We’ve been working on a couple of very exciting user interface changes to EngagementHQ over the last few weeks and are very happy to announce that we upgraded http://bangthetable.com with the changes last night! Over the next few days we will be carefully upgrading all of our clients’ sites.
These changes are principally designed to improve the user experience and particularly to make it easier for community members to participate in the discussions. These improvements were based on feedback from our users, clients and very vocal family members.
A big thank you to all of you who sent in your feedback in the form of suggestions, complaints and compliments. These are all useful and help us improve our product. Please keep them coming.
- Major improvements to the forum functionality.
- Several improvements to the visual layout of the EngagementHQ platform.
- Making the projects page on our corporate site dynamically list projects from across ALL of our clients’ consultations.
- Our hosted projects site, bangthetable.com, is now consistent with our overall branding.And a host of behind the scenes changes.
Now on to the details along with some screenshots.
- We have added a prominent “Sign up to have your say” button to replace the old “sign up” link in the navigation bar. This should help drive up the conversion rate from site visitors to forum participants.
- We have also added a simple text resize link for site visitors to increase and decrease the font size. This should make the site more legible for all visitors.
Project Page Design
- The project description text no longer wraps around the logo. This should help to tidy up this part of the site a great deal and make it much more readable.
- The old “Views” counter next to each discussion question has been radically updated. We’ve made it clickable to make navigation into the forums that much easier. We’ve also changed the display number from “Views” to “Comments” to better reflect the amount of activity in response to the question and added a speech bubble icon to make it clear that there are comments behind the button.
- The sub-navigation bar has been restyled using “folder” icons to make it easier for participants to navigate between the forum, email and submission features.
You will notice a couple of major changes right away:
- We have added a pop-up signup box when a visitor attempts to join the conversation. This should make it much easier for people to sign up to join the conversation and thereby increase the conversion ratio from site visitors to site participants.
- We have also added social share links for each comment to make it easy to share a specific comment via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and email. This should help spread the message about each consultation far and wide and drive more participants to the discussion.
The forum user interface has also been upgraded based on some specific feedback from our users:
- The blue “reply” button now disappears when a participant clicks it to open the comment “window”. This should remove any confusion for participants about whether to click the “submit” or “reply” buttons once they have finished typing their comment.
- The forum now comfortably supports up to ten levels of “replies” to comments. This will make it much easier for participants to follow the thread of a discussion.
- Longer comments in the forum will now be truncated so that users can read them if they choose to rather than being forced to scroll past long essays.
- We have removed the non-clickable thumbs-up and thumbs-down because they were confusing to some users.
- We’ve made it clearer with messages and a countdown timer that messages can only be edited for 10 minutes after posting.