Notifications when logged in to Gather are useless to me if I follow many topics/posts
So I follow a lot of topics in the Zendesk community forum.
I get lots of email when new posts are created in a category. Visiting the forum web page itself to follow topics are not a good user experience to me, because it's slow to load and to navigate, and hard to get an overview. But following we email works fine, because I can quickly scan if I'm interested in my email client, where I get these email notifications.
Sometimes, people @mention me. In my email client I then get an email with subject: "you where mentioned in...". That's good.
When I log into the forum to reply, there is a notification bell that always show 6 entries (max no. of notifications I guess) when I have logged in.
It's full of irrelevant events, because I have lots of topic subscription.
Also, scanning threads where I was mentioned and replying back, are bread and butter for participating in a forum.
So today I want to reply to the posts, where I was mentioned.
These replies or threads are not shown in notification. Aa my screenshot shows, the notification is full of uninteresting "Article was created" events. Why is this a "notification" event? Why is not messages/mentioned and topic/category activity separate things?
I want to check where I was mentioned and reply.
I try to find the posts. I go into My profile > My activities > Contributions. Then I search Posts/Community comments/articles. Or maybe I have to search My profile. I checked briefly. couldn't find it.
I never found it.
Had to go back to the email that had to the direct link to the article with the where I was mentioned.
How are people keeping track of their conversations?
Kind of crazy. We don't use the Gather product, but we are on Enterprise Suite, so its included. Sometimes, I evaluate if we should leverage Gather for our forum, and switch from our current solution.
Every time I do it, Gather is just full of these kind of things that convince me our current users would hate it, if we switched. I feel the people building this community product, have now idea how forums works.
Thanks Joel, once again, appreciate the detailed feedback. This is an experience I've been concerned about for awhile, but you're the first end-user to mention it. We definitely have some goals to improve these experiences and make notifications more relevant. I don't expect to be able to implement that for several months or possibly until the end of the year, but it is on our mind and we would love to hear additional user experiences.
Yeah. I think most feedback you get are from admins, altough I don't see why other community managers haven't reacted.
Features used by end-users that don't impact admins have a tendency not to be reported, while end-users themselves often move on, since it's not something that is actively blocking them.
The end-result however, I suspect, is less engagement on the forum, when collaboration features like this only work in some scenarios.