I’ve been going through the feedback on the new platform to address as many of the concerns as I can before launch and I noticed this comment:
Hi @austinmshauri! Somehow I missed this question when I first read through your reply. It’s a great question and one that I’d like to address separately. To clarify, we started by showing the site to moderators first. Then I asked for beta testers first impressions. (It was 6 by my count.) And now we have 8 pages of feedback on the site. Believe it or not, this is considerably more feedback than a community manager typically gets before this sort of change. I’ve been astounded by the enthusiasm people have brought to the task of reviewing the new platform. It’s a credit to your dedication to the community and to helping others navigate the college admission process.
As we get feedback from a variety of people (including students), we start to see repeated patterns. Every new person brings a new perspective, so there are new things we learn. But the number of new things we learn decreases as we get more feedback. There tends to be overlap between what people notice. For instance, many people have pointed out that they will miss having “agree” and “helpful” responses in addition to “like”. It’s useful to know how many people have the same concern, of course. But it didn’t increase the number of things we need to consider fixing.
Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been working to see what we can fix before launch and what things will need to wait. Some of the changes will take months of developer work. Some changes I can do in the site settings. Most are somewhere in between.
I know that in the past we’ve made changes and not gone back to improve things later. So you all have been stuck with features that don’t exactly work as expected. I hope that the last year or so has started to change that perception. Unlike previous overhauls, we intend to keep fixing things after the launch. So just because something doesn’t look right now doesn’t mean it won’t get fixed in the future.
And that’s important because we aren’t perfect. No matter how much effort we put in or how much time we delay, there will be unexpected problems. Switching from one platform to another is complicated. We’re concerned with losing fellow community members if they can’t log in. We want to be sure we have all the content the community has contributed over the years. And there are technical problems switching from one server to another. So that’s our main focus right now.
I’m also working on a few requested changes that I hope to have by launch. Plus there are many items we’ve heard from you all that we are prioritizing for later this year and in 2021. We remain committed to building a stable and functional platform for this community and that work won’t stop when we make the switch.
Update: One of the moderators reminded me that we introduced the site to them on August 18. Looking back on my notes, the login system has improved quite a bit in that time. My instructions included needing to check your email to complete the process.