Many changes are happening lately around XDA-Developers and they always have to do with trying to improve the user experience when surfing the site. We may agree or disagree with some of the new improvements but those changes have a reason behind them, and this is why we decided to have a talk with our User Experience Admin svetius.
orb3000: Hi svetius, thanks a lot for your time for this interview. Many changes are in the works now, and after reading your “State of the Site” Address announcement, I would like to ask you some questions to let members know about all the new changes. First, I would like to ask you how is the 10 posts minimum requirement to post in development areas helping out?
svetius: It seems to be helping. At the very least, it’s encouraging new users to search the site before posting in the dev forums. We want to get new users into the habit of searching before they post.
orb3000: Also, it is very exciting to see the XDA Premium Android App that was just released. What we can expect compared with normal version?
svetius: It’s released now, and so far, feedback has been quite positive, with tons of five-star ratings. We even made the official Android Top Paid App listing. We’ll be issuing a 1.1 update for the Premium app around the second or third week of March. We’ll be issuing an update to the free version around the same time.
orb3000: Is something being done on improving the search function within forums by making forum-specific Google searches available? How does this look moving forward and what will the benefit of the new search be?
svetius: Having Google do forum-specific searches will reduce load on our servers, and allow for faster and more precise searching of specific forums. We hope to roll this out within the next couple of months.
orb3000: The XDA color scheme is now changeable. Are you planning to add more themes/skins?
svetius: We don’t have plans to add new themes at this time. The new XDA 2010 skin took literally hundreds of hours from conception to coding to testing. We’re going to aim to reveal a new forum template every two years or so. As you know, users can still use the legacy forum template should they prefer that. We’ll always have that option.
orb3000: Regarding the new “Thanks” button, have the initial experiences on it been what you expected? How can it be improved?
svetius: Good question. The “Thanks” button is working as intended: it’s pointing out the members of XDA that are getting the most appreciation for their good work. It’s also reducing the occurrence of replies that just say “Thanks” which take up a lot of space in a thread. We hope to use this mechanism one day to perhaps reward those that are thanked the most.
orb3000: Do you have any features/updates that the Admin team is working on? If so give us a blimp please!
svetius: We’re excited about the upcoming Developer program of XDA, where those that develop here can apply to get a special badge next to their name, access to a private forum, and other privileges. It’ll make it easier to have a two-way conversation with our valued developers.
orb3000: I can´t end this interview without asking you about the most expected XDA gathering event -open to all members- in New York City for 2011. This would be a fantastic event where we all –if attending- will have the opportunity to talk face-to-face with long time friendships made throughout the years on XDA.
svetius: There are still many questions to be answered about the potential NYC event. We’re attempting to line up sponsors at the moment, plus bring in some other related tech sites to share some of the work. Also, it’s important to note that the event will have a finite guest list. We’re likely to offer invites electronically on a first come, first serve basis. More info as we get it!
orb3000: Any final comments you want to add?
svetius: Thank you for the interview! I would only add that I encourage anyone reading this that has ideas on how to make XDA better to send me a PM. My door is always open!
Thank you very much for your time and we leave the door open to make a follow up in the future.
Thanks all for reading, and if you have any specific question you would like to bring to our User Experience Admin, please do so in the comments section at the bottom of this article.
Thanks for reading.