How can we improve OpenStudy (customer feedback)?

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How can we improve OpenStudy (customer feedback)?

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At OpenStudy - we’re trying to make the world one big study group. A place where people that need study help get help from those that can give it, and vice versa. Ideally help that’s “right now”, in real-time, and as fun and rewarding as possible. For people asking questions - what’s changes could we make to site or community to get you to ask more questions, or get better help faster? What would make it more fun or immediately engaging? For people answering questions - what’s would motivate you more or make it easier to help more people faster? What would make it more fun? What’s going to keep you here? For everyone! What were your biggest problems getting started with the product? There’s no wrong answers - we just want an honest dialog.
Is it in the works for there to be user - to - user private messaging, for one-on-one help? I like helping in real-time through the chat window on the lower right, but it would be much less cluttered to help in a private setting.
ok good question. The idea for isolated help was the question interface itself - what we're replying in now. Basically a side discussion around someone's particular need for help/question. But private chat has been requested - you mind suggesting it in the feedback tab on the left so others can vote?

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I think open study is great! The only thing that has to be improved is sometimes the site stops chat and stuff but other than that its great!
heres an odd screenshot I just got...
1 Attachment
OK so you're saying the chat bugs out and you can't post? =) yes we're trying to track that down!
wow - what browser are you on amistre64?
also - I see a lot of high fan counts on here. What do you all think of the fan system?
lol...explorer :) up here at my college
how could we improve it?
ack IE, the bane of all devs!
we'll look into that
have like a whiteboard area where you can like write out the problem
ok so something like a drawing tool?
the "fan" system can be misleading; a high fam count doesnt equate to intelligence.... take myself for an example :)
@Sierra - would you mind suggesting that in the feedback tab on the left hand side so others can vote?
It is a tad misleading, like amistre64 points out..
ok @Amistre - great point lol. How do you think we can better reward/measure topic specific competence? would doing so motivate you to answer more questions?
do you have different subjects on here? like english?
i just like answering questions regardless... so motivation is inherent for me :)
well, we don't have English *yet*. but you ALL can help us decide which study groups to launch next by going to our home page ("home"), clicking on "view all groups", and taking the survey that's linked
well that's great to hear =). but we feel like you should get some more street cred. So for example, what do you all think about the ability to rate great/helpful answers, or a point system by topic?
@Dancergirl - what other topics are you studying? Do you feel like you're getting the help you need on OpenStudy in math at least? What could be improved in that regard?
rating answers eh......... maybe; but it aint so much as getting answers right as being able to communicate the concepts involved so that the viewers can learn from it.... IMO
ok good point amistre64 - how about a way for the question asker to say whether or not they "get it"- so you know your answer was received, helpful, and they're on their way?
I like the idea of rating highly a helpful response, it's just that out of more than 5000 users, if only around 60(?) people fan one user, it's considered a "Champion" status...with 1.2% of users rating up?
thats sounds plausible :)
Right Quantum - I think if we evolve the rewards system, we would make topic-specific titles/achievements more substantial.
it's important to us that students know they're getting a good answer, and that answers know when their help is appreciated
That sounds good. And we could do without that system entirely if someone's "rank" is determined by how many helpful answers they provide, I believe.
ok good to hear =). That said, we want to reward ALL participation - some people learn passively, some are just really great answers, some are a mix. What are your thoughts in that regard?
free vacation to hawaii??
lol
That sounds good; so one's participation could be gauged by how many helpful answers they provide, and there could be different options for how "helpful" it is - is that what you're getting at?
If so, I think that would work.
let me throw another question out there - for askers/answerers/lurkers alike. What was the most frustrating part about OpenStudy getting starting?
could be usability, instant gratfication, anything
yes quantum, that was what I was getting at
I'm asking you guys to get creative - you're our target user, and we want to know how you would design things
it aint that user friendly when I first started. And those "help videos"? they are too small to see whats going on in them to be useful...
the equation option is not available to those asking a question, so there stuff can be hard to decipher alot of the time...
@Dancergirl - what would make OpenStudy more useful to you, besides more topics like english? What would make it more fun?
ok good point amistre, does that make you pause before answering some questions?
Amistre's last point is very relevant. It would simplify things so much if the asker had the equation editing option.
makes me scratch my head; but with my "superb" intellect and high fan base, I tend to get around it eventually :)
lol right!
@Amistre - anything specifically you found unintuitive geting started?
yeah, that darned reply text box kept moving cause of the "live" preview.... I found that highly unnerving at times
Oh, and Chris, when I don't use Group Chat for a period of about 5 minutes, anything I enter disappears and I can only see incoming messages - mine don't send. :P Btw, I'm using the FF4 Beta on Mac.
yes quantum - just noticed that myself and had to reload. We're going to look into that
@amistre heard on that
just glitched me now .... after an answer is posted; we get a screen freeze...
ok amistre - you're in IE?
IE yep...
ipad app would be WONDERFUL! unless this page is written with HTML... havent tried yet.
we really want to get the freezing/chat bugs nailed down, and reply scrolling
hi birdsell thanks - and yes, this site is pretty functional on ipad - but please try and let us know!
WONDERFUL! thank you!
@birdsell, if you were to change three things - usability, features, rewards, etc.. about OpenStudy - what would they be?
say hawaii :)
haha unfortunately that's an incredibly expensive feature to build out amistre
lol...it was worth a shot
ok guys, still looking for more feedback - not just what we're doing right, not necessarily what we can do next - what's confusing, what could we do *better* with what we have? (but please, keep feature requests coming as well)
but no more hawaii :p
@chris usability is great... im actually new to the site today and it is safe to say that I would have benefited greatly had I found it earlier, features are good... I found a bug that required me to stop the scrip 3 times and force quit firefox but it is working well now... as far as rewards... I like the system but it seems too "easy" to get fans... also i would love a "Solution Resolved" button or something of the sorts
ok GREAT suggestions birdsell. What would make it more rewarding? something like rated answers?
maybe "levels" and titles within topics based on answers?
possibly... maybe in order to become a fan of a certain person.. they must answer a question for you and you give that person credit by becoming a fan
right, that makes sense.
ok so new question: Have you told your friends about OpenStudy?
YES! i put it on my facebook
haha awesome =) thank you.
also love the facebook integration
great to hear =)
so if you could change one thing about OpenStudy, what would it be?
quick question...I see you go to Stanford. Was this site a project or was it a "for-fun" thing?
Well, I graduated from Stanford. We're actually a startup based out of Georgia Tech now, where I did my graduate studies. We're in an incubator based on tech campus.
So definitely not a side-project - this has been an internal inkling in most of our team members for some time now. We've bitten the bullet and are trying to build and share it.
good to hear... I am studying Computer Information Systems at Pitt. Thats why I ask
Awesome, it's an amazing field to be in - more so every day.
can we truncate the "notification" notices? some questions are lengthy and take up alot of room.... just a thought
Thats what I am hoping :) I started as an Enginnering major but hated it. Gotta love what you do!
you mean the length of them? good point - will bring it up with our designer.
something like: if length.string > 5000000000; cut :)
Yes - the best thing about CS is your ability to solve real world problems by yourself. If you see a need in the market - e.g. students need help and have nobody to ask - you can just build something that people will use.
lol ok amistre - good point haha.
'nother thought.... I noticed the question floats over on the LHside of the screen at times...intruncated form; but we have to scroll all the way up to get all the pertinent information while answering... is there a way to float the question to keep it in view? or am I just rambling :)
Thanks Chris (also my name)...wonderful to hear creators actually caring what people think... but i have to get back to Calculus so I can graduate! :p
no you're not just rambling amistre - we'll definitely consider it. It becomes an issue with longer answers/dialogs like this one =)
lol, ok good luck Chris!
hope to you see you around.
@chris and thanks for the feedback - its invaluable
oh...while im rambling on in my senility.... how about instead of having 50 notifications of the same post; they get "stacked" in a way.... so that all 50 notifications show up as on item?
got it =) yep that certainly makes sense
lol ... now your senile too :)
haha, I always was in fact - not your doing
But ok - thanks for the great feedback amistre - the whole team will read this thread. If you have anything else, hop into the OpenStudy Feedback group from the main page. We're usually hanging out there.
thanx; yall doing a great job ^
We'll have these sessions every week or so as we make changes - they're going to come fast, and you guys are most definitely driving the direction. And thank you - from the team.
Talk to you later.
Hi radar - sorry, gave you a bad link (truncated)
Hi Chris
hi radar, thanks for sticking with me =)
sent you on a wild goose chase the first time
So how do you like OpenStudy? What do you think we could improve on?
I went there lol
Chris as you may know I am an old man (72) and I am learning a lot, I will certainly recommend it to my grandkids.
Well that's great =). You'll have a unique perspective to add. We want to have a community of experts that help get students off the ground when they're struggling with something (any age).
how about your first time experience - did you find OpenStudy confusing? were you able to hop right in and get engaged?
<- up to 90 fanbase...feeling smarter already; now whered I leave my keys..... :)
lol awesome amistre - moving on up =) - guess what happens when you hit 101 (I know hee hee)
It was pretty user friendly, I did have some web page problems and hang ups etc. It seems like things got better. I don't believe I have group chat privileges as I am not a pupil. I have had up to engineering math but it was years ago so I am looking how others answer the calculus questions as I want to review that.
i think you get to be a "hero"... funny, ive never been a sandwich before
aha! great =) ok so radar what browser are you on?
*everyone* has group chat privileges - this sounds like a coding bug
I have Firefox on an IMac
would you mind telling me what version (click on the firefox menu item in the upper left, and I believe "about firefox")
4.0
interesting - you should definitely not have problems chatting. something else may be going on. There *is* a chat bug where if you do not chat for say, 5 minutes, your message does not go through. If you'd like to test that out, then refresh this page with the browser refresh - you'll end up back on this question - but you *should* at that point be able to get a message through in the chat.
I tried to reply to you, but I never saw my reply posted. Do you just simply press "Enter" to send the message?
yes you do - I think it's probably the refresh issue. I imagine you will be able to chat for the first five minutes you enter the study group - and then somehow the chat stops working until you refresh. (I may be wrong)
It's ok if you don't want to try now - we're debugging that code bug already.
If you don't mind - if you could change or add one thing on OpenStudy - what would you change or add?
No problem. I don't chat often.
The attach file is really a good idea. Let me think about it Chris and as I experience things in my use, I will let you know. things seem to be Ok
Ok thank you very much. Your feedback is highly valued by our team. Just let us know by using the feedback tab on the left - or check out the OpenStudy Feedback group from the home page. We're all ears =)
good evening, and thanks for being such a great member
My biggest frustration thus far has been it seems like I can't answer questions fast enough because people are beating me to it, which is a nice change and a good thing. This really goes to sure just how active the active user base is. I also posted this on my facebook. Most of my friends would probably be more on the answering side of things, are there some selling points I could give them to check this out?
*how can i convince others its worth their time?
Are there subjects that *they* need help in? If so, you can fill out the front page survey for them, for example, or ask them to do so (if you click on `view all groups'), and we can let you/them know when we add groups that they might be interested in in that regard.
Additionally, at peak times, there can be a shortage of answers. We're thinking about adding an `unanswered' filter to the left pane so you can find unanswered questions when you're looking for something to do.
And last but not least, I think things will improve in that regard as more people find out -- we're also trying to find more partners to hook into OpenStudy so that their users can get help here, and that should increase the number of people looking for help. But you're right, that's a great problem :)
The unanswered filter does sound like a good idea, I'm all for that.
hi physicsphreak
how would *you* convince your friends that it's worth it?
if you could design anything into the product?
also - very interested in your feedback on the rewards discussion we've been having here. What would motivate you to answer more questions more quickly - and have fun doing so?
I think i read in a previous thread about the suggestion of user profiles, that sounds like a key idea that could integrate with a better rewards system. That might bring more people in. I think a rating of how helpful you are in various subjects and an average of these values would be nice.
ah great idea, definitely. How about per answer ratings? Or maybe if the asker can let you know that you answered their question and thank you?
Yeah, I was thinking the rating of individual subjects would be from averages of per answer ratings in those subjects.
ok cool. What do you think about achievements? e.g. you answer 5 questions highly andreceive a badge?
That's a good idea with maybe some creative subject specific titles or something.
Great idea.
I like the move to the split between the left side of the screen and the right side of the screen and away from the studypads of old. Its easier to use and more productive.
great - we were hoping that would be the case. How about any usability problems or suggestions? Or maybe missing features?
I agree with a lot that's been said already. Another thing that's just a thought would be (and again, I don't really know how many highschoolers make up the user base) AP groups to study for AP test a month or a couple weeks before. So short, temporary groups.
right, great point. like maybe AP Boot Camp groups or Cram Session groups
question is - how do we reach those students to let them know?
That's a good question because I was wondering how people hear of this site other than through the OCW and other similar things, word of mouth, and some media. Social media would probably be a very strong force to reach highschoolers studying for AP tests.
true
well thanks for the feedback - really appreciate it. If you have anything else, hit us up inOpenStudy Feedback group, or on the feedback tab on the left. The entire team will read this thread - so look out for some big changes over time =)
Regarding the reward system: my suggestions are rate answers 0-5 "not helpful at all" to "extremely helpful" Sort ratings for each users after topic and maybe level to: lower - high school - college, easy- difficult -very dificult. Another idea I had is to rate questions, there exists a big difference between a poorly formulated question and a straight-forward one. Thus people might achieve some reward without having answered any questions, they will be rated after how good askers they are. Probably this might motivate askers to try to formulate their questions better too. I totally agree with the suggestion to divide ratings into subjects too.
If you had an "aptitude" test to indicate our strengths, that would be a good way to show others what our skill levels are. Suppose you have a question bank of 1000 questions in each category (aritmetic, algebra, trig, calc1, calc2, etc.). The questions would come up in a random order and the amount that we get right would determine our skill level per category. If one question is answered correctly the first time, count it towards the skill level; if it is answered incorrectly the second time it appears, then it takes away from the skill level. That way we can hone our talents and others can see what our real potentials are..... Would that be feasible?
Well, maybe that would bring the users' focus away from answering questions? Maybe if such a question bank did exist it could have been one level according to what one achieved there too
Yeah, I think we're going to err on the side of peer validation in this case, at least in the immediate future. There are enough `expert-level' users in the various areas that I feel if we rely on their judgement, we will already have a good measure of how good someone is.
......fine......have it your way....... illl just be sulking in the corner....... :D
make it so when you select a new page to view it returns to the top of that page.
PLease upgrade this site to a faster version. it leggs alot. :S
Go back to the old version! This newest update is buggy beyond belief.
I would like to be able to search by topic
I love OpenStudy...the best thing anyones ever thought of in the 21st century so far! (:
\(\color{blue}{\text{Originally Posted by}}\) @saifoo.khan PLease upgrade this site to a faster version. it leggs alot. :S \(\color{blue}{\text{End of Quote}}\) How does it legg? :P
Ban @Conqueror :)
I feel left out *wipes a tear*

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