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Respected Contributor

Tips to implement new ranking structure?

Hi everyone,

We're ready to start implementing and testing the new ranking structure we designed for our community. 

I'm trying to figure out what would be the best way to create the new ranks without disrupting the user experience.

Does anyone have some tips or best practices?

Here's what I'm considering:

- Do it on Stage first, then, if everything goes well, do it on production.

- Temporarily disable email notifications for rank changes

- Create all new ranks at the bottom of the list, below our current initial rank (where all new users should land). This way, no one will get these newly created ranks because the community assigns the highest rank possible on the list.

- Once we're done creating the ranks we will start deleting the old ranks. 

- Enable email notifications again.

 

I also have some questions...

Is there any way to easily backup the current rank structure in case we need to do a rollback?

Is there a way to export the ranking structure from Stage and import it on Production?

What do you usually test during your QA phase? In our case we're considering testing the styling (we're changing the icons and rank names), but I'm not sure you can test the actual rank structure aside from randomly check some user profiles.

Our superusers have an icon next to their username. Is there a way to do that without duplicating each rank and adding a role as a condition for the 'superuser' rank?

Any help will be appreciated!

Thank you.

Oscar

4 Replies 4
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Honored Contributor

I did this about a year or so ago and it is a difficult proposition. We moved from a rank structure with a fair reduction in overall ranks but a fairer overall system. The old system was based on achieving certain numbers of specific tasks, whereas the new one was completely points based via a weighted formula. This was a big program of work and was rather more seamless than I had thought it would be to implement.

My method was to setup all the new ranks in their correct positions with the formula in place but one that included an extra parameter for a role nobody had been granted (thus making them unattainable ranks).

I did NOT turn of rank notifications but rather, starting at the topmost rank, edited each one to remove the extra parameter. This meant that all users received a single notification for the highest rank they were able to achieve (it drove quite a bit of traffic in the first week) rather than everything happening by stealth.

By enabling them at the correct position I didn't need to delete the old structure right away and could revert back if the world fell in (it didn't). An alternative using your method (new ranks at the bottom) is to move the position of the new ranks above the old ranks one by one rather than deleting. This would achieve much the same result as my method but I was wary about someone, somehow, earning a new rank ahead of time.

I also posted an announcement the day before letting members know it was coming and briefed our superusers so they could deflect questions about the change on the day.

Something else you may want to consider is ensuring that there is no way to translate old rank to new so members dont feel they are being 'demoted' to a lower rank.

To answer your other questions;

Is there any way to easily backup the current rank structure in case we need to do a rollback?
Not if you delete them but you could if you keep them at the bottom as I have mentioned (ensuring that at least one of your new ranks is awarded immediately to new users as you don't want people getting old ranks).

Is there a way to export the ranking structure from Stage and import it on Production?
God, I wish it could but no.

What do you usually test during your QA phase?
On top of testing the overall look/feel I tested the ranking process itself. At the same time the new ranks released a new UI that shows a progress to next rank was put in place so I needed to know it was showing correct %-ages.

This was done by taking a bottom rank user and artificially ranking them up via granting mass kudos (you can change your kudo weight into the 1000s to accomplish this).

Our superusers have an icon next to their username. Is there a way to do that without duplicating each rank and adding a role as a condition for the 'superuser' rank?
Nope, we also have the same and there is no easy way out. However, I only duplicated the top 7 ranks as the lowest rank superuser had that rank. When a new intake of superusers occurs (ours is an annual program) part of that process is to check and make sure a lower ranked user is not being inducted.

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Honored Contributor

Wow, what an amazing and comprehensive reply, @DanK! We are about to launch a superuser program with name badges too, so your last paragraph is super helpful! 

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Indeed!  @DanK killed it on that one.  Serious props.

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Respected Contributor

Thanks @DanK that's really helpful!

Adding a role to the new rank conditions is a smart move.