Recovering from a mistake to build an engaged community

(Neil Lewis) #1

Continuing the discussion from Introduce yourself (or at least just say hi):

Introduce yourself (or at least just say hi)
(Sarah Hawk) #2

I’ve split this out into a topic of its own @fanalyse so that your responses don’t get lost in the noise. Thanks for sharing your mistake so that others can learn.

Great – I just have some clarifying questions first so that people have context around your current situation.
What was the upshot of that error? That people didn’t join at all, or that they joined but retention was an issue? And what are you doing differently now?

(Nick Emmett) #3

this is really interesting @fanalyse and something that was covered at this years SPRINT event in London. A good exercise would be to do an inventory of what you currently have CTA wise. It may also be worth looking at where they could/should be. Then you need to decide what it is you want people to be doing and why they should be doing it - for their sake, not yours. That will help you put together your copy and think about where to go. Make it as simple as possible for people to complete the CTA.

Also, one of my personal mantras is to be fully aware of what your community’s WHY is. What is it’s purpose for being? What do you expect people to be doing in there?
@HAWK’s questions are also great - to be able to change behaviour you need to know what’s currently happening and what you want it to be.

(Richard Millington) #4

Hey @fanalyse, I took a few minutes to visit your community and sign up.

My first impression is the homepage is VERY loud, very text-heavy and it’s not clear where to click to sign up. You have CTAs to watch a video, to sign up, and other things all mixed in with one another.

The registration page asks for a lot more information than you need too. I’d cut this down as much as possible.

I’d also turn this page: into the latest activity from members. There are hundreds of words on this page, you’re asking members to do 6+ different things, and explaining a lot of these things. The homepage should NEVER be static, it should be as dynamic as possible - always bulging at the seams with the latest activity from members. I’d skip this page entirely and just feature the latest discussions from members.

People are quite smart and the platform you’re using is fairly intuitive - so I don’t think you need to explain it in any real depth here.

I think at the moment you’ve got a pretty good concept and some seemingly good discussions, but I’d DRASTICALLY simplify things to ensure people get to that. Reduce the copy by a factor of 10, reduce the number of things people can do a lot at this stage, and focus on getting people active.

Hope that makes sense.

(Nick Emmett) #5

What a great response @richard_millington - I’m guessing it was very likely useful to many others and not just @fanalyse! I totally agree on all accounts y the way. I’m looking at switching my own homepage to feature latest posts, which it currently doesn’t, along with a reputation board (to see who the people adding loads of value are), and a couple of announcements.

(Sarah Hawk) #6

Another thing of note is that ~8.5% of people are colourblind and red/green in combination are the most commonly problematic.

I also have some further suggestions for optimising your registration form:

  • You can lose the banner. People that have gotten to this point have already decided to sign up, so they don’t need it advertised. Having as much of the form as possible on the screen should be your goal. People need their expectations met in terms of the amount of work they have ahead of them.
  • Make the ‘Sign Up’ instruction smaller and minimise the whitespace around it (same end goal as the point above)
  • I’d remove Organisation Type, Job Title, Specialties and the social link fields from this form and get people to fill those out in their profile screen later.

I did a workshop last year on the UX of community platforms that covers a lot of this stuff. I’m happy to share the recording with you if that would be of interest.

(julian jenkins) #7

Hi I am Julian one of the co-founders of Fanalyse and would be more than happy to see any resource you think would be helpful.

Building communities like this are new to us and would appreciate any comments, feedback or thought leadership.

Thank you in advance for your help and we will bring these suggestions and points up in todays meeting.


(Richard Millington) #8

We could do a regular breakdown of different community pages actually @Nick_Emmett.

I always liked that idea a lot. Might discuss it with @HAWK later.

(Richard Millington) #9

Hey @jenko1973

No worries at all, everyone begins somewhere and you’ve got a good amount of activity there already. You’re off to a flying start.

I think the key thing I would say at this point is simplify . Cut down almost every possible word, reduce the colour contrasts, and maybe get a web designer to give a few opinions. We can give more advice if you like, but I don’t want it to feel like we’re attacking you :slight_smile:

(julian jenkins) #10


I sent you a PM on our site, I am more than happy to be pulled apart in public don’t worry about that I have worked in professional sport for 20 years.

I would like to have a wider conversation with you about the synergy between our company and yours.

Please feel free to email to schedule a call

(Kath Reuben) #11

As someone who is trying to build an engaged community (i’m teetering on the edge), this has been an interesting read. @richard_millington - i like the idea of being able to share communities for feedback from those in the know!

(Richard Millington) #12

@jenko1973 drop me an email on, happy to chat.

(Jordan Tompkins) #13

Hi @richard_millington and @HAWK – this reminds me…I thought I saw something on here a while back about y’all kind of critiquing online communities that sign up for it. Am I making that up? If not, I think I want in!

(Richard Millington) #14

No, it’s true we really did it. Well @HAWK did it for several weeks.

It was quite popular but we needed to refine the concept and format for it a little. It’s part 5 of a 5 part project we’re working on at the moment so it might be a few months.

(Jordan Tompkins) #15

Do y’all have an archive of what you did? I’d love to do some snooping :smiling_imp:

(Richard Millington) #16

i’m sure we do, search for breakdown.

(Jordan Tompkins) #17

Paydirt! Thx!

(Rachael Reilly) #18

Hi @HAWK, I’d love this recording too - if you don’t mind sharing!

(Sarah Hawk) #19

No problem – here you go. I’m happy to dig deeper into anything if that’s useful/

(Rachael Reilly) #20

Thank you kindly! It’s on my ‘Must See’ list for the week - I’ll pop back here once I’ve watched :+1: