Upcoming rework of the tado° community forum; what would you like to see changed?

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Comments

  • andrewj041
    edited November 2021
    @Rob huge appreciation for your time on here and the time you’ve taken to respond. Point 10 is of particular interest to me as it opens up a huge range of options for me in HomeKit. The only issue i have is that it isn’t reporting the values in a timely manner.

    There is an issue with HomeKit reporting whereby the humidity is not updated at the same time as temperature. The intervals look wrong. This is especially true from the wireless thermostat. TRVs/SRTs may be less of an issue.

    I also second @mperedim on backwards compatibility
  • Flow
    Flow
    edited November 2021

    @Rob great to see this thread thanks. For me I have two immediate areas of feedback;

    1. I’ve observed commentary here (including Tado admins) that as ‘power users’ on this forum we don’t represent the mass market with our requests and expectations. Will a greater importance be placed on forum requests and ‘power user’ feedback?
    2. I’ve also read time and time again (yourself included) that English language requests often won’t get priority unless non-English forums request the same. Now I don’t know if you check whether every vote on an English topic is actually from a user located in England, but it’s a common language and some continental European users may choose not to duplicate requests in a second language? Also sadly the UK, with its antiquated heating systems and poor rural internet does often have region-specific needs; to turn this question around, how do you propose English-first users remain motivated in the new forum under Tado’s policy of prioritisation by language?
  • Flow
    Flow
    edited November 2021

    @Rob great to see this thread thanks. For me I have two immediate areas of feedback;

    1. I’ve observed commentary here (including Tado admins) that as ‘power users’ on this forum we don’t represent the mass market with our requests and expectations. Will a greater importance be placed on forum requests and ‘power user’ feedback?
    2. I’ve also read time and time again (yourself included) that English language requests often won’t get priority unless non-English forums request the same. Now I don’t know if you check whether every vote on an English topic is actually from a user located in England, but it’s a common language and some continental European users may choose not to duplicate requests in a second language? Also sadly the UK, with its antiquated heating systems and poor rural internet does often have region-specific needs; to turn this question around, how do you propose English-first users remain motivated in the new forum under the current approach of priority by language?


  • Rob
    Rob | Admin

    @Flow

    One man/woman, one vote. A vote in the English forum counts the same as a vote in any other language forum.

    Example: Let's say we have two topics: X and Y and Z. X gets 200 votes in English, Y gets 100 votes in English, Z gets 10. It seems clear which is the most common in English. Now we add the other languages:

    Topic X, in English there are 200 votes, 10 in German, none in the rest. Sum: 210.

    Topic Y, in English there are 100 votes, 150 in German, 75 in Dutch, 50 in Italian and none in the rest. Sum: 375.

    Topic Z, in English there are 10 votes, 100 in German, 150 in Dutch, 100 in Italian, 75 in Spanish and 50 in French. Sum: 485.

    Do you see where I'm going with this? We don't discriminate on language at all, quite the opposite. We only present the summed up results to our product management, so in this example 210 for X, 375 for Y and 485 for Z. Now if topic Q gets 600 votes in English and zero in the rest, it still blows the rest out of the water. For clarity: I just made up those numbers, they are only here to prove a point.

    My native language is Dutch, I live in Germany and as you've seen I also speak some English. I'm aware of the cross-pollination between languages.

    Power user versus novice user: Honestly? Not up to me. I quantify the results. From the forum, from the questionnaires we send out all customers 30 days after installation, from app reviews, and so on. I quantify all of this per category, 'translate'/clarify it to something our management understands and they 'weigh' their importance when prioritizing the next topics we develop. I have no insight in their weighing techniques, but I can say that the better my quantification is, the more influence it will have.

  • Hi @Rob thanks for the info. I appreciate your efforts on this thread.

    To my point 2 (and your detailed explanation) - I guess I interpreted some comments/replies more literally than they were intended. It makes sense now.

    As a new suggestion, does it also make sense to add a measure of ‘impact’ somehow? So to build on your example Topic Y might have less votes overall, but the impact or benefit of that topic on users is high, so it outweighs Topic Z? This could help weed out the nice-to-have requests vs the must-haves? It might also help because some longer running requests will pick up additional votes just because they are older.

  • Rob
    Rob | Admin

    @Flow

    The number of votes is only one parameter. For example, there recently was a topic about the font size in a specific screen being too small. It got some votes, but not a huge number. Still, we addressed it. As you can imagine, changing the font size can be implemented much faster than developing a whole new feature.

    The point is that we consider a larger number of parameters. Number of votes in the forum, prevalence in other feedback sources, impact on customers, side effects (some proposed changes would negatively impact other customers), investment costs on our side, and so on.

  • Hi @Rob

    You make a great argument for Tado........but Tado needs to understand that many of the requested improvements are exactly that.....a request for an improvement. Surely Tado wants to improve their product......sometimes it definitely appears that Tado's customers are very low in Tado's order of importance.......maybe I'll get another "shadow ban" for speaking out.......

  • @Rob, thanks for taking the time to interact with this boisterous, vocal and opinionated community group, I have held off jumping in and spent some time reading this thread and one or two of the other larger threads. Some interesting commentary hidden away in few of these, but I think I have some thoughts worth airing now.

    The key frustrations expressed in these forums is one of lack of clarity and the irregular updates from Tado people. I appreciate that yourself and @Jurian do post, but it's not as obviously regular as people are hoping. However, some of the recent comments, especially from yourself have helped to clarify things that perhaps were less clear before.

    If Tado intend to re-invent these forums, then I would suggest a few basic things may go a long way:

    1. Pro-active moderation shows that the forums are valued. Assigning one or two people as moderators, and making time in their weekly schedule for that activity (making it part of their job and not relying on good will) will help the users to see regular commentary from Tado-sanctioned people, raising that feeling of "being listened to". Alongside that increase in interaction, housekeeping the threads, grouping common threads into one so as to keep focus for specific feature requests, or "bug" discussions in one place will help both Tado, and the community to see what the discussion topics are and to properly measure interest/frustration in things.
    2. If threads are better managed, and there is more clarity around how many (English speaking) members are discussing a specific topic, then can we get visibility of how that topic is perceived or discussed in other language forums ? In one of your recent posts you discussed that some things are singularly UK-market problems, and other forums have no interest, or vice-versa. Having a view of the level of interest elsewhere will help frustration levels.
    3. Your recent update about priorities was interesting. You will never please all the people all the time, but a rolling roadmap of priorities, perhaps with a matrix of "Current Development, Next Focus, Later this Year" vs "Simple (short dev cycle), Complex (longer dev cycle), Under feasability review" again helps people understand that the discussion is moving forward, even if not at the pace hoped for by specific individuals. The output of this kind of data is also valuable for marketing on the main Tado product site as "upcoming enhancements", to encourage new customers into the ecosystem.

    The forums are an extension of the customer service/support function, they have a significant impact on perceptions. Investing some few man-hours each day can create a lot of value for both Tado (in more constructive feedback and discussion) and the customers who then feel their voice is heard - even if sometimes the answer to the question has to be "No, because...."

  • I must admit I've not read all the comments on this thread, as there are a lot and I'm sure my comments overlap some of what's already been said.

    My feedback would be:

    1) I would guess users on this forum are fairly technical by nature. Visibility of customer facing release notes would go a long way to help users understand what is changing, and in return you may get feedback on confirmed bug fixes, features working as designed etc. Data is great but you can't beat real world feeback

    2) following on from the above, maybe think about sharing an uncommitted roadmap for transparency. Perhaps welcome feedback to see how aligned this is with your users? It can't always be about bug fixes.

    3) what about a BETA group? The more testers you have the more data you get back. I'm sure users would be willing to sacrifice some stability to help test out new features and capabilities and provide you with that all important FEEDBACK

    4) How about allocating 10% of your dev time each Q to develop a "user" voted feature/capability. I work for a large organisation (30k users) and the biggest lesson (I'm in IT) has been listen to the the users and work to deliver what they are asking for. It's impossible to "guess" use cases accurately. Creating solutions and services you think are right without user validation, understanding the UX and value add can cause friction

    5) Continue the forum engagement. Think of it as an extension of the support service you offer. People typically come to forums when they have a question/issue that isn't resolved through normal channels. They may also come here when they're interested in purchasing the product. Active participation as the manufacturer would provide a lot of benefit to new and existing customers.

    6) Limited new hardware testing. Perhaps offer existing users the option to test new hardware for you.

    7) Maybe take a look at aha.io - I know a number a large enterprise vendors I work with leverage this to manage their intake and user wants

    9) an automated "report a problem" from the app. Allows logs to be sent (don't know how you get these today), but automating the process for users would help prevent back and forth questions

    10) empower your users. Provide more information on "local" (user home) performance to help us understand what's going on. We may be able to fix issues without bugging you. Its great to know a TRV is offline, but why is it offline when it was online an hour ago. What was the last communication? What is the signal strength to the extension kit or internet hub. If it's 10% then a user might be able to make adjustments and not have to open a ticket

    I know my comments extend beyond enhancing the forums but I was taking advantage of the ask :)

    For me, Tado is good but not great - I wish it worked better for my environment (large, solid walled house) - I get TRV's dropping randomly after working fine for weeks, then kick back into life for weeks again. Your customers invest in tado to save money on heating costs and have granular control - help ensure they are successful in doing so. In the UK I can buy a TRV for £15.00 from screwfix.com or I can buy a smart TRV from Tado for £69.99 - That that 4 fold price increase really needs to provide value. I have 20 rad's in my house / just over half are Tado, I won't invest further until I feel I've confidence in the solution, proper "smart" control and am genuinely saving on my heating bills (oil). Right now, I also won't recommend to friends in a similar situation/property to me (what sort of friend would I be otherwise :) ).

    Spend the time to make sure the re-work, works for your customers and you, but don't spend months and months over thinking it - iterate as you go.

  • Pablo1
    Pablo1
    edited April 7
    So if someone has just spent £600 on your stuff and it won’t work because the Bridge can’t seem to cope with a moderately sized home - are we supposed to just put up with an unusable product and hope you make better kit in the future? I’ve just got mine and so far I may as well have just thrown money down the drain - seems to be your NUMBER ONE priority over everything else should be to get your products to be able to communicate with each other or remove them from sale!

    You wouldn’t need to revamp the forum if more of your customers got products that just did what they’re supposed to - they’d be living their lives rather than desperately trying to find answers
  • rafm5
    rafm5 | Moderator
    edited April 7

    @Pablo1 The answer may not be that obvious...

    Year ago, tado° announced that it sold over one million smart thermostats in Europe. I have no access to this data, so let's assume that 1000 forum users reported connection issues. That's 0.1% of all users, hence:

    1 - statistically there is no issue at all.

    2 - this issue can't be resolved by software change, only hardware.

    3 - tado°currently have no new hardware available, hence is unable to offer any alternative solution until next generation of devices is available to the public.

    4 - you can't just stop selling a product (because of 0.1% users - assumption) and without having a successor. This would mean cutting off access to new funds.

    Some may say 'the moon doesn’t care for barking dogs', but realistically new devices are needed.

  • Rob
    Rob | Admin

    @rafm5 is right. The range issue is a very significant and real problem for some, and no issue whatsoever for the vast majority. People who are not facing this issue are clearly not going to forums to complain about something that works fine for them. That does not mean that we are sitting still and doing nothing though, but we obviously cannot change already existing hardware.

  • rafm5
    rafm5 | Moderator

    Some users suggested 6LoWPAN extender, see this: https://community.tado.com/en-gb/discussion/comment/30402/#Comment_30402