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What's new in the Looker community?

  • 27 October 2020
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If you’re new here, you might be thinking to yourself: “Wow, nice community! I can’t wait to become part of it.” If that’s you— Feel free to read this to see all the new features, but make sure to also check out the Getting Started guide.

 

For the Looker Community old-timers, looking around and going “WOah, where am I?”— Read on.

Up at the top for visibility: There is currently an issue with the Feature Requests category and how we map its posts. It’s not visible right now, but will be surfaced again once we can straighten things out. Check out this post for info on how to submit Product Ideas to Looker:

 

What did we do?

For the last several months, the Looker Community team has been hard at work planning for this platform migration. Today, we’ve moved all of the great content and users from discourse.looker.com over here, to community.looker.com. There’s a fresh new look and some great new functionality (detailed below), but still all of the same users and Lookers— and the same community manager :grin:

The most important thing to know: This will continue to be the same old great Looker Community, just with a shiny newer skin. The new tools we have at our disposal will let us provide a better experience and a more active community, and we are committed to investing in and curating our community so that our users always have a home to chat Looker and Data— This is a demonstration of that investment and commitment.

That said, the tool is nothing without all of you, so I just want to emphasize that your opinions, feedback, and participation are the only thing that will make this successful!

 

Why did we do this?

There’s a lot of reasons, but there’s two main ones— Better user experience, and better moderator experience.

User Experience:

  • Improved UI! We’ve moved to a more modern look that better meshes with the rest of our resources and makes for an easier UX.
    • Please give us feedback on this— It is hard to make something both beautiful and utilitarian, and we want to hear where we can improve.
  • Gamification! We had a few badges before, mostly quite basic. There’s a great new badging system now as well as ranks and a point-based leaderboard. We want these to be fun, not annoying or competitive feeling. We’re starting with just a few badges and will grow.
    • The leaderboard resets weekly. We may add a cumulative tab, but for now Weekly feels fun, inspiring, and not quite as competitive.
  • We now have groups. You can browse the list of groups here and join/request to join any group you please. We’ll be creating some groups of our own for an Early Access Program and a Customer Success sub-community, and I encourage you to submit your own group ideas in the community ideas thread. 
  • Much better Question / Answer functionality. This will be great for visibility of solutions and making sure questions get answered fast.
  • Events can now be easily discovered and RSVP’ed to in the community. They’ll always show on the homepage and you can easily RSVP with just one click!
  • Huge integration potential. The platform we now use can be mushed, squished, API’d, and webhooked to high heaven, meaning we can keep it really tightly integrated into the future of our documentation, developer experience, e-learning, and product. Expect to see awesome things coming for the Looker Community now that we have this flexibility.
  • There’s a lot more to discover. Explore around!

Moderator Experience

  • There’s a huge amount of improvements “under the hood” that will make our lives easier, but will really reflect in the user experience as a function of the amount of time the Community team is able to spend improving the quality of the community.
  • We now have hugely improved moderation flows, including integrations and automations that previously weren’t possible, is going to really improve the quality of life of the team and lead to improved user experiences— Like better response times, improved organization, and easier discovery of accepted solutions.
  • Improved permissions. Previously, it was difficult/impossible to create specific types of moderator, which made it ultimately not possible to rely on community driven support. We can now do this.
  • Room to grow. We were pretty much maxed out with features on our old platform and even relied on some custom-written (read: crappy) javascript plugins I had written. Here, we’re not even using all of the new features yet and will slowly grow into them. This means there’s more improvements and features still to come.
  • Security & general enterprise quality of the architecture. We upgraded a huge amount of things under the hood here.
  • Awesome API. I’m a big data / workflow nerd, so I’m having fun rigging up all kinds of Looker integrations and actions that improve the gamification and moderation experience + speed. 

 

New URL, New Look

You’ll notice that things look different, and there’s a new URL. Old discourse.looker.com URLs for articles and questions should automatically redirect to their new location, and the Discourse homepage will point at community.looker.com. Get in the habit of using the new URL!

 

Got feedback?

I want to hear your feedback— Every word. I know that there are some things we can improve about the new platform, and I’m sure there are great ideas out there I haven’t thought of. We have a Community Ideas category where you can submit and vote on your requests + ideas for the Looker Community, online or off. I promise I’ll read every one!

 

Looker Love,

Izzy


1 reply

Userlevel 1

Quick question that I can’t seem to find in the intro or pinned articles: How do I bookmark an article so I can reference it later without having to search for it?

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