Before I describe what I’m seeking, I wasn’t sure if this should be a feature request or a plugin request. If I’ve classified it incorrectly, please let me know.
Problem: Discussion boards often have topics that follow a standard form. It would be easier for users if this form could be associated with a category so that when they attempt to make a topic in that category, the basic layout appears in the text box.
Use Case 1: Technical Support Form
Basic information is generally required when troubleshooting a technical issue.
- Operating System
- Browser and browser version
- Plugin version
Use Case 2: Feature requests
A standard feature request makes browsing through new requests easier. It can quickly bullet a list of items explaining what is needed, why it’s needed and provide possible use cases.
- Problem trying to solve
- Use cases
- Brief explanation of why this would help
Use Case 3: Gaming community player report
In gaming communities, it is common to have users report other users for (perceived) rule violations on the game servers. To effectively follow up on these the administrators usually need common data.
- Unique ID of offending player (name, steam id, minecraft name, etc)
- Time of incident (useful to check logs)
- Other players that saw the incident
Use Case 4: Buy/Sell/Trading request
On sites that facilitate informal buying/selling/trading of items, it is helpful to have a similar layout for each listing.
- Item name
- Price/Looking for
- Payment method desired
Use Case 5: Membership application
Gaming communities (among others) often offer a step above ‘forum user’ when a user is considered a member of the community. This often grants other privileges and recognition. This usually requires filling out an application of some kind
- Name of player
- Class you generally play as (ie. Orc, Villian, Pyro, etc)
- Experience level of classes
- Availability hours (to plan raids, games, etc)
How this would help: In many forms, if an area is expected to confirm to a standard format, the user has two options. The first is to risk it and just post their problem. This generally results in a user being pointed to an announcement thread with the form to fill out and being told to edit or repost. The second option is to follow those instructions by copying and pasting the form into a new topic and then filling it out. Both of these actions require the user to search out the form template before they will be helped.
By providing a means for the site administrators to define a form to be associated with new topics in a category, the user doesn’t have to take the step of copying/pasting the form. It is provided for them.