The mobile revolution is driving the “re-imagination of nearly everything”. Whether it’s social networking, media consumption, online shopping, or hailing a cab, every aspect of the online experience is impacted by the ubiquity of mobile computing. When consumers have a question about a product they’re evaluating or a problem with a product they already own, they increasingly use their mobile device to reach out to others for help. As a result, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we’ve seen mobile visits to Get Satisfaction communities almost double over the past year. That’s why we’ve re-imagined the Get Satisfaction mobile experience to ensure that interaction is an optimal one.
We’re very excited to announce the release of a completely redesigned and rebuilt Get Satisfaction mobile community experience! Your customers will now see a mobile optimized website when accessing your community from an iPhone, iPod, or Android device. This feature is now available at no additional cost on all plans — including our $0/month Limited plan! Read on to learn how the new mobile experience provides easier discovery and navigation, better support for your most active users, and a new sub-community experience designed around categories. And, most importantly, learn how this new experience is the basis for a completely new community application built on responsive design principles.
Easier Discovery and Navigation
Communities are invaluable for support and marketing organizations because they are a crowdsourced content generation machine. You naturally build fresh content in a format that other customers love. But it’s only useful if those customers can find it easily! With this release, we added several features to help orient new users to the community and help new and old users discover and navigate content they might find useful.
- Community and Category Information: We want new users to know that the community is the best (and official) place to get an issue or query resolved. We now display your company’s logo, your message to community members, your category logos, category descriptions, and have detailed pages including the support links you’ve configured for both the community and individual categories.
- Simplified Search Experience: We simplified the search and compose box by making it look more like search. Most users are comfortable with search and find it less intimidating or committal than initiating a new post, so we hope this gets more users into the flow of articulating what they need help with. And if they can’t find an existing conversation that addresses their issue, they can proceed to create a new conversation. We also added a new Preview capability in the posting process to help prevent users from making mistakes (a much requested idea from our customers).
- Related Conversations and Category Navigation: Given that over 30% of pageviews on our mobile site originate from a major search engine and lead directly to an individual conversation page, we want to ensure that the conversation page was a great entry point into your community rather than being a dead-end. We now give users a quick way to discover content that might be relevant to them by showing a list of Related content. We also display categories more prominently at the top of the page to serve as a navigational element rather than just as meta-data. Instead of clicking the back button to continue their search on Google or Bing, users are now more likely to continue their discovery process by browsing through content in the community.
Better Support for Your Most Active Users
Champions and other experts are the lifeblood of your community. They multiply your efforts as a community manager by making new members feel welcome, by answering questions, and by sharing their experience — all without your prompting! Taking care of these users is critical. So we’ve added several features to better support them.
- Monitor followed conversations: Your experts can now see a page listing the conversations they care about most. By tapping on their profile icon in the top nav bar, they can access a page showing all the conversations they follow ordered by recent activity.
- Recent conversations plus sorting and filtering: Your most active users never want to miss a beat in the community. We’ve added the much-requested Recent view showing a list of the most recently actively conversations. Plus, new sorting and filtering options give those users a handy way to find questions they can answer or problems they can solve.
- Reply and conversation voting improvements: You can now recognize your best users for their contributions via reply starring. Each reply has a star icon allowing users to recognize good answers or points. And we’ve incorporated improvements (based on your feedback) to allow users to me-too a praise conversation and undo a me-too of any conversation.
Categories as Sub-Communities
Our customers frequently use Products and Services to better categorize content. In fact, nearly half of all communities have been configured this way. If you manage one of these multi-product communities, it’s possible that your products are completely unrelated. You want to provide customers with a great entry point into the community that’s focused on the product they care about most while shielding them from conversations that aren’t relevant to them. Our customers have been asking for a better landing experience for these types of users. We listened and category sub-communities are the result.
With this release we’re expanding on Products and Services and introducing the concept of Categories. Categories will allow you to curate and organize the conversations users create. You might have a category focused on a particular product you offer (e.g. “Snagit for Windows”, “CoPilot Live v8 for Android”) or you might have a category focused on a topical area (e.g. “FAQ’s”, “Troubleshooting”). In either case, your users will be able to browse, search, and start conversations within a sub-community focused on that category area. We’re starting with support for Products and Services, but as we continue to build out our new business user applications you’ll see more options become available.
Here’s more on what the category sub-community experience includes:
- Category specific browsing: When a user views the category page, they are able to browse conversations the same way they do for the overall community by recency or with sorting and filtering capabilities. Your product champions are able to more easily track the latest activity and jump in on the most relevant conversations.
- Category scoped search: Users now have the ability to search within a category. The same search and post prompt that appears on your community’s homepage is available to users from the category page. Search results are filtered by that category and users can broaden their search to the entire community if they can’t find what they’re looking for within the category.
- Category scoped conversation posting: When a user initiates a search within a category and then proceeds to create a new conversation, the new conversation is automatically associated with the category from which they started their search.
Support for iOS and Android
The new mobile site supports iPhone (5.1.1+), iPod (5.1.1+), and Android (2.3.3+). Users that access your community on one of these supported mobile devices are automatically redirected to this new version of the community. Although we redirect to the mobile site only for these browsers, the site is built using HTML5 standards and supports most modern Webkit-based browsers. Over time, we plan to open up official support for other devices as well.
Beginnings of the New Responsive Community Experience
We’re especially excited that this mobile-optimized site represents the first version of our totally new community application. Leveraging responsive design principles, this single application will evolve to support larger screen sizes, including tablet and desktop displays. Given that we’ve seen the number of unique mobile devices visiting communities more than triple over the past year, we’re confident this responsive design approach will allow us to support the increasing proliferation of devices on the market and provide a consistent user experience regardless of the device. We’ll be making these changes iteratively over the next few weeks and months. But this is an exciting first step that reflects our truly mobile-first approach.
What Do You Think?
The new mobile application is available as of today on all plans, including our $0/month Limited plan, private communities, and localized communities (Spanish, German, Norwegian, etc.). Grab your iPhone, iPod Touch, or Android device and give it a whirl by accessing your community. Or try it on ours – https://getsatisfaction.com/getsatisfaction. And as always, let us know what you think in our community!