If I recall correctly, Adobe announced The Adobe eLearning Community web site at the Adobe eLearning Conference in Washington DC in 2016. Users often criticized Adobe for not having the most up to date information available. It was positioned to be a hub where users could easily find the answers they were looking for but also interact with one another, thus the name community.
Adobe recently gave the community a facelift. As a frequent contributor, I found this a little jarring. The items I was used to using were no longer in the usual location. I've forced myself to learn the new site, and I thought I would share my thoughts.
Adobe has now divided Blogs into subcategories. At first glance, this makes sense, unless you are looking for content that may not be easily identifiable. For example, if you were looking for content related interactive video, you might expect to find that content under Video-Based Learning. However, you might also find that content under Interactive eLearning. To me, the greatest sin a web site can commit is forcing users to go looking for content in multiple places.
The next section is the Webinar section. While this is a great item to include, there is no opportunity to notify the community of your webinars that you might be hosting. I frequently run a weekly webinar or sorts called the eLearning Livestream. I fairly consistently run this on Monday's at noon eastern standard time. I would love the opportunity to post the details in this section, but there doesn't seem to be a way to do that. For right now this seems to be just for Adobe sponsored webinars.
The next section is the Tutorials section. The Tutorials section includes a series of tutorials that Adobe has produced. Great content but again there is no obvious way for me or others to contribute.
The next link brings you to what will be relatively static content related to the Adobe Captivate Specialist Certification Program. I believe this is a great program to get new Adobe Captivate users up and running. It would be nice if there were a section for Cp Specialist to communicate with one another, share ideas and perhaps ask questions of the instructors of the course. It would be a great way to build that sense of community.
Next is the Quick Start Assets. These are links to download the same ready-to-go slides and projects that are available in the Assets window of Adobe Captivate version 18.104.22.1689. When you click on one of the project thumbnails, three icons are displayed. The function of the three icons is to allow you to view the slides from that project, preview the project, or download the entire project.
Next is Discussions. By default, Adobe displays popular Discussions; however, there is a search functionality to find discussions using keywords you enter. When you reach the bottom of the page, you can click on more to see presumably additional popular entries. I sort of wonder if a user asks a question that is not popular does that discussion even show up in this list. I'd like to know the answer to that. There used to be an exact duplicate of the questions asked on the Adobe eLearning Community over on the more traditional eLearning forums found here: https://forums.adobe.com/community/adobe_captivate. I found it useful because if I answered a fellow users question in one spot, I was also answering the question it in the other location as well. It seems that the forums are also about to under a change. It will be interesting to see what happens to the connection between these two sites. As an experienced Captivate user, I'm not interested in having to monitor two websites for information, updates, and to help other users like myself.
Next users like myself have an opportunity to Post a Blog entry, Sample Project or Free Asset, Video, Discussion, or Testimonial or Case Study. I'm assuming if I post items except for discussions that all these items will show up in the Blogs section. I'm curious how the subcategories work. The choices here do not match the subcategories in the Blogs section. The option for thumbnails for blog posts remains from before the changes. Upon searching through the site, it seems those thumbnails have been removed and replaced with generic thumbnails. I'm disappointed as thumbnails are the first impression of what I either write or create. Generic thumbnails give the site an unfinished feel. Perhaps Adobe wants the site to look more consistent. If so, my suggestion is to allow users to select one of the generic thumbnails when we post new content.
Notifications still seem not to work as expected. I continue to see notifications for discussions I was not involved with. I'm not sure if this has something to do with the fact I'm a moderator or not. But it would be nice not to be notified for what seems to be every post on the community site.
Perhaps this is my perception, but the improvements to the "community" page seem to mostly be about giving more of a voice to Adobe to continue to market their products and events. Of course, they should have this ability as it is their website. It would be nice to improve the areas where we as users contribute rather than to reduce our visibility and ease of use. It feels like less of a community and more of a marketing tool.