4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 24, 2015 5:02 PM by tfitzgerald

    Has anyone used the Custom Fields on Ideas?

    tfitzgerald

      Has anyone used "Custom Fields" with ideas to get a better formulated idea from your users? What has that experience been?

       

      Also, do you know if that data is recorded in the database?

       

      Thanks!

       

      -Tracy

        • Re: Has anyone used the Custom Fields on Ideas?
          jkurutz

          Tracy,

           

          We use them so our users can record what scientific instruments they have (model type, basic configuration). It was easy to set up and fairly helpful. However, the lack of standardization in the responses would make analyzing the information difficult, even if everyone responded.

           

          - Josh

            • Re: Has anyone used the Custom Fields on Ideas?
              tfitzgerald

              Thanks Josh! What do you mean by the "lack of standardization"? Do you mean the way the data is reported or that they're not required fields so not everyone responds?

               

              -Tracy

                • Re: Has anyone used the Custom Fields on Ideas?
                  jkurutz

                  Tracy,

                   

                  It's how the users report their information. We provide a field called "Spectrometer #1" (followed by #2, #3, etc.). The user can then fill it out however they wish or ignore it. The resulting information is most often very informative for a savvy human reading it, but the same information could be presented in different ways. For example, a 400 MHz system with an Oxford 54mm-bore magnet, 400MR console, Dell 1234 computer with Red Hat Linux 6.1 and VnmrJ software version 3.2A (patch level 103) could be represented by users with different levels of care as:

                  400MR system

                  400 with 400MR console

                  Oxford 400, 3.2A, rhel6

                  400MR, Oxford 54mm, Dell 1234, RHEL 6.1, VJ3.2A (103)

                   

                  You can see that there's no good way of using this information to perform analytics (like figuring out how many users of a particular model are participating in the community at a certain rate) - the information they provide is too incomplete and every user will type it in differently. It's probably technically possible to create a series of related fields and pull-down menus and such to make it more consistent... but that would be a lot of work on our part for a voluntary field, and users seeing something so complicated would probably skip over it anyway.

                   

                  The main benefit is for people responding to their questions. If someone posts a question and a potential responder wants to know a little about their system (or systems), then they might find out, which could help answer the question.

                   

                  Does that help?

                   

                  Thanks. - Josh