Why Aren’t You Using the Forums?

July 30, 2008

In Rational Asset Manager, we currently have forums for users at both the individual asset level and the community level. After looking at current deployed instances for Rational Asset Manager, the forums have been very rarely used.

The development and usability teams are trying to understand if the way the UI is designed prevents people from easily creating forums and having discussions in them. We wanted to create a blog entry about this topic in hopes of eliciting feedback through the comments about this lack of use. What stops you from using the forums? Are there specific parts of the UI that prevent you from creating forums and posts?

Screen shot of a forum page

In the current implementation above, the main page for a forum has a lot going on. What are your thoughts on this page? Do you think everything on this page should go here or is there a better location?

Another idea shown on the above page is the idea of sharing the same forum with multiple assets. Do you like this ability or do you find it confusing?

Please leave any thoughts on the questions above or other thoughts on the forums in general in the comments section. Your input will help us make future design decisions about the UI.

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3 Responses to “Why Aren’t You Using the Forums?”

  1. Thomas Wood Says:

    Speaking from the developer perspective;

    The asset forum is a little awkward to use, but the worst part is that another place for a forum to discuss the Asset is not required. These assets are developed in some other repository where the source code resides mostly.

    What might be more interesting is recording the dialogue between the consumer and provider of the asset and providing some means of recording the contractual agreement between them

    regards
    thomas

  2. Heather Frantz Says:

    One idea that we have had is that instead of having forums, having more of a comments section where people can talk back and forth but there is no hierarchy and nothing has to be created. Would this be of more use to you?

  3. Thomas Wood Says:

    The requirements for comments/forum would be:

    1. To record the conversation/negotiation of the consumption of an Asset
    2. The Review process commentary (which you have)
    3. The comments that are fed back on the asset, that is related to the rating


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