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[UPDATE] Recent forum changes AND [NEW] user titles

AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 185
Update

Hello everybody!

You have probably noticed the new layout to the forum... we hope you like it. :)

The reason we made this change is because we want to improve and evolve the forum to help it become a more informative and valuable place to talk about all things AAT and accounting. The changes were based on sophisticated insights from a user testing programme we ran towards the end of last year and this new layout addresses a lot, but not all, of the key concerns our users faced.

Since the change on Tuesday 14 we have seen the average time spent on the forums increase by 5% and the bounce rate (people leaving quickly) decrease by 5%. Site search has also increased by 10%. So we are happy with the change thus far.

Don't worry, we have been reading your feedback on the forum as well and are duly taking notes. We were particularly happy when somebody mentioned the surprising appearance of the 'Best Of...' section and wondered where it came from. This section was actually a feature on the previous layout as well, so it's good to know you can now find where its been hiding all this time.

Moving forward we want to keep improving the forum experience for all users and continue its growth. We hope you will bear with us during this transition and also help to make it a healthy, welcoming and knowledgeable professional community. Your feedback is always welcome so don't hesitate to contact us.

User titles

We have also introduced user titles to help identify and distinguish different members of the forum.

A key piece of the feedback from last year was that users did not know who they were talking to, whether they were an experienced FMAAT or a Level 2 student, or, not a member of AAT at all.

In light of this we have introduced the following titles:

AAT Student - Students currently studying AAT qualifications
MAAT - Full Member of AAT
AATQB - Professional AAT Bookkeeper
FMAAT - Fellow Member of AAT
AAT Licensed Accountant - AAT Licensed Accountant

We encourage everybody to request their student or professional user title to help other forum members quickly identify who you are and what experience you have with AAT. To do this please message @AAT_Team with your membership ID number and the title(s) you wish to have added to your profile or email communityteam@aat.org.uk.

If you have any questions regarding user titles please get in touch.
Afair13
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Comments

  • mrme89mrme89 Banned User Posts: 621
    edited March 17
    You have probably noticed the new layout to the forum... we hope you like it. :)

    It's rubbish. I can only conclude that you are trying to target 4 year olds and / or the intellectually challenged.

    The changes were based on sophisticated insights from a user testing programme

    You used the wrong people.
  • BeccaLouJ9BeccaLouJ9 Experienced Mentor DevonRegistered Posts: 1,011
    @mrme89 you've been banned again??? You need to behave yourself.

    @AAT_Team Out of interest, was there a poll or study for the regular users of the forum? I just don't remember seeing one that's all. I'd have contributed if I had.
    Becca Jones CTA MAAT ATT :)

  • BeccaLouJ9BeccaLouJ9 Experienced Mentor DevonRegistered Posts: 1,011
    Also, could you just confirm why two of the recent threads a number of us have been participating in have been closed?

    Thanks

    B
    Becca Jones CTA MAAT ATT :)

  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,031
    Re: 'Best of" section
    How does it work? Just thinking that my "Best of" might not be the same as a L2 student's "Best of". Is there any way to tweak this so it reflects your area of interest? Otherwise what is the point?
  • BeccaLouJ9BeccaLouJ9 Experienced Mentor DevonRegistered Posts: 1,011

    Re: 'Best of" section
    How does it work? Just thinking that my "Best of" might not be the same as a L2 student's "Best of". Is there any way to tweak this so it reflects your area of interest? Otherwise what is the point?

    Agree. I don't really understand it to be honest. Is it the most 'liked', or the most 'correct' etc. As someone who doesn't have any social media, it means little to me.

    B
    Becca Jones CTA MAAT ATT :)

  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,031
    Re: user titles
    Agree this is a good idea. Just out of interest where/how will it appear on your profile?
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,031
    "Since the change on Tuesday 14 we have seen the average time spent on the forums increase by 5% and the bounce rate (people leaving quickly) decrease by 5%. Site search has also increased by 10%. So we are happy with the change thus far."

    I don't want to sound cynical but it could be that people stay longer because they need to adapt to the new format?
    BeccaLouJ9
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 185
    edited March 17

    @mrme89 you've been banned again??? You need to behave yourself.

    Permanently banned this time. This is probably a good time to remind everybody of AAT's Online Community T&C's.

    @AAT_Team Out of interest, was there a poll or study for the regular users of the forum? I just don't remember seeing one that's all. I'd have contributed if I had.

    We did not issue a poll though your feedback here is welcome. As we are focused on growth all of our testers were students and members who were not using the forum so we could get a fresh perspective of what challenges people face when first landing on the forums. Also the change is only a theme change so we haven't changed anything mechanically, the way everything works is still the same.

    Also, could you just confirm why two of the recent threads a number of us have been participating in have been closed?

    Thanks

    B

    One thread was started in 2012 and resurrected, another had an explicit acronym in the title which breaks our T&C's and another I accidentally closed instead of moving. Sorry about that (fixed).

    Re: 'Best of" section
    How does it work? Just thinking that my "Best of" might not be the same as a L2 student's "Best of". Is there any way to tweak this so it reflects your area of interest? Otherwise what is the point?


    The Best Of... section aggregates posts with a lot of reactions to them. So Likes and Upvotes etc. The community here doesn't use those often so it's not really useful but it's part of the forum so we can't delete it right now.
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 185
    @BeccaLouJ9 - would you send me your membership ID so I can add MAAT to your user title? :)
  • BeccaLouJ9BeccaLouJ9 Experienced Mentor DevonRegistered Posts: 1,011
    edited March 17
    1. Go on give him another chance, he'll miss us.
    2. I kind of see your point here, but surely keeping regular posters is as important if not more important than recruiting new ones. I think that our opinion would, or should, have had an impact.
    3. The thread you moved doesn't work right now.
    4. Thanks for explaining.

    I will wait and see your response to @MarieNoelle ta :)

    B
    Becca Jones CTA MAAT ATT :)

    TreadStone
  • TreadStoneTreadStone Feels At Home AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 206
    Just when things were starting to pick-up again, you go and change things........ :/
    BeccaLouJ9Londina
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 185
    edited March 17

    1. Go on give him another chance, he'll miss us.
    2. I kind of see your point here, but surely keeping regular posters is as important if not more important than recruiting new ones. I think that our opinion would, or should, have had an impact.
    3. The thread you moved doesn't work right now.
    4. Thanks for explaining.

    I will wait and see your response to @MarieNoelle ta :)

    B

    1. He made his choice. AAT has standards which unfortunately he does not meet. But don't worry, hopefully we can be friends too? :)
    2. Our existing users are very important to us and the forum community. We really value the time you take every day to help each other and new members get the support they need. No changes are final and as mentioned we will continue to develop and evolve
    3. Yes, not sure why, will look into it
    4. No problem!


  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,031
    edited March 17
    @AAT_Team please may I have the Licensed Accountant title as well? Or can you only have one title? All licensed accountants will be MAAT or FMAAT I presume?
  • BeccaLouJ9BeccaLouJ9 Experienced Mentor DevonRegistered Posts: 1,011

    Re: user titles
    Agree this is a good idea. Just out of interest where/how will it appear on your profile?

    Ah now I was just about to send my membership number to @AAT_Team but then realised that this is an anonymous forum. It shouldn't be linked to our membership.

    I am happy with my signature showing my letters.

    Thanks anyway. :)

    B
    Becca Jones CTA MAAT ATT :)

  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 185
    Absolutely. Done :)
  • BeccaLouJ9BeccaLouJ9 Experienced Mentor DevonRegistered Posts: 1,011

    @AAT_Team please may I have the Licensed Accountant title as well? Or can you only have one title? All licensed accountants will be MAAT or FMAAT I presume?

    There will be no more room on the top bar with all your credentials!!!! :)
    B x
    Becca Jones CTA MAAT ATT :)

    MarieNoelle
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,031

    @AAT_Team please may I have the Licensed Accountant title as well? Or can you only have one title? All licensed accountants will be MAAT or FMAAT I presume?

    There will be no more room on the top bar with all your credentials!!!! :)
    B x
    Yeah maybe I can drop the "Trusted Regular" B)
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 185

    Just when things were starting to pick-up again, you go and change things........ :/

    Change for a better future, we hope! If there's anything specific that you don't like by all means let us know so we can consider it.

    Would you like your own user title?
  • BeccaLouJ9BeccaLouJ9 Experienced Mentor DevonRegistered Posts: 1,011

    @AAT_Team please may I have the Licensed Accountant title as well? Or can you only have one title? All licensed accountants will be MAAT or FMAAT I presume?

    There will be no more room on the top bar with all your credentials!!!! :)
    B x
    Yeah maybe I can drop the "Trusted Regular" B)
    Yeh you are a bit dodgey, not sure I trust you.......
    :)
    B x
    Becca Jones CTA MAAT ATT :)

    MarieNoelle
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 185

    "
    I don't want to sound cynical but it could be that people stay longer because they need to adapt to the new format?

    It could be - we will keep monitoring the stats each week and go from there.
  • Adele69Adele69 CambridgeAAT Student Posts: 234
    Or more people are joining, and posting questions that do not get answered.
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,031
    Re quote: not sure I like the oversized font when quoting someone. The comment gets a bit lost as a result. Is there any way to improve this?
  • AAT_TeamAAT_Team Administrator Posts: 185
    edited March 17

    Re quote: not sure I like the oversized font when quoting someone. The comment gets a bit lost as a result. Is there any way to improve this?

    Agree. We've adjusted it now, how does it look?
    MarieNoelle
  • mwbmwb SolihullRegistered Posts: 10
    I'm sure we will get used to the new look but perhaps give users advance warning of changes next time (sorry if I missed this).
    MarieNoelle
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,323
    I've been around long enough to see the forums go through many changes. I think some of the changes introduced in the past were not well thought out or timed and a once very active and popular forums is now only a shadow of what it was.
    My thoughts regarding time spent on here seems to actually be reading and posting about how the forums have changed and peoples opinions.
    My thoughts so far:-
    1 - I'm not adverse to the changes. Something needs to be done to return the forums to being more active.
    2 - I have concerns over membership status being recorded by AAT against users. This is two fold. I always try and give advice and guidance in a professional manner. I do also voice my opinion. Will AAT be monitoring this and using it for disciplinary? Maybe it should already be a concern but I think it would make me think twice and probably not bother posting. In which case possibly defeating the point of a forum? The second aspect I think will completely defeat the point. If someone is a qualified member or even a MIP and wants to ask a question that is considered simple. If questions of this standard continue as this could be matched back to an individual may that be used for disciplinary purposes?
    3 - Best Of - having looked at this it seems to be old well commented on threads of little relevance now?
    4 - Thinking the quoting still needs a little more emphasis as it doesn't stand out enough for me

    I'm sure there is more I will come up with.

    As I say I'm for making the forums better and definitely more active but we need to make it actually work.
    Regards,

    Burg
    MarieNoelle
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,031
    AAT_Team said:

    Re quote: not sure I like the oversized font when quoting someone. The comment gets a bit lost as a result. Is there any way to improve this?

    Agree. We've adjusted it now, how does it look?
    It's better but still prefer how it looked on the previous version.
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,031
    @burg
    You raised an excellent point re anonymity. i look forward to hearing @AAT_Team's response on this matter.
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,323

    @burg
    You raised an excellent point re anonymity. i look forward to hearing @AAT_Team's response on this matter.

    I've noticed though that anonymity may not have been present before. My status has been added but I have not requested this. I'm obviously known to the AAT
    Regards,

    Burg
  • MarieNoelleMarieNoelle Trusted Regular Hampshire/Surrey borderModerator, MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,031
    burg said:

    @burg
    You raised an excellent point re anonymity. i look forward to hearing @AAT_Team's response on this matter.

    I've noticed though that anonymity may not have been present before. My status has been added but I have not requested this. I'm obviously known to the AAT
    Your role as a moderator may have something to do with it?
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,323

    burg said:

    @burg
    You raised an excellent point re anonymity. i look forward to hearing @AAT_Team's response on this matter.

    I've noticed though that anonymity may not have been present before. My status has been added but I have not requested this. I'm obviously known to the AAT
    Your role as a moderator may have something to do with it?
    May do.

    I more thought it was as my role of the MIP fees survey.

    It's not a major issue. I do consider it may be an issue though for those posting queries.
    Regards,

    Burg
    MarieNoelle
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