags is missing.
I added the s in tags on purpose, as I wish to filter by more than one tag and even would like to see it as OR selection to get content from all the selected tags, and my dream would be to include peoples ID to filter content with a certain participation.
I know that I can filter by clicking the tag at a displayed discussion, but how far shall I scroll to get one specific tag?
What is actually the algorithm of "hottest"? Is a question hot because of many replies? (might be 20 which are needed to find out how the question was meant) or by the number of views?
In addition is only the subject, the avatar and the user name visible, no preview on the question. And a lot of wasted space, I see 6 questions in Q&A while I see 19 in current SCN content of a space using the same zoom factor (again happy scrolling)
Currently I have bookmarks in my browser to access directly the content page of the spaces that I moderate. I think I need something similar for the tags in future, still no idea for how many tags I need to create bookmarks compared to the 3 spaces today. Or I need to create something custom with Google Search to get a similar experience as today.
I am not at the end yet. The worst part is still ahead.
Today we have the communication stream which has all content that I track in communications which is the content of all spaces I moderate plus Support SCN and About SCN and the moderation space, and actually some specific persons. This is my operation center.
There is nothing comparable in the Beta.
Then we have an Activity stream, actually 2 in the current SCN: followed activities and all activities.
The followed activities has redundant content to my communication stream, but it has additional content which I only want to read if I time, e.g. the posts in the ABAP Development space and SD, QM, PP and the content of all people which I follow, almost 300.
This could be a pretty large stream, but Jive allows me to hide certain content. Example: I like to see what person A posts, but I don't want to see their answers from space XYZ.
This filter feature is not available in Beta Activity stream, contrary, in current SCN I see only the last update of a discussion while I see each update from a followed person indivdually in the stream of the Beta. (again happy scrolling)
While the new activity in beta has quite a good preview, I would love to skip this preview for the "social activities" (that's when someone follows something or voted it up. For sure I am interested to see that as I often found good content this way. But this takes to much room.
I also would like to select more than one filter at a time, e.g. display always blogs and Q&A, but no social activities and no profile changes. This would at least safe some clicks.
And if this page would auto update when new content is added it would be even better.
All in all is the new SCN a good place for people who occasional visit it to find an answer or post a question, but no fun for power users.
thanks for the detailed feedback. You have raised a number of good points about how we can improve the UX for the application by improving the filtering options. We will be addressing a number of the issues you raised regarding the UX , such as adding the header navigation options to the people profile and expanding the options for searching for and filtering Blog Posts and Answers by tags as we further develop the new community applications.