Multiple forum improvement suggestions
We're coming from an Eve forum where we see in excess of 600,000 page views per month, so our forum usage is quite heavy. Zendesk is a fantastic opportunity for us to expand our support system but as we're so used to certain features from the forum software -- things we've come to expect as basics -- the transition will be a bit of a step-down in terms of forum functionality for us.
While I realize that submitting each of these as separate issues would be worthwhile for the "Idea" tracking nature of this forum, it's easier for me to just throw all these ideas into one thread and just get them out there. (Plus I know a couple have already been suggested.)
- Nicknames. If you've got multiple "Joe Smith"s as users, you can't tell them apart because their real name isn't unique; the email address is. If you force them to provide a nickname as well, that could be used here (as my name "Pulse" is) as their forum posting name.
- Location. Further to the nickname, it would help our agents greatly to be able to look at a forum posting and see the user's location and direct them to regional support based on that location rather than digging in to find their "time zone" and guess.
- Who made the last comment. While It's convenient for us to switch the forum view to "Recent", the list only tells us what time the last comment was made, not who it was by. That's a handy feature.
- Keep a Recent view. While I think of it, if I click on Recent to sort my forum posts by most recent, it doesn't stay in that view if I follow a link and come back in my browser. Just a nicety, not a necessity.
- Larger comment posting window. As I'm typing this, I see what our beta users are complaining about; the comment window for agents is resizable or able to be made full-screen. What's with the 7 lines that the users get? This is tiny and makes it frustrating to try and review my post.
- Edit your own comments. Number 5 leads me here -- this window is tiny, I can't see my entire post, I'm bound to screw up ... but if I do, I can't edit my own post, not even within a couple of minutes. Many forum softwares allow you to edit your post within a window of time in case you typo, or post in anger and want to then go back and edit / remove your comment.
- Images. Why can't users add images? I know this is asked in other threads for things like screenshots. For some reason our users have the "Attach File" link, but it doesn't work, just sits and spins around and around and never allows you to cancel it or complete you post. If the forum had a simple ability to parse an image from a URL even, that would be fantastic. Otherwise I'm stuck making a URL link to the image, eg. http://www.google.com/intl/en_com/images/srpr/logo1w.png
- URLs. Speaking of URLs, agents have lovely access to HTML but it would be nice to have the ability to link a website without making the link the URL itself. See above for an example of where the URL is stupid long but could have simply been linked with text. Check out UBBCode for items 6, 7, 8.
- Embedded videos. See images; why not allow Youtube links for embedding videos for users? Agents can do it, it would be nice for users to have this ability also.
- Quote text. Ssometimes it's nice to quote a user's comment in a box similar to preformatted text, this is more UBBCode >> [quote].
- Code. Another agents-only thing, we can make preformatted text, but if a user wanted to post some code, it's not pretty. UBBCode does it with the [code] tag.
- Post views / Hot Topics. While the Hot Topics widget is nice, it would be cool to see the number of hits each topic is getting in the forum itself. A simple counter beside the comments counter would be handy.
- Wonky date display. It's great that the date is shown ... but the year only shows up if it's not THIS YEAR.
- Zendesk's use of red and green, and button location. Seriously Zendesk, what gives. When you do things like log in/out or un/subscribe, you're shown an icon of a tick. In red. When an operation fails we are shown a green cross. I'm not colourblind but it seems like the UI designer might be. Also, what's with the CANCEL button being at the bottom right of the HTML window, and the submit button is on the left? Yet in standard fashion of user interfaces, the positive action is on the bottom right? (Example, the "Add" button to submit this post is at the bottom right.)
That's a long list of items but I'm certain that your capable code monkeys are more than able to get those features implemented to truly make Zendesk a complete solution!
I look forward to your response.