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Forums changes - updates thread!

ProjectTeam
Beyond Blue Staff
Beyond Blue Staff

Hello everybody

Really excited to reach out today with an update about your forums. To cut to the chase, we’re undertaking significant work to upgrade and re-design the platform to be a space that better supports you and your needs.

I’m aware there have been some announcements like this in the past, which haven’t resulted in the change you were hoping for, and we appreciate that can be very disappointing.

However, while there is always the chance that things don’t work out as planned, this time around we are confident that we’ll be able to deliver significant improvements to your online experience. This has us really excited here at Beyond Blue and we’re so happy to start sharing with you more about what we’re working on, how we’re working on it, and when you’ll be seeing changes.

What we’re working on

Simply put, we’re setting up a brand-new technology platform to power these forums. We’re working with a great technology partner, who specialise in forums, to deliver a more modern experience with improved features (many of which you have been asking for for a long long time).

In setting up this new technology, we have a lot of work to do to make it align to your needs, to make it a safe space and to make it really valuable to you. But at the end of this process, we hope to launch with a fresh, modern website which looks and feels like a warm, supportive space, and which allows you to really get the most out of your interactions here.

To say we’re excited about this, truly is an under-statement 🙂

How we’re working on it

We know we cannot do this without your input and feedback. Beyond getting deeply acquainted with the existing feedback you’ve provided in these forums, we’ve also set up a ‘community group’ with seven of your peers to support this project. At the moment, we’re meeting weekly to talk through a range of questions, workshop out ideas and ensure we’re really representing community need with the work we’re doing.

From this point on, we’ll be using this space in the forums to provide updates on the work that’s in play, to get your feedback and comments and really bring you along this journey.

While we know we won’t get everything right the first time with this work, we know that involving you along the way, will help create a much better outcome in the end.

Please look forward to seeing more posts (hoping to update you all weekly) in this space!

When you can expect changes
At this point, we’re hoping to deliver the new platform in 2022 and are working hard to reach that goal. We’ll of course be updating you along the way if that changes.

Given we’re moving to a brand new technology platform, a lot of changes will come all at once, and this could be a bit of a shock when you log-in. We’ll be doing our best to share sneak-peeks of the platform as we’re working on it, so you can see ahead of time how things are shaping up and to help smooth that transition.

Although there will be new things to learn and explore, we’re confident that the platform will provide much improved functionality and really improve your experience overall.

Interacting with this thread
We would love to hear your thoughts, feedback and questions! While we can’t respond super quickly to all questions, the aim is to send answers to any questions we’ve received weekly on Fridays - so be sure to check back in then
Next week, we’ll share some early updates on some of the new features that are coming with this platform and start talking about what we’re currently working on.
Thank you so so much for your support and we’re so happy to be finally making improvements to this space for you.

69 Replies 69

mmMekitty
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
OOooOOoo less than 10 minutes to 9:00 a.m.! 😺

ProjectTeam
Beyond Blue Staff
Beyond Blue Staff

Hi everyone

 

Thank you for your support and for your feedback. We wanted to jump in as a Project Team and give some updates on what we are planning next. We really appreciate the passion and commitment to this platform – this community is the wonderful place that it is because of you.

 

We know that this has been a big change for lots of users and so we are buoyed to see that the number of posts, users and page views remains as high as ever. It has been hard, and we are so thankful that the community is doing their best to make it work.

 

A priority for us as we continue to improve is the accessibility of this space. It is essential to us that all people, including those who experience blindness and low vision, can access this community.

 

We have a range of other improvements we are looking into including

  • Creating more illustrations which will better reflect the community that share here
  • Working on editing and improving the FAQs and other information on the forums
  • Thinking more about the login journey and how new users can join this space
  • Working on improving specific features, for example:
    changing the ‘support’ button so that it changes colour when clicked

We know there is more to work on, and we can’t wait to share this journey with you. This Forum is a place for everyone to share their journey towards better Mental Health. It is a place to empower, validate and share. Thank you all for being a part of this with us.

 

Kind regards,

 

Project Team
Beyond Blue

Thank you, Project Team, for the update. 

I will be most interested in the Login, & if the weirdness of what happens when I have 'Authentication Fail' messages pop up. When session time out messages popped up before, I could simply click 'Okay', to acknowledge, & my PC took care of it, & I could continue where I ledt off. It was quick & simple, with no tossing me back to the homepage, either.

& yes, I think the FAQs & other info on the forum would be more helpful when updated.

Just wondering, was it possibly something done to the edit fields that has me hearing 'grammar error', (with blue wavy lines beneath, like spelling errors have red)? If not, it must be something in the latest Windows update. The way text-to-readers announce such things is a blessing & a curse, helpful when editing, but very distracting when trying to write & make sense of what I'm wanting to say, while being interrupted.

That's why I would really like if the auto-save could be less intrusive, working in the background, with maybe a note to remind us it happens.

Kind regards,

mmMekitty 

Hello mmMekitty, there is an addon you can have that corrects spelling mistakes.

Geoff.

Life Member.

Hey mmMekitty,

Thanks for letting us know about these issues! We're looking into it and really appreciate you flagging them. 

Just a quick question on the "grammar error" issue you mentioned - does this happen when you're composing a reply? We hope to improve the issues with auto-save and text reader as soon as we can, and we really appreciate you being patient and letting us know how it's going. 

Thanks again mmMekitty. Thank you to Geoff as well for staying looped in here and sharing useful suggestions and advice. 🙂

Kind regards, 

Sophie M

mmMekitty
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi sophie_M, & thank you.

I am only hearing "spelling error" & "gramar error" while composing, here on BB. While writing in a word document I am only hearing "spelling error", not the "grammar error" message wherever I've made mistakes. & of-course, the suggestions aren't always appropriate.

 

Hi Geoff, Windows does auto-correct some things, & I could even have it do more, but I don't necessarily want something that would auto-correct to what it hinks every time, all the time.

 

Warmly, 💖

mmMekitty

Thanks mmMekitty,

We really appreciate the clarification. We've shared this with the team.

Kind regards, 

Sophie M

ProjectTeam
Beyond Blue Staff
Beyond Blue Staff

Hi everyone,

 

We’ve heard your concerns about public profiles on the ‘How can we improve the Forums?' discussion. We can hear there’s been some concern about the public profiles feature allowing other users to view a community member’s posts and replies altogether on public profile. Thank you for letting us know about this.

 

We’re going to wind that feature back so that it can only only be accessed by the Forums staff and volunteers who need to able to view the extra context in order to ensure we’re supporting members as best as we can. This includes Moderators, Community Champions, Administrators and Clinicians.

 

We’ve checked in with some of you about this, and we can hear that it would make a lot of people feel better when using the Forums.

 

We really appreciate all the feedback we’ve received, and we hope this change is helpful.

Hi Sophie

Once again, thank you (see post on Forum improvement thread).

I think the decision is sound and reflects bb’s willingness to really listen when issues are raised by the community. I really appreciate the process you followed for re-engagement on this issue.

Your decision also tells us a lot about the type of organisation bb is and always aspires to be—flexible, responsive and community-driven.
I think it’s truly honourable that not only is bb fulfilling it’s legal obligations to protect information that may personally identify someone, but going beyond in recognition of the intensely personal stories we share here because we trust bb. Without this trust we have nothing, so thank you and well done.

Kind thoughts to you 

 

ProjectTeam
Beyond Blue Staff
Beyond Blue Staff

Hi everyone,

 

You may have noticed some changes to our login pages today, the look and feel of our new Forums have made their way onto the homepage of the Beyond Blue website!

 

The team have been making improvements to the Forums experience and the wider Beyond Blue website, and an important part of this was making the journey between different areas a smooth one. We’ve heard from the community that it was confusing to log in, and this helped us to improve those pages and also increase accessibility.

 

We really appreciate all the support and communication you’ve shared with us on this journey so far, and we’re excited to keep improving this space. Some of the things we’re working on:

 

  • Ongoing improvements to accessibility, so that everyone can access the Forums easily
  • Improving the FAQs and other information pages
  • Issues raised on logging out of the Forums, and occasionally receiving authorisation errors

Thanks for making this community the amazing space it is and letting us know how we can make it even better.

Kind regards,

 

Project Team