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Entry submitted by: Todd Lilienthal (toddlilienthal) Director of Digital Strategy
Community: K2 Community (Community.k2.com)
Lithy category: Best Community Design
K2 software allows people to build and run business process applications, including forms, workflow, data and reports. Across enterprises and within departments, K2 customers are rapidly transforming their companies with applications that allocate work to the right people, with all the information they need to make great decisions.
With K2's visual tools, creating, launching and using the first K2 application is a snap. Reusable components ensure the next application delivers faster than the one before, and when the business needs change, it's easy to update your K2 apps to fit. More than a million users in 80-plus countries rely on K2 to streamline operations, save money and reduce risk.
In March 2014, we launched community.K2.com. Our philosophy was to create a highly functional site with great user experience and a really clean design. We wanted to provide access to a large amount of information, while keeping it simple for the user. One of the core components to this philosophy is our prominent search bar. A large amount of information is only valuable if a user can easily find what they are looking for. With that in mind, we implemented Lithium’s predictive search and made it a stand-out feature on every page. In addition to the search being predictive, the search results page allows filtering by content type so that the user can further specify what they are looking for.
Our requirements started with the basic idea that it needed to be more than just a discussion forum. Our Lithium community includes forums, the K2 blog, a code sharing section (K2 Market), events calendar, and a resources section. We took design cues from our other digital properties, but wanted to make the community site stand out on its own as a great looking and very usable information hub.
We are very happy with the outcome and believe that we accomplished what we set out to do.
Here is the homepage of Community.K2.com:
Our business goals are to boost user engagement and satisfaction, reduce support costs, and provide prospective customers with a resource that they can use when evaluating K2.
Within a week of our March 2014 launch, we experienced a huge increase in forum activity and resolved issues. The community has already become an amazing asset for our support team, allowing the community to assist each other.
We’ve seen increased engagement in our community as well as increased downloads inside of our “Market” section which allows user to share code and plugins that they’ve developed on the K2 platform.
K2 led the strategy and implementation of this community in conjunction with Lithium and CloudSquads. We worked together to launch a best in class community site that is drastically different than any other community on the platform.
We looked at how the Lithium platform could be utilized and extended in order to provide our users with a bunch of functionality not normally found on a standard forum. We also made sure to only include features that we knew would be of value to our K2 audience. This resulted in a highly customized experience with a beautiful layout that gives our users everything they need and nothing that they don’t.
Every element of the K2 Community site was thought about individually as well as a part of the whole. The Forum, Blog, Market, Events Calendar, and Resources area all contribute to the experience by offering unique and valuable content while adhering to strict design and UI/UX standards.
Our metrics are already starting to prove the success of the new community.
Our first week on the new platform, we were seeing an average of 17 posts per day (88 posts for the week). All of our traffic was redirected from our old forum and was starting to pick up speed. Our old forum suffered from poor design, outdated functionality and user experience and our users were not motivated to use it to resolve their issues.
A month and a half later, the week of April 7th tallied an average of 41 posts per day (209 posts for the week). Many of the threads are leading to resolved issues and are helping to divert support tickets.
This is a 137% increase in weekly posts! We expect to see this trend continuing as we gain even more engagement from new and active users.
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