The product roadmap can be a winding and twisting path with branches that lead to dead ends. The best roadmaps are adaptive and can change when the voice of the customer (driver of your business) lets you know what they want. One of the hardest jobs is understanding what your product does best, what your customers desire and expect out of your product, and what to do next in terms of evolution if there are gaps. The best way to understand what your customers want is to ask them, but not all customers are vocal or can accurately articulate what they want to see next. This is where AnswerHub’s ideation tool can step in and help your community work together to let you know what they want.
AnswerHub has three types of content you can currently post: Questions, Articles, and Ideas. Questions are great for cataloging and sorting the knowledge of your organization, Articles are perfect for sharing industry or company news, and Ideas are the perfect way to understand the wants and needs of your community for the future.
Ideas, like Questions and Articles, allow users to comment and vote, giving them the voice to pitch and edit new features they want to be added to the product. A great example can be seen from our internal use of AnswerHub. We grant all customers access to our Customer Success site built on AnswerHub where they can suggest new features. We then sort by most upvoted, taking the pulse of the community to understand their desires and sort them into prioritized lists of what our product roadmap will look like.
Recently we completely revamped our editor because it was a highly requested and active idea (active in the sense that there were a lot of comments and voting). From their comments, we understood that retained formatting was a major feature that our clients wanted when copy/pasting code snippets. Through the use of voting and comments, our product team could have a two-way conversation with customers, letting them know that we were working on it, and then make those changes.
Many of the companies we speak with are looking for knowledge repositories, but it’s important to understand that developers are really striving for a place to not only get answers to their questions but share their knowledge and be heard by their employers and colleagues. This can do more than create an engaged developer community, it can help you tell your developers that they’re valued members of your company, leading to increased employee happiness and a clear product roadmap that your users helped build.