Earlier this year, Datalogics announced our new Community Forum in tandem with the release of our online store. The forum’s main goal is to provide a venue to ask questions about and discuss the Datalogics products offered in our online store. The forum is a Q&A type forum similar to Stack Overflow, Quora, or Yahoo Answers. We feel a Q&A type forum is more useful than a traditional bulletin board type of forum. If you have used other Q&A type forums before, you will be comfortable using this one as well. Currently, the Datalogics staff is providing answers to questions, but as the community grows we expect it to become self-supporting. Let’s take a look at some of the forum features, review how to access the forum, and then explore the main screen layouts for the forum.
Some of the key features of the Datalogics Community Forum include:
- Forum users can vote for other people’s questions and answers. This provides a method to indicate the level of interest for a particular question, or confirmation that an answer is correct. You can vote both up or down on questions and answers.
- Views Count
- The forum automatically counts views each time someone views a question. This feature helps you filter questions by popularity if desired.
- Pick Best Answer
- The question owner can select which answer they feel is the best, and this answer will be shown right after the question. Picking a best answer helps other readers easily and quickly find the right answer.
- Email Notifications
- Whenever there is a new question, answer, or comment, the system will send an email to the question author and followers.
- Instant Search
- This is also an outstanding feature of the forum. It helps you quickly search information while entering your text, a similar way you might see in Google searches.
Anyone can access the forum to review the questions and answers. To create or respond to questions, however, logging to your account is required. If you are not, the forum will prompt you when you try to make any entries (as shown below). You can also login or create an account by selecting “My Account” from the Shop menu bar option prior to accessing the forum. If you created an account as part of the evaluation or purchase of a product, you can login using that account.
If you need to create an account, simply fill out the “Register New Account” section when prompted and click the Register button.
Using an existing account
If you are returning to the forum and have an account registered already, simply login using the “Log into your Account” fields and click Login button.
The forum has two main pages: a Questions List page used to display questions and an Ask a Question form used to enter questions.
Questions List page
The Questions List page is the main entry point for the forum. The Questions List page shows 10 questions at a time. Notice that below the questions are buttons allowing you to advance and view additional pages. Above the questions is a search bar. As you type into the search bar, related questions appear if a match is found. Categories on the left can be used to narrow your selection. When you click on a category, you will only see questions assigned to that category. Click on Forum Home to return to a list of all questions asked. Before asking a new question on the forum, it’s always a best practice to check if it has been asked and answered already.
The question listing page includes many features allowing you to Filter, Sort, and Search for desired content. Once a question is found and selected, it is displayed along with any answers and comments it has received. Review the answers, or add your own comments and answers as you see fit. Notice you can subscribe to questions and vote them up or down on this page also.
Ask question form
Below is an example of the Ask A Question form. As expected, you fill out this form when you wish to post a question on the forum. Usually this page is accessed after you click the orange “Ask A Question” button from the Questions List page. You can set the question title and provide detailed descriptions with HTML or Markdown. After entering a question, assign it to a non-FAQ category. Don’t forget to tag it – this help to improve searching and sorting. You can return to the question at a later time, and edit it or add additional comments if needed.
CATEGORIES vs FAQ:
You may have noticed under categories we have an FAQ section. The FAQ section functions as a knowledge base that has been populated by Datalogics. FAQ questions are closed and cannot be updated with comments or answers.
We are excited to watch as our forum community grows. Moving forward, we will identify trends in how the forum is used and make improvements accordingly. For example, we are currently exploring the option of adding a file upload feature. Any suggestions you might have for new features or content are more than welcome – we want to make this the most useful resource possible for our community.