The Vodafone eForum is a great place to make yourself heard and get your mobile problems fixed, but up until recently it's had one big thing missing. Here's the next evolution...
The story so far? We’ve been exploring the world of the Vodafone eForum. Along with a look into how it can help you, we’ve also been profiling the prolific Community Experts. But now it’s time for a quick look backstage, and the changes that are making it even easier to get the help you need, or to let you help others.
To get the latest, we’ve been talking to James Draycott, one of the team in charge of the eForum on a day-to-day basis. And he’s a bit excited. Why? Well, the forum’s going through a bit of an evolution…
“Up until last month, if anybody tried to use the forum on a phone or tablet it would basically appear exactly as it is on the desktop version,” he tells us. “It’d be identical to how you’d see it on a PC, so it would be really zoomed out, really hard to see and – really – you’d have quite a horrible experience trying to use such a big site on a mobile.”
And that was a big problem because it affected the Community Experts, and without them, the Vodafone eForum ceases to be anywhere near as useful. “A lot of our Community Experts try to help on their mobiles because they’re busy with their jobs,” explains James. “So that was a big problem for them; they could still do it, but they’d struggle to be able to use it properly.”
Making a change
Never fear, though: the team has reached into the forum’s brains and tinkered with the wiring. The result is something altogether smarter: a new mobile and tablet version.
“With this new upgrade,” says James, “we now have a dedicated view for mobiles. It’s all done in-browser, so there’s no app to download and there’s no extra processes running. The site notices you’re using a phone and it provides the phone interface instead. It’s basically the same experience you get on the desktop version, but it’s designed for a phone or tablet, so there are bigger buttons to tap, it’s easier to scroll and it’s all fitted to the page, so you don’t have to do a lot of zooming in or out.
“It’s compatible with the vast majority of phones,” he adds. “Not just new phones as well – even old phones, which means that most people will be get the really good experience of being able to use the eForum this way.”
All’s well that ends well, right? Well, not exactly: the story doesn’t stop there. See, the new mobile version of the forum has now been rolled out, but our trusty Community Experts weren’t 100 per cent satisfied. James explains:
“We’ve been building up to this for quite a long time; it’s something that customers have been asking for since day one.
“To begin with, the Community Experts weren’t involved – we just told them that it was coming. But when we launched it, we asked for feedback. Apart from overwhelming positivity about it – because it finally means they can use the forum when out and about – one negative was the fact that one of the ways the Community Experts use the forum was missing.
“On the desktop forum, they all use options called ‘Recent Posts’ and ‘Recent Topics’. They use them as a workflow tool, by reading recent posts to see what they can answer. That didn’t exist on the new mobile module – you just had ‘Information’ or a view of the forum as a whole.
“It’s solely because of feedback from the Community Experts.”
And when our community Experts talk, we listen. “Now, it’s not launched yet, but we’ll shortly be launching version 2 of the mobile eForum, which includes those Recent Posts and Recent Topics options. That’s solely because of the feedback from the Community Experts, because Vodafone knows how valuable they are. Without their input, it wouldn’t have happened.
“We’re launching that version really soon,” says James.
Hopefully, when this new iteration of the mobile eForum goes live, it’ll finally be the perfect mobile version that the community’s been waiting for, and offer the kind of experience that everyone on the eForum deserves.