FOLLOW US

Blog

Decoding Your Community & Responding To Feature Requests

By On June 10, 20105 Comments

We’ve all been working on our newest product SlideDeck and I’ve personally learned quite a bit from our community. While working on updating the SlideDeck plugin and answering community support requests I’ve found that many of the questions and requests can be translated into features that should be put on the road map. Sometimes it’s necessary to decode these requests and figure out which to implement, as design by community can get messy if left unchecked.

Overwhelming Demand

Adding an autoplay option to our standard SlideDecks in WordPress was a “no brainer”. We got about a dozen requests directly from our users in plain English: “Can you please add the option for Autoplay in the WordPress plugin?” or “Where do I find the option for Autoplay?”
In this case, the answer is obvious: Many people want it so add the feature.

Subtle Suggestions

Other potential features are harder to decode due to the infrequency of the suggestion. One user asked about changing the length of the excerpt text (shortened summary) in our new Smart SlideDecks. He was promptly told how to do this by one of our developers, who explained that he would need to edit the code. A week later we got an email from another user asking the same thing. At this point we started to wonder if this should be added as an option.

The decision to add this as a feature needs a bit of decoding: Do I add a feature just because two users requested it? Will it complicate things? Will other users even use the feature?

Keep It Simple, Then Iterate

SlideDeck’s Smart SlideDeck feature has had an excellent reception. Its strength seems to be the near-zero effort required to add it to your WordPress site.

I am glad that we’re updating the interface in an iterative way; it could have overwhelmed the users at first if we didn’t keep things simple. Now we’re adding features on an “as-needed” basis.

Listening To Users

Design by committee or community is usually asking for trouble, but if you allow the vocal users to initiate these design and feature requests, you might be surprised at how much valuable feedback they contribute. Listen to your users, but try to filter their complaints into constructive criticism.

Related Posts:
Smart SlideDecks For WordPress
SlideDeck WordPress Plugin Now Available

Leave a Reply

Comments (5) Responses

  1.  

    Jamie Hamel-Smith

    Hi Oscar,
    The best course of action for this scenario is to make sure that your CSS styles the SlideDeck properly when JavaScript is disabled. SlideDeck will override any styles it needs to apply for the sliding effect to work. Users with JavaScript disabled will simply see a styled <dl> element.

    We don’t currently have a release date for version 2, and we have not started development on it. Currently our focus remains on SlideDeck version 1.x

  2.  

    Oscar

    Hi Jamie,

    Will you be adding to SlideDeck a built-in feature — either via GUI in WordPress or code editing in the jQuery version — that will make it easy to set up SlideDeck to handle the situation when a website visitor has JAVASCRIPT DISABLED in the browser (like in some corporate environments and those who simply disabled Javascript for security reasons)?

    If you will, when will it be available?

    If not, why not?!

    Also, when will the 2.0 version be released? I’m hesitant to buy SlideDeck now because you might release SlideDeck 2.0 soon after I’ve bought version 1.x.

    Thanks!

  3.  

    Prestashop User

    Please, please, please, with a big fat juicy cherry on top, can you develop a module for Prestashop?

  4.  

    mrwindowsx

    nice pluign, like it !!!

  5.  

    Chantal

    I am looking forward to a new WordPress Pro version. Any idea when it will be released?