On 14th July 2017, we held our first ever Online Future Forum with some of Vevox’s most active users, our Product Manager, Matt Kelly and our CTO Marcus Wikars. This event was something we had been keen to do for a while and finally all our calendar’s aligned and we made it happen.
Vevox is dynamic in every sense of the word, from the ever-evolving product to our enthusiastic team, but one thing we hold in high regard is that our progress is not just for vanity’s sake. It is for this reason that we wanted to metaphorically open our doors to Vevox’s most active users and find out from you what features and functionality you would find most useful, hear your suggestions and discuss with you our ideas for the future of Vevox. One thing that became abundantly clear from the word go is that Vevox users value simplicity and this is something that we have heard loud and clear. Numerous ideas were suggested, requiring varying degrees of design complexity and as we discussed during the live session, our intention is not to thrust these features into development right away. In this blog, we share the main discussion points from the Future Forum and as a result, our views on the likely next steps for Vevox.
The Future of Polling:
Images – With imagery a useful tool for both Education and Workplace environments, the ability to add images into polls was an idea that received a lot of positive feedback. This feature would add numerous benefits, so this suggestion is well and truly on the development roadmap.
Poll ranking - The ability to rank polls either in a correct order or a favourite order was also well received. Although it was discussed that this functionality would have its uses, the ability to rank is not always widely used.
Accelerometer – The idea of utilising the accelerometer in a smartphone to use a small movement to register a vote was not well received. Forum attendees felt that this feature might be seen as gimmicky and goes against one of Vevox’s key benefits of polling anonymity.
The Future of Q&A:
Reply to a Q&A post – A hot topic in the Future Forum discussion board was how we can develop the Vevox Q&A functionality further. The suggestions from forum attendees fell into two main groups – threaded conversations vs. quoting a post to reply. The arguments for both sides were pretty strong, however the development work required for either option starts to get quite complex. After evaluating the pros and cons, neither option seemed to carry majority favour, so it’s fair to say that the Vevox development team have some more thinking time ahead on this one.
Multiple Message Boards – One of the key plus points of using Vevox is its scalability. We know from some of our users that they often like to get creative with their usage of Vevox and that there are times when the ability to have multiple message boards would be useful, especially in education. We can see real benefits in having this feature but we also want to avoid adding any unnecessary complexity in navigation or functionality so leave this one with us for now…
Turn a Q&A topic into a poll – In sessions where Q&A’s take place, often a discussion begins to develop to a point where it is necessary to get some clarity or make a decision by taking a poll. The ability to convert a discussion post into a poll would be really powerful and this is a really popular idea, so watch this space…
The Future of Content Sharing:
The spirit of our Future Forum is to get honest feedback from users. A popular feature that event apps offer is the ability to upload and share files. Periodically we do get asked if we are planning to offer the ability to upload files to Vevox, so it was no surprise that this was a topic in the forum. Allowing users to upload their own content would add another dimension to Vevox, not to mention there are numerous practicalities to consider as well as legal implications, including copyright and IP protection. Vevox’s purpose is to be a polling and Q&A tool and not an event app and as such content sharing is not a feature we are planning in the immediate future… we’re not saying no forever, but before making advancements in this area we would certainly be interested in expanding this topic further with Vevox users.
Speaking about the session, Future Forum co-host and Product Manager Matt says, “Thank you to those of you who attended, from our point of view, the Future Forum was a great success. We are a passionate group of people and through your comments and suggestions during the forum it was clear to see that we’re not the only ones who are invested in the future of Vevox. We’re already working on some of the suggestions outlined above that we’re sure will be a hit with Vevox users.”
The feedback we received was incredible and gives us clear guidance on what Vevox users want and ultimately need Vevox to be. For those more advanced features, it has been suggested that there could be a requirement in the future for Vevox to expand further through offering staged complexity (Vevox Pro, if you will) where advanced features can be unlocked or bolt-ons can be added as needed.
Vevox CTO Marcus Wikars adds, “The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive but now we have the best possible challenge on our hands – to continue to develop powerful features whilst retaining Vevox’s simplicity.”
There’s no doubt that we’ll be holding more Future Forum’s, so if you’re an active user and want to take part email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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