What's next for the Online Community?

Stone walls surrounded by green fields

On the 29th July this year, we upgraded our Community platform. Since then, we have been working hard on fixing technical issues and bugs, and continuing to improve the site. Today, we’re sharing some information on what’s next on our ‘to do’ list, and talking about some of the improvements we’re focusing on next.

On the Community, we’ve been through a lot of change over the last few months. In July, we upgraded our Community platform. This upgrade has meant the Community cancer forum is now much more stable, and gives us the opportunity to improve the site based on what our members need.

The upgrade brought with it some technical issues and glitches that we have worked hard on getting resolved. With the majority of these fixes out of the way, we’re now looking to make some improvements based on the feedback we’ve had from you.

Over the coming months, we are focusing on 14 developments. Some of these will be behind the scenes to improve the platform, but the majority will be to improve the Community based on what our members have told us they would like.

Below is a sample of 6 of the developments that are being planned:

‘Reactions’

We have known since we upgraded that we wanted to remove the up and down voting feature and replace it with a ‘Like’ option. However, we have heard loud and clear that members would like to have other reactions too, such as: sad, hug, love

We’ll be introducing reactions soon, but before we do, we want to hear what options you’d like to have. Let us know which options you’d like to have by commenting below or emailing us.  

‘Latest’ button

Currently, when users are looking at threads on the site, there’s an option to click ‘Latest’. However, when selected, this doesn’t take users to the latest post, but instead to the first page in the thread.

We’ll be making changes to this button, to make sure that when users select ‘Latest’ they are taken to the latest post.

Increasing font size

We know that some of the text on the Community needs to be bigger, so we’ll be carrying out a site-wide review of our font sizes, and making adjustments so posts are easier to read.

Pagination for mobile

At the moment, if you’re viewing a discussion thread on a mobile device, there are no page numbers. Instead, you’ll see arrows that can take you to the beginning or the end of the thread. We’ve heard from our users that this makes it difficult to know where you are in a thread, especially on longer standing discussions.

Moving forwards, we would like to introduce page numbers for threads when using a mobile device.

Improving search function

We’ve heard from our users that our search function doesn’t always work the way you’d like it to and you’d like to see this improved.

We’re working on ways that we can improve this feature, so users can find content that’s most relevant for them.

Improving our homepage

We’d like to improve our homepage, so that users new and old feel welcomed. We also want the homepage to be more representative of the Community, so anyone who visits us here knows exactly what the Community is and how it can support them.

We’ve begun creating some new designs for the homepage and we’d like to share these with you as soon as we can.

We’re looking forward to getting started on these, and we’d love to hear what you think. We’ll be keeping you updated with how we’re getting on as we move forward. In the meantime, if you have any questions you can email us at community@macmillan.org.uk.

Anonymous
  • Good morning to one and all,

  • Hello 

    I’m Steph from the Community team. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment here. We really appreciate all your help in improving the Community for everyone. 

    We’ve taken a note of your feedback on developing more appropriate reaction options, instead of the ‘like’ button. This will be really useful when we're making some final decisions on this.

    I’ve looked into your photo-upload issue and according to our recent communications, we fixed that for you a couple of weeks ago. Are you still having some problems with this? 

    I'm really concerned to hear about all your problems staying logged in. The site should only log you out once you’ve had the page open for four hours. This is to protect your online security and this feature cannot be changed. However, if you save your log in details through your computer or other device, it should only take a quick click to get logged back in and you shouldn’t lose anything you were writing.

    You may be noticing the little message which appears if you lose your internet connection. This is not the site logging you out, it’s simply advising that your connection was lost and that the site is trying to reconnect you. Just continue with what you are doing and you should be reconnected as soon as your internet connection is strong enough. Again, if you were half way through a post, this will still be there when you continue.

    If you ever see a message saying that you need to be a member to post in a group, this is most likely because you haven’t joined that specific group, or because you’re browsing the Community in a logged out state. Please ensure you’re logged in and a member of the group you’re commenting in and you won’t see these messages any more.

    Again, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. If you need further help, please don't hesitate to email us at community@macmillan.org.uk so we can investigate those issues further and offer you further support.

    Kindest Regards,

    Steph - Community team

  • Hello ,

    Thank you for your feedback, I'm really sorry that the upgrade didn't go as smoothly as we'd hoped. I hope it reassures you to know that changes were thoroughly tested before the initial upgrade, but as with any technology project as large as this one, it can be really difficult to predict the kind of issues that have occurred. 

    I hope it also reassures you to hear that the majority of the issues have now been fixed. Going forward, we're in a great place to develop the Community into the best possible place for peer-to-peer cancer support.

    Your continued feedback will help us improve the site for everyone, so thanks again for taking the time to comment.

    Best wishes,

    Steph - Community team

  • Hello ,

    Thank you so much for your feedback. We're currently looking into the possibility of bringing back the daily digest, so please watch this space.

    We know that when users are looking at threads on the site, there’s an option to click ‘Latest’. However, when selected, this doesn’t take users to the latest post, but instead to the first page in the thread. We’ll be making changes to this button, to make sure that when users select ‘Latest’ they are taken to the latest post.

    Please don't hesitate to get in touch should you have any further feedback or questions.

    Thanks again for your help in improving the Community.

  • Hello ,

    I'm sorry to hear that you've not been receiving email notifications. It might be worth checking your spam and other folders in case our emails are being directed there. We recently changed the sender address to community@communityemail.macmillan.org.uk so it's possible that your mail provider is sorting the emails differently.

    I will also reset your notification settings from here, in case this helps. 

    Would you mind letting us know if you're still not receiving email notifications? The best way to do this is to email us at community@macmillan.org.uk

    Thank you for letting us know and I hope this helps.