New NPN Discussion Forum - The Backstory & Family Treasures Giveaway

Written by: Melanie Schlachter

What do you love about NPN's Discussion Forum? What new features are you most looking forward to when the new Discussion Forum launches later this month?

Tell us by commenting on the blog post below and be entered to win a Family 4 Pack of tickets to Disney On Ice presents Treasure Trove! Show is Friday, Sept 14, 7pm at Allstate Arena. Perfect for ages 2+. One winner will be selected and contacted on Monday, August 13. Share your NPN "treasures" with us below for a chance to win!

NPN members can save $5 on select performances with a special Disney on Ice Parent Perk discount - click here for details!

We know the NPN Forums are loved! 70% of our users click directly to the Discussion Forum when they visit the NPN website.  The Forum receives more than 600,000 page views per month.  Even after NPN upgraded its website in 2010, we knew we still had some work to do and this time 100% of our efforts have been focused on improving the Discussion Forum.  Exicting enhancements are just weeks away - visit our Sneak Peak!

To figure out what features were must-haves for the NEW Forum, we took the following steps:

  • Included feature requests from member posts – e.g., the One Wish thread
  • Working closely with our tech partner, Table XI, we considered best practices and conducted Forum research for Buy vs. Build options
  • Evaluated off-the-shelf tool options (e.g., IP.Board, Vanilla Forums, vBulletin, MyBB, Simple Machines Forum, phpBB, ProBoards, bbPress, FluxBB, & more!)
  • Our tech committee selected IP.Board and started to implement the basics to see how it would hold up again NPN users and activity
  • Created an Alpha Focus Group of heavy users, opinionated posters, and through an open call via the Blog reviewed the newly set up IP.Board.  More than 40 members actively participated in these discussions.
  • Based on feedback, we made LOTS of revisions to fit what NPN members need most
  • Created a Beta Focus Group of more interested users and incorporated their feedback to keep tweaking the solution
  • We’ll continue to tweak and tailor the now tool to add additional available features, such as personal messaging, classified ads, etc.

Our four primary goals for the New Forum:

  • Maintain the spirit of the current NPN Forum
  • Improve the Forum Experience (e.g., being able to Follow/Like posts, better search options, mobile access, & more)
  • Create a sense of community through social groups, personalized profiles, adding photos, and participating in polls

To get a sneak peak of the new tool in action, please check out this short video highlighting our new Discussion Forum Enhancements.

Also read NPN member and technology project leader Mark Rickmeier’s blog post for his Top 10 Favorite New Forum Features.

Stay tuned for more Forum News!

Don't forget to share your Discussion Forum "treasures" with us below! Two ways to win! Click here for a second chance to win via Facebook (only one set of tickets per family)!

Posted on July 23, 2012 at 2:21 PM