In May, we asked all of you what works and what does not in the online FileMaker Community. Thank you again to everyone who participated in the survey. That survey was one part of a larger Community project we've been working on throughout 2018. First, we assessed the current state of the Community; that work included the survey, member interviews, and an assessment by an outside online community expert. Next, we developed a strategic plan based on the audit findings and FileMaker, Inc.'s larger strategic goals. Finally, we used that strategy to create a roadmap of improvements and changes we will implement over the next year.
Nearly 900 members completed the survey. Your candid feedback led us to a several key insights to guide our strategy. Here's what we learned through the survey:
1. There are three distinct groups of members in the FileMaker Community.
- Veterans have been using FileMaker for more than 15 years and are, for the most part, full time FileMaker developers.
- Newcomers have been using FileMaker for fewer than 3 years and their primary job is not building FileMaker apps.
- Everyone else has been using FileMaker for 3-15 years. This group is evenly split between full time developers and others.
2. The current architecture of the FileMaker Community site does not work.
- Newcomers are overwhelmed.
- Veterans find the signal to noise ratio to be too low.
- Everyone complains that they cannot find what they are looking for.
3. There are serious user experience problems with our current community and forum platform. I have been reading and making notes of everything shared in What don't you like about navigating the FileMaker Community? If you have not yet shared your feedback there, please do.
Weighted ranking of current FileMaker Community features
4. The tone of discourse in the Community is not always friendly and helpful. Veterans are not always tolerant of or helpful to newcomers, and as a result newcomers do not feel welcomed into the Community. Many members view frequent complaints about FileMaker, Inc. and the FileMaker Platform are unproductive.
5. Everyone wants more technical content from both FileMaker engineers and community members. This could include featuring the best answers to frequent questions, breakdowns of other member’s custom apps, and Q&A with FileMaker staff and community members.
We plan to address all of these issues and implement a few of the potential new features, but it will take time. And your help.
Our goal is for the FileMaker Community the best place on the internet to the best place on the internet to find answers to FileMaker development questions. We do not want to squash healthy discussion or discourage contributions. We, like many of you, want to cut down on the unproductive noise. Please take a few minutes to review section 2 of the Community Use Agreement. If you see a post that may violate it, please escalate it to our moderation team by using Report Abuse from the Actions menu (upper right for the first post in a thread and lower left on each reply).