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Old 28th June 2013, 05:18 PM   #1
Patrick Connor
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Default Serif.com as you’ve never seen it before!

Originally posted on CommunityPlus

On Monday 1st July 2013 we unveil our brand new homepage and site navigation. With an amazing new layout, it’s designed to help our customers enjoy Serif like never before across PC, mobile and tablet.
  • Get Serif wherever you are
    Our new design is optimised for modern browsers and looks great on any device including PCs, laptops, smart phones and tablets so you can browse and shop wherever you are.
  • Shopping is simpler than ever
    A new simple homepage layout makes it easy to find what you want, when you want it. Say goodbye to complicated navigation.
  • Better integration with CommunityPlus
    All our help resources are now under one roof. It’s so simple and easy-to-use, you won’t need to visit several other sites for support.
  • Reduce emphasis on Serif Forums, Support Portal, and Knowledge Base
    To channel together Serif support resources to better serve our customers' needs.
We hope you enjoy our new look homepage and keep your eyes peeled for more improvements to Serif.com coming soon!

Feel free to contact me (aloach@serif.com) if you have any concerns.

Alex
Head of Service Operations
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Old 28th June 2013, 05:23 PM   #2
Patrick Connor
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Default Re: Serif.com as you’ve never seen it before!

As you can see from this post by Alex, the links from Serif.com to the many varied forms of support currently being offered to Serif users is being reduced. This list includes these Serif forums, but also includes links to these other sites and pages. Consequently I would like to make clear why we have removed the direct link to these forums.

We fully appreciate that the Serif forums has a well developed community, offering support to Serif customers who are sometimes new to our software, right through to the most experienced of users, exchanging tips and, in many cases, work arounds to get the most from the software you use.

However if we continue to have links to all the sites where support on our software can be found then we have found that a casual visitor to Serif.com would not know where to start to get the answers to their problem. For example the knowledge base was pretty unfathomable with the first few articles being read thousands of times and all other articles never being found. Equally the poor search on these forums meant that new users often asked something that had been asked many, many times before. Plus the answers given here often ended up diverting people away to the hosted tutorials, help files or knowledge base. We have also had user after user coming to www.serif.com and then making support tickets about the most simple of issues the information for which should be quick to find just be typing into Google and landing on a Q&A or a CommunityPlus article. This is why we have reviewed and rationalised.

CommunityPlus is designed to bring together the concepts of a Q&A site where users can search for existing answers or ask new questions, but they can also read a wealth of Serif related information and software tutorials in the articles, like a knowledge base. Combined with a shared login to Serif.com means that any Serif user can participate without making a different account. *

CommunityPlus is still in beta. It does not yet have all of the key features that are needed to offer rounded user to user support:
  • Private Messaging;
  • File attachments;
  • Email notifications and other usability features;
  • PlusPoint progression;
  • Mature internal and external moderation;
Most of these CommunityPlus features are due to roll out for testing in the next few weeks.
So right now these forums will continue to work as they do, and I think you all deserve answers to these key questions:
  1. Can we continue to use these forums if we want to?
  2. Will new sign ups to the forums remain open? If not when will new accounts stop being able to be created?
  3. Will the forums ever be closed to new threads/posts, making them read only? If so when, or based on what criterion?
  4. Will the forums be removed from the internet? If so when, or based on what criterion?
1. Yes, you can continue to use these forums. All we have done is stopped linking to them directly from serif.com as part of the navigation rationalisation that has been undertaken because of a review of our support process.

2. Yes, but not for long. At the moment we have over 100 signups per month who post something. [We also banned 4700 accounts last month who created accounts to post advertising spam!] We used to get 300 per month but many of those new users are now creating CommunityPlus accounts and getting their answers over there. I think that Serif will close this forum to new signups in the next few months, particularly if the spamming gets much worse and/or the genuine signups drops dramatically.

3. At the moment we do not have a firm answer to this. We are in early days with CommunityPlus and it has not settled in it's features or matured in it's participation. The Serif forums are still getting thousands of posts per month in hundreds and sometimes thousands of new and existing threads. From recent posts it is very clear that many regular users are enjoying using them for problem solving and appreciating the friendly welcoming atmosphere. Consequently I would expect that to continue for quite some time. We do not know yet when or if this position will change, sorry.

As I have am not able to be clear about the timescale for "3. Will the forums ever be closed", so answer 4 is a bit hypothetical.

4. No, even if these forums do close to new posts we would want them to continue to exist so that the information is available to refer to for a long time to come.

Patrick Connor
Head of Software Projects
Serif (Europe) Limited

* It confuses many people that these forums do not use serif.com login credentials, and we have had to explain this by email for many years to new users who could not understand why they could not log in, when they had not actually made a forum account.

Last edited by AlfredP; 4th July 2013 at 06:28 PM.
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