Talis Ideas Forum - introduction

The Talis Ideas Forum allows customers to submit ideas about how to improve Talis Aspire Reading Lists or Talis Aspire Digitised Content. The aim of the forum is to enable us to understand the direct needs, desires and motivations of the end-user. This enables us to discover areas of importance for our users and our aim for the process is for it to be transparent and fair. 

The inclusion of an idea in the product is still a subjective process. As follows:

  • Votes & Importance - the number of votes can be a good indicator of how popular the idea is. However, ideas can have a high number of votes and but not be representative of a wide popularity in the customer base, this can be lots of votes from individuals at the same institution. This is considered when evaluating idea votes. 
  • Fit with overall product strategy - here at Talis, we have an internal product vision which is driven as much by customers as by the wider market and domain changes. When evaluating any idea, we have to consider if it will fit with the product strategy and direction.
  • Technical capability - our decision to include an idea in the product may be influenced by our technical ability to implement a solution at that time.

In its lifetime, the Ideas Forum has included 29% (January 2016) of all ideas submitted into the product.  As we grow, acquire more customers and develop new features, so does the Ideas Forum. 

Status of an idea

Each status in the ideas forum indicates:

  • Completed: This idea has been implemented
  • Started: This idea has been picked up by the team and is currently being implemented. You can track the progress of the idea via the In-Progress board on the Status site.
  • Scheduled: We plan to implement this idea and it has been scoped and scheduled.
  • Planned: We plan to implement this idea in the near future but it may not yet be scoped or scheduled. It will be addressed faster than backlog items.
  • Backlog: We think the idea is valuable and it is in our longer term backlog for review, scoping  and prioritising at a later date
  • Under Review: it has been flagged for consideration, we may not be looking at this straight away, but we have flagged it for consideration
  • In beta: this has been included as part of a beta project
  • Declined: This idea will not be implemented

Periodic Review

We aim to review the forums several times during the course of the year. We update the status of the ideas to reflect what will be done with them. We no longer perform an annual reset as votes are no longer limited.

Sometimes we see good ideas raised but we cannot prioritise them yet, we use the "Backlog" status to keep track of them. Where possible we group ideas into themes and address a number of ideas in one go. We will update these ideas as they are addressed or their status changes.


Q: What is the difference between an idea and a support request?

An idea is a suggestion for a possible enhancement you would like to see within Talis Aspire, to allow you to meet a business or user need the product does not currently address. A support request is an issue, or question, that a customer is having.

When a support request cannot be resolved with existing functionality and we may advise you to raise it as an suggestion on Ideas.

Q: Who can register for Talis Aspire Ideas?

Any member of the customer institution can register to raise ideas, including library staff, academics and students.

Q: Are we limited to the amount of users who may register?

No. As many users as desire can register for Talis Ideas Forum. Note that when evaluating the votes on an idea, this is considered.

Q: How do I register for Talis Ideas Forum?

To register, click "sign in"

Q: How do I raise an Idea?

To raise an idea, enter the title of your idea in the search box. As you start typing, matching ideas will be listed beneath. You can now review these ideas to add your own votes/comments. 

To create a new idea if your idea is not listed go to the forum you wish the idea to appear.

Then Post a new idea

Just enter your title and description. When providing a description, try to provide more detail about why you feel your idea delivers benefit, how it would support your business and how you (or other customers) would use the suggested functionality.

To submit the idea, just click to assign 1, 2 or 3 votes (note that you must assign at least 1 vote to any idea you raise). 

Q: How do votes work?

The ideas forum now has unlimited voting. Customers can add or retract votes at any time, as they see fit. 

Q: Is the system not unfair if one institution has more registered users voting than another?

We want to encourage a diverse range of ideas and opinions, so have made the decision not to limit the amount of users at a particular institution who can vote. One impact of this is that whilst one institution may only have one or two registered users voting, another institution may have a dozen or more and thus influence the prioritisation of ideas in their favour. To avoid this, we closely monitor who, from which institution, is voting on a particular idea and take this into account when reviewing ideas for development.

Where we see a particular idea garnering a disproportionately high number of votes from a particular institution, we may engage directly with that institution to better understand why (in comparison with the wider customer group) that particular idea is of such interest.

Q: Can I amend my vote for an idea I have already voted upon?

Yes. To amend your vote, go to the idea in question and click on the 'Voted!' and your vote will be rescinded.


Q: How do I find the ideas I have raised?

Once you have logged in to the Talis Ideas forum, select the 'My Feedback' button, located under the ideas menu.  Here you will see all of the ideas that you have voted and commented on. For more details on this, please see Talis Ideas Forum - viewing past ideas.

Q: How do I view comments, or add my own?

Customer comments on existing ideas can add real value, in helping us understand the way different institution would utilise an idea. When you add a vote, we strongly recommend including a comment to help build the case for that specific idea, as well as ensure we understand the suggestion more fully should we choose to implement it.

To add a comment, just click on the title of an idea. Enter your comment in the provided box and click 'Post', or scroll down to see existing comments.

Q: How can I raise the likelihood an idea will be implemented?

This is something that many customers don't consider, but is something we strongly recommend. Suggestions include:

  • Provide a concise title which is clear to other customers browsing what the idea is about.
  • In the idea description, describing the functionality of the idea is only half the story. The other half is detailing why - what benefit (to the user, the library, the institution) would that idea bring. Will it save time? Will it increase the likelihood of academic engagement?
  • Engage the community about your idea. There is nothing stopping a customer posting to LIS-TALIS-ASPIRE, dropping a colleague at another institution an email, or taking 2 minutes at the user group to raise the profile of your idea and get more interest.
  • Vote!

Q: Do the ideas with the most votes get implemented?

No, not necessarily. The idea may not be feasible even though it is as good suggestion, or it may be dependant on other developments before it is possible to implement. Alternatively, it may require us to spend significant time whilst we engage with third-parties, or may require extensive technical research for us to understand if/how to approach it.


Top tips when raising an idea

  • Find ideas: you can use the search on the ideas forum to find ideas you are interested in. Someone may have thought of it before so you can add you support or comment.
  • Give some detail: when raising an idea, it is really helpful to provide as much detail to support the idea, discuss the underlying problem and how it manifests itself, examples or scenarios are always helpful. Feature requests are great but we want to understand the problem you are trying to solve with your suggestion.
  • Promote an idea: use the mailing lists to promote your ideas.
  • Voting: We encourage the raising of ideas and voting to indicate what is important to your institution and the forum tool enables anyone to do this. However, getting lots of people at your institution to vote does not count and in fact can be detrimental if other institutions reserve their votes because they believe it is already highly voted. When reviewed, the votes are normalised and importance is based, amongst other things, the number of institutions who have voted for an idea.
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