I Hope This Is Not Your Forum! Three Reasons Why This Forum Might Embarrass You

From time to time, we stumble across forums on prominent sites that are, shall we say, underachieving. When neutral observers are asked to comment on the design and usability of these boards we hear things like “painfully embarrassing,” “not professional,” and “wow… that’s really bad”. These are not my words; they are comments from impartial observers. But we admit: we tend to agree with such assessments and these examples serve as motivation for us to do better!

Let’s take a look at one such example and see if we can explain why it might be embarrassing to some people. The purpose of this analysis is not to insult anyone but to examine ways to improve performance of your forum community. For this reason, the name of this particular company has been obscured to prevent any undue embarrassment.

ugly_forum1

Here are three reasons why this forum platform might embarrass you:

  1. The participation rate is disastrously low. At the time of this screen shot there are 13 members and 604 guests. Yikes.
    • What we do: We strive for a minimum of 10% of visitors to be registered.
  2. The design leaves something to be desired. The words “aesthetically pleasing” do not exactly spring to mind. This design is a poor reflection on the company’s brand.
    • What we do: Your brand is sacrosanct to us and we will make your forum look awesome.
  3. There is limited support for mobile devices and rich media. In this day and age, allowing users to quickly share photos from their phones is an absolute must.
    • What we do: Rich media support and mobile access are among our specialties.

It drives us bonkers when we see forum communities that accept mediocrity (or even less). We will never claim to be perfect. However, we are committed to achieving excellence and we will never quit in this pursuit.

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