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  • Marcin Zajkowski 97 posts 558 karma points MVP 2x c-trib
    Jun 04, 2018 @ 14:02
    Marcin Zajkowski

    CG18 & Retreat discussions: Our Our

    Hi fellow Umbracians,

    as it was mentioned and even demoed during the CG18, we've been thinking how we can make Our (great again ;)) better for all of us.

    Besides of ton of the brainstorms, sketches and prototypes made during the Retreat, I've attended Open Circle chat about the same topic as well. Let's use this thread for now to exchange all the ideas, suggestions and things discussed not only during the Retreat and session.

    I'll try to sum up what we've disccussed now.


    We tried to separate the whole topic into couple logical groups:

    1. Content Creation (and quality)
    2. Navigation
    3. Maintenance

    In the topic (1) we discussed how we can help people to create more detailed and tailored questions & answers e.g. about specific issue with Umbraco version, problem or other aspect. How to improve quality of posts etc. We wanted for example to get rid of Categories and make some additional things optional (e.g. I needed to select Umbraco version to place this post... which is totally version independent ;)).

    In case of (2) we've been thinking how we can improve UX/UI of the whole website to enable us - and all the users - to find answers quicker. We've introduced the detailed and grouped predictive search feature + discussed how we can tell users more about what's going on and what they can do and achieve by using the platform (from onboarding process to the 'mark as resolved' for the thread).

    Topic number (3) was all about curating the whole amount of content already on Our. Marking issues as outdated (already submitted as part of the PR: + how we can really close the threads when they have the correct answers in them.

    All of those were documented using wireframes and presented in a form of short presentation (all attached below).

    Call to Action

    Please, contribute and share your ideas and observations. We're all more than eager to start coding something around it, but first we want to 'seek to understand' if all those issues are something for what You - as a Community - are looking for. So.. feel free to place your input in this thread. Thanks in advance!


    1. Presentation of ideas from Retreat:
    2. Wireframes:
  • Matt Brailsford 2404 posts 11680 karma points MVP 6x c-trib
    Jun 04, 2018 @ 14:18
    Matt Brailsford

    I'll comment with an idea I suggested at the retreat but didn't get picked up as a discussion point to take further at the time.

    One thing that was mentioned was the difficulty in finding an answer to a thread and also bad questions in the first place (by bad I mean not well explained, rather than a dumb question). Examples like stack overflow were given, but we felt that SO was too strick a format.

    My suggestion was to seperate out the question / accepted answer from the discussion and allow the question to be modified by forum members as more detail is extracted from the OP. This way a succinct question can be worked out, and the answer can be put together forming a great single place to find an answer later on, but it still allows a conversion to take place at the same time, which SO doesn't allow and which is an important part of our.

  • emma burstow 43 posts 238 karma points MVP 2x c-trib
    Jun 04, 2018 @ 14:20
    emma burstow

    Hi Marcin,

    Thanks for putting this together. I'd also like to add the minutes from the Friday's open session as there were some fantastic ideas around Our that came from it...

    Our.Umbraco.Org - How we can improve the site as a resource, a community hub and a place to share ideas

    How do we use Our? People not using it at all (prefer Stack overflow or Slack) People using Our without search feature (using google to find content) Some people use it and keep track of threads that have been useful manually, outside of Our functionality

    Barriers to use? Difficulty of navigation Visibility of site Lack of quality of content (old answers not archived, too much sifting through to find the right thing)

    Ways of improving usability Organising info in search results into categories. Currently, the smart search is far more helpful than the actual results page. The results page presents info so poorly that worth never hitting return when using search bar. Duplicates could be flagged Consistency across site - currently 3 different pages that present search information, with different UI’s, and these do not all offer the same filters or layout. Collect date on duplicates and unify these threads in the forum.

    Karma Looking at different ways to celebrate success Spoke of the new Hi Five feed Diversifies things people are celebrated for Useful in surfacing content for people who are not on twitter etc.

    Forum Flag questions with answers Have two distinct categories of thread - Qs and discussions. Some devs are using threads for discussion that should never be closed or marked as answered. Mark things as dormant too Make forum more user friendly for non-developers.

    Categories Should they be removed? Mixed response but overall good case for rethinking the categories but keeping them This allows for designers and content editors to access the forum and post questions

    Our as a community hub More visibility is needed - can we have a link in the back office dashboard as standard? ‘Launchpad’ system to help people navigate to their content more quickly. A bot style interface that allows users to go to forum posts when they wish to ask a question or directs to documentation if that is what they need. Profiles to be improved so users can take pride in their presence on Our. This will tie into the new Hi Five feed too. Focus on onboarding new users. A back office ‘tour’ style tutorial for new installations that signposts Our as a community hub and resource. Would be fab to have a personalised homepage for each signed in user. Modules that can be manipulated by user.


    Looking at Our as a whole, there is so much that can be done so we boiled it down to ‘quick wins’. These are as follows: Homepage redesign Profiles improved Emails and onboarding process streamlined Improve questions by templating More obvious signposting throughout Making search results pages consistent Packages/projects names to be made consistent Add Our link to back office

    Conversation to continue on GitHub in the meantime and all attendees urged to log suggested improvements/issues in the issue tracker.


  • Nicholas Westby 1923 posts 6445 karma points c-trib
    Jun 04, 2018 @ 14:53
    Nicholas Westby

    One minor thing I'd like to see is the ability to unmark a reply as the solution.

    I had a thread a while back in which an admin unintentionally marked a reply as the answer a while back, and they were apparently unable to undo that.

    I can see other instances where one person replies, that gets marked as the answer, but then later a better reply gets added and so that one should be marked as the answer rather than the first reply.

    FYI, I just tried marked a second answer as the solution, and I was able to click "Mark as solution". However, when I refresh the page, the original reply that was marked as solution was still marked as the solution (and the reply I tried to mark as a solution was not).

    So I suppose there is a second request I have. The ability to change the solution to a different reply.

  • Dan Diplo 1482 posts 5723 karma points MVP 3x c-trib
    Jun 20, 2018 @ 15:57
    Dan Diplo

    I'd also consider: Is the ability to mark an answer as the solution actually useful?

    As you say, a lot of times the "accepted" answer is not necessarily the best or most relevant one. Over time the accepted answer could be bettered or end up just plain wrong (if things change).

    On sites like Stack Overflow how often do you find the accepted answer isn't the most upvoted answer? Lots, in my experience.

    So what value does it add? I guess the idea is people can jump straight to this answer, but often a lot of context and wisdom is lost if you do this. This only works if the accepted answer is always correct, and always the best answer. If this isn't the case, it's actually misleading. It also discourages other people answering, even if their answer is better, as the question has been flagged as being answered.

    So personally I'd just remove this all together. Maybe use Karma (votes) as an indicator of usefulness?

  • Jan Skovgaard 11245 posts 23441 karma points MVP 6x admin c-trib
    Jun 04, 2018 @ 15:15
    Jan Skovgaard

    Hi folks!

    Looks like you have had some really good discussions about this at the retreat. I just skimmed through the presentation and the mockup and I like the changes that have been sketched out.

    Content quality

    However...content quality can be difficult to manage I think. I would be nice to nudge people to start out by writing more detailed questions before hitting submit but sometimes people are just frustrated and in a hurry and then they ask their question without keeping in mind that they know the full context and those that read the question simply don't and therefore will need to ask some initial questions - Well some ask initial questions and others try go provide a solution straight away. I don't think that's something that we can easily manage apart from trying to guide people better during the creation proces of their question of course. But I think it's important that this is not going to get too much in the way so that people get even more frustrated and don't ask their question at all.

    It occurred to me the other day that while people tend to suffer from "The curse of knowledge" while providing answers (myself included) it's actually also something that the people asking the questions sometime suffer from. Since they often don't reveal the full context of a piece of code they're struggling with getting to work. They somehow assume that people "just know". But there are more than one way of doing things so sometimes it just takes a bit of dialogue back and forth before the a solution can be suggested. So therefore I think that some subtle nudging during the creation proces would be a good idea so it's easier for those trying to help the person out to better get the context before going into solution mode.

    I'm having a bit of a hard time with the "There can be only ONE solution" part. I mean...Sometimes there can be more solutions to choose from depending on context where it's hard to tell if one solutions is better than another. But perhaps the idea is that all of the good and useful stuff can then be added to the post with the solution in it?


    Also as an admin I see that new users await admin authentication before their posts will show up at the forum - I know this is in an effort to avoid spam, which we've had a lot of issues with in the past. But I feel that this proces should probably also be looked into so that new users don't need to wait several hours sometimes to be approved so they can either get help or offer their help - But perhaps this is the most safe way in order to avoid spammers etc. ?

    Also I remember at an earlier retreat Niels expressed the idea that newcomers should be available to simply start out by asking their question straight away without having to be signed it but just providing their e-mail and then after their question was posted they would be bothered with the profile creation. The post then might not show up in the forum before they have completed their profile though...But I think the idea is still relevant. I think it's important to lower the barrier of entry to the forum. So perhaps don't bother people with the full profile setup but let them fill in the basics and then let them post their question and then later send them an follow up e-mail that asks them to complete their profile for instance. (I can't remember how that works today since I obviously have not been creating a new profile for many many years :D).

    Post creation

    When creating new posts I seem to recall that on the first version of Our there was a "suggested" topics function, which would try to make suggestions for already created posts to check out before doing a new post. Maybe that could be brought back in an improved fashion? I don't know...But perhaps that could help limit the amount of duplicate questions if of course it work well enough? But maybe that's where a bot comes into the question instead? It could perhaps also suggest relevant documentation or specific code snippets? Or perhaps it can show reported bugs if the content of the post is about an error that happens after upgrading for instance and some of the potential stack trace relates to a known bug somehow?

    Also when it comes to creating a post I think it's worth considering that only the bare minimum is required to fill out in order to make the post and then when the post is created nudge the creator to fill in some details such as Umbraco version, forms version, etc. and maybe have a "skip" function if it becomes too much for the user to deal with. But that of course opens up for uncategorised posts...Hmmm...?

    Ok I think that was some of the stuff I had on my mind for now - I hope some it makes sense :)


  • Owain Williams 395 posts 1159 karma points MVP 2x c-trib
    Jun 20, 2018 @ 14:45
    Owain Williams


    Just found this post and that actually brought something to my mind - there is now obvious way to see threads under specific topics. I like the old style of forum where there were boards and within each board you had threads. An example is a board for General Chat, a board for Our discussion, a board for Core CMS discussion.

    I think there is too much focus on twitter / slack as a communication tools, so if you don't know who to follow, how to join slack, these forums could seem a bit empty.

    I'm as guilty as many others who just post on slack looking for help but I am trying to post more on here so that a conversation can grow from it.

  • Jon R. Humphrey 164 posts 454 karma points c-trib
    Jun 20, 2018 @ 17:43
    Jon R. Humphrey

    Hi all!

    First, thanks to everyone for all the great ideas and for being such an amazing community!

    Second, maybe an idea would be to have more/better fields to report in when submitting a post; or even better, multiple templates to choose from depending on what kind of post you're submitting?

    Not much there

    To this: More detail required

    I only suggest this as I'm working to implement a new reporting system for my clients and have consistently had to go back and ask the same questions to them to be sure I can replicate their issue? Once I've started giving them the basic info I need to help them the flow seems to go a lot smoother?

    The following is slightly adapted from 7 Examples of Bug Reporting Template You Can Copy For Your Web Testing Process

    Title: Keep it brief, use correct terms, and include where you found the issue. A good example would be DEVELOPER – Unable to add a new property to my DataType.

    Description/ Summary: If you feel the name is not sufficient, briefly explain the bug with words. Phrase it in a natural language. Keep in mind that your description might be used to search in the Umbraco Issue Tracker so be sure to use the correct language.

    Environment: Depending on your browser, operating system, zoom level and screen size, websites may behave differently from one environment to another. Make sure other developers know your technical environment.

    Source URL: Make it easy for other developers spot the problem by including the URL of the page where you found the bug. Big time saver!

    Visual Proof: A picture is worth a thousand words. Although it might not be enough, a visual element like a screenshot or a video will help your developers understand the problem better and faster.

    Steps to reproduce: A screenshot is a proof that you had a problem but keep in mind that a developer might not be able to reproduce the bug. Describe with as much detail as possible the steps you took before you encountered the bug.

    Expected & Actual Results: Explain what results you expected and be as specific as possible. The page doesn’t work as expected is not useful. Also, describe what result you actually experienced.

    Optional: You could also include extra information such as the severity (critical, major, minor, trivial, enhancement), the priority (high, medium, low), the name of the reporter, the person assigned or a due date.



  • Simon Justesen 44 posts 101 karma points
    Jun 21, 2018 @ 12:13
    Simon Justesen

    I'd love to see more community generated content in general. Maybe it's because I don't hang out in forums as much as I used to (that doesn't mean I don't use Umbraco). But I have a hard time finding the sources of information, because they're scattered all over the internet.

    In the olden days, the "community feel" was much more elaborate than it is today. The community is so much more than the yearly CG. The more people gets to have a say on things, the more they'll feel attached to the project. Which packages should we prioritize as a community? How can we help out in other ways that will promote the platform? Which barriers/ shortcomings do we need to tackle? Umbraco is in many ways far superior to any other Open Source CMS-platform, but we need to be better at telling people that. HQ needs to be much more vocal about direction of this project.. It's not enough to just talk about things, things need to be set in motion (I, myself, is a master of procrastination). But how? when?

    We need to bring some of the old magic back. I'd expect Our to work more like a central hub of Umbraco information than it does today. Inspire people to share their stuff on this site, rather than just posting it in the neverending streams of social media. Things tend to get lost out there. To misquote a weird man with a funny hairdo: "Our first. Social media second."

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