After a good month participating in the pilot, I thought it was a good time for a somewhat more consolidated write-up of my feedback. So, in an attempt to touch more or less all aspects of the experience, here it goes ...
As I posted earlier in some smaller touch base comments, I find the entire pilot really valuable. When entering the community one is confronted with a vast amount of information, so huge that any guidance to navigating the available value is really helpful. In my experience, the challenges are a great instrument for that. Even after several years as a community leader, the pilot made me discover plenty of content I never new was there. On top of that, it also pointed me to new ways to contribute, apart from answering questions.
A key thing to me is that the kudos menu is always there, no matter where you are in the platform. It isn't some page you need to bookmark or jot down on a piece of paper that you keep with you on your desk - one click is all it takes to quickly check if there is anything new worth exploring.
As an additional bonus, the actual kudos is something new that I was really happy with to be both on the giving as on the receiving end several times. Apart from the upvoting and liking functionality that's already there, it has the potential to make the proverbial tap on the shoulder stand out a bit more, even for the occasional community visitor.
So in short: really positive about the pilot. I have some questions, suggestions and thoughts that I'm happy to dig into by topic.
Target audience, goals and points system
When introducing the kudos program for real, (at least) two points / rewards systems will be in place. At least for (online) community leaders, I guess. I don't see any problem with that, as the vast majority of users are not community leaders. But it does make me wonder about the underlying goal and target audience of the system.
I thought - and I have seen fellow pilots point out the same - that levelling up from zero to top level for heavily engaged community leaders could be reached in just a couple of weeks. That way it may seem that the scoring system is a bit off.
However, for more occasional users this will never be the case and I see the gamification part of the kudos being a great ramp up for new users towards onboarding new community leaders over time. When the new perks system goes live in January, it would be great for leaders to get visibility into their progress in that track complimentary to this system.
The challenges have been the greatest visible challenge (pun intended) of the pilot month so far from my perspective.
On the positive side, if they aim to trigger exploration of the community in all its amazing aspects, they are awesome. I can only repeat that they brought me to plenty of places I didn't even know existed. So in that respect, mission accomplished.
On the dark side, many challenges do/did not trigger as expected. Often it was not really clear how they could be achieved. For challenges requiring multiple steps it is not possible to track how far one is through the steps and what is required to complete. My suggestions here would be:
Great addition to the system. Once available throughout the platform, I hope the occasional user will also be triggered to use them sometimes after being helped with a question or a riddle.
The main thing missing here for me is an additional field to explain what the kudos are for. I think that would add even more to the appreciation experience than just the associated points.
And in that spirit I'd like to wrap up this post once more with kudos to the community team behind the pilot. I can imagine quite some time has gone into elaborating this, following up on all comments and requests to improve. Awesome job, as always!
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