[WIP] Concerns around the Ideation process. How are new requests handled in the Idea Board tool for Bricks Builder?

Hi all! I’d like to have a friendly discussion on some concerns I have with the current Ideation process for Bricks Builder as I have some concerns with it that I wanted to raise. Open to others thoughts on this though too in case I’m overlooking or overthinking this.

It would seem to me there are some concerns that need to be addressed with the whole Ideation process for Bricks Builder, and wanted to bring this up for a friendly discussion. People have made comments on these in various points in time on various unrelated threads or in the FB group as well, and after encountering some of these concerns myself I wanted to highlight this more officially. The concerns seem to generally be the following…

  • Ideas seem to take far too long to be approved or never appear at all after users submit them in the Ideas area. In my case, the most recent two I filed were about 10 days ago and were in relation to these two posts (you’ll see one of them has a lot of votes already in the forum too): [ON THE BOARD] Automatically regenerate CSS when updating Bricks versions & NO BUG: Global Styles & CSS Classes are not exported when using WordPress Tools > Export function - #4 by d19dotca – I know I’ve submitted more in the past but don’t think many if any have been made public and that was several months ago now. To be fair, I’ve forgotten what those ones even were now since it’s been so long. :sweat_smile:

  • In the event that an Idea is (presumably) rejected, the user submitting the request never seems to be notified of such, leading to a loss of status on the request by the submitter.

  • There is no real follow-up in the Ideas Board in terms of updates from the originally submitters or for those who upvote it so that they can “track” it in the process as it moves from being voted on to planned and up next, etc. Email updates would be ideal at least for the OP but perhaps people who have voted on it too so that can be made aware when the feature request is in progress. This is something that the Breakdance Builders tool actually does quite well I noticed recently, may be good to look into what tool they are using for that process.

  • Even with the moderation, there are still duplicates that get released for public voting which then splits the votes. I have found two recently which I’ve noted here: Ideas – Bricks is essentially a duplicate of Ideas – Bricks which has far more votes and the new one should be merged with the original one IMO.

  • Some people are filing feature requests in the Forum only instead of the Ideas Board page. Admittedly this is confusing for some if the forum category definition isn’t read beforehand. The forum states that the Feature Requests category is for discussing feature requests but that requests themselves should still be filed at the Ideas Board page. Maybe this needs a warning or clarification bar at the top of the Feature Requests category page in the Forum so it’s more clearly understood? Many of the feature requests in the forum are not in the Ideas Board that I can find, so we’re currently losing track of these for voting purposes IMO.

Examples of just a few random feature requests voted in the forum here which I cannot find in the actual Ideas Board (apologies if I missed these from the Ideas board though):

  1. Exit animations for the popup
    IMPLEMENTED: Custom classes are too specific and firmly inline
  2. Add Classes to Bricks' Body Class Using Dynamic Data
  3. Partial Templates / Dynamically Insert Page Content
  4. IMPLEMENTED: Remove Bricks selector from CSS output on custom classes so the class can be used on different elements

So as you can see above, there appear to be some rather large inefficiencies when it comes to the Ideas process and I hope that these concerns can be further discussed amongst the talented Bricks Builder team for some improvements to that process. Thank you for taking the time to read this! :slight_smile:


Now that 1.7 is out, I was wondering if this could be addressed by @thomas by any chance? I hope the original post is understandable.

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Hi @Thomas, just wanted to raise this again. Don’t mean to be pinging you directly as I am certain you’re very busy with many other priority topics, I just feel you’d be in the best position to speak to these concerns. It seems that at least from the “hearts” on the original post here that others share these concerns too. Hoping this can be a productive conversation or at least feedback to be acknowledged regarding the concerns raised around the ideation process. Thank you in advance.

I think it’s be good to perhaps follow Cwicly’s forum example for the idea process / feature requests voting: Feature Requests - Cwicly

They’ve effectively built it into the Forum itself (which I notice is the same forum software Bricks is using here), and would likely encourage more people to register and visit the forums as well.

@Thomas - I’ve seen several feature requests added over the last few weeks to be voted on, however none of mine have been published which is surprising to me, especially when it’s been asked that I create the request from other support posts in the forum. This seemingly random assortment of feature requests is very discouraging sometimes.

I appreciate there needs to be some level of moderation, but the ability to regenerate CSS automatically when updating Bricks seems like a valid suggestion (or at least nobody has said why it would be rejected in the associated forum post), as well as the ability to export Global Styles & CSS classes as part of Wordpress Export function for example. Further, I think the fact that I’ve pasted a thoughtful and detailed post about a concern that others share as well but have back on February 14th is also just overall very discouraging. :frowning:

I love using Bricks, I think it’s amazing software, I just hope that we as a community can continue to work on improving the communication for example and other items which have been lacking lately (I suspect as Bricks has grown so quickly). We’re all here to help Bricks succeed. :slight_smile:


Thomas is not that active on the forum I have found. @timmse might be able to provide some feedback.

Thank you very much for sharing those concerns about the idea-generation process. And sorry that it’s been taking so long to reply @d19dotca

What probably adds to the confusion and/or unmet expectations is a currently missing sort of “explainer” on the idea board about how it works.

So I am going to address this in this first reply and then we can further discuss any possible improvements :slight_smile:

The idea board is public and available to anyone to submit his/her idea/feature request. Customer or not. Doesn’t matter.

While this allows us to collect more ideas, and get a better sense about what not-yet customers are missing in Bricks, the board is not meant to publish every submitted idea automatically for everyone to comment & upvote on. This would make the entire idea board quickly completely useless & overwhelming as we receive hundreds of submissions every months.

The vast majority of which we have to delete, because …

Every idea must fulfill the following criterias:

  • It’s a new feature request or improvement (not a bug report)
  • Be technically possible & feasible to implement
  • Has sufficient user demand; serving a substantial percentage of our user base
  • Fit into the overall vision of Bricks as a product

Therefore every idea is manually reviewed and either 1) rejected 2) approved or 3) put on hold for further evaluation/later consideration.

I was thinking to hook the deleted/rejected idea actions up with an automated email. But knowing from support this would create thousands of endless, pointless, and often angry discussions where we have to explain one by one why a feature was not approved. That’s not the intention of providing the idea board.

If you say this is somewhat restrictive, then you are right. If you are looking for a builder that implements every possible feature under the sun, that’s not Bricks.

But if you trust our understanding & experience in this market, and that we do our best to ship a performant, cohesive website building solution for WordPress professionals, then it might be easier to understand (maybe even appreciate) why we have those restrictions.

In light of the improved communication we currently work on, it might be possible to send out a release email and list your upvoted features at the end of it (in case they are included in this update, and you are a customer, meaning we have your email address). This way you’ll be immediately notified whenever one of your upvoted ideas makes it into Bricks.

Or we highlight your upvoted ideas in the changelog entry itself.

The latter option is actually quite easy to implement :slight_smile:

As for possible duplicate entries: It happens so rarely that I think it’s currently not feasible/necessary to create an internal merge vote feature. Especially as most users upvote both entries anyway. Therefore most of those duplicate idea upvotes would not add up to double the total count of an idea.


Thank you for responding, @Thomas! :slight_smile: I really appreciate the detailed reply.

This makes complete sense to me and I’m glad that Bricks team is focused on filtering out the feature requests a bit to ensure it’s a clean list while also being something that is feasible to implement down the road and fits into the vision of the product.

With that said, I do believe there are some (an unknown amount since I can only speak for myself) which fall through the cracks and that’s the portion I’d like to see addressed. Speaking for my own experience, there have been several which were filed but never approved despite me even being asked by the support team to file them.

Example: IMPLEMENTED: Automatically regenerate CSS when updating Bricks (1.8.1) – I created this about a year ago and filed the feature in the official Ideas Board around the same time, it was never approved. You mentioned in that one recently that it’s finally on the board now, however I noticed it’s not actually mine, so I’m not sure if they just filed it sooner than I had last year or something different, but it makes me think that there was a number of people then asking for it which none of which were approved at all despite strong support for it in the forum and in the Facebook group. I don’t think it should ever take a year to approve a feature request for voting on. :wink:

Example 2: NO BUG: Global Styles & CSS Classes are not exported when using WordPress Tools > Export function - #4 by d19dotca – It was suggested that I create a feature request on the Ideas Board for this since what I assumed was supported was not. From the forum post, you can see there is a great deal of issues in migrating Bricks data using the WordPress export/import functionality. Import/Export seems like a general basic functionality of any software, so it seems (to me at least) a reasonable expectation of the product, in which I’d hope that the feature request would at least be approved for voting on. But I still don’t see this one yet. Maybe there’s a reason this isn’t approved and that may be fair enough, but this shows a lack of follow-up currently where it’s implied we should file a feature request via the Ideas Board and then nearly two months later it’s still not on the board, without any follow-up. If this had been discussed instead in the forum as a Feature Request post, it’d be easier to follow-up with users submitting new requests (even if it’s no response but just a status change to “denied” or something like that).

Honestly, I really support and encourage the idea of moving to the way Cwicly handles feature requests. They have voting features in the forum and track them all there which allows for easier discussions as well. I assume it can be opened up to be voted on publicly still (i.e. no forum account needed). The forum software will surely allow users to track them so nothing special is needed there. I suspect it would also likely stimulate a bit of growth in the forum by encouraging people to register to discuss the feature request if they have specific needs they want to add to the discourse of it. This would also allow feature requests to be kept in one area (right now it’s two areas and it’s difficult to track them all as there’s parts in forum which aren’t in the ideas board and vice-versa).

Again I appreciate the thoughtful reply. I think it shed light on the process. I think it also shows room for improvement though and at least highlights that some have fallen through the cracks. I’d love to see this improved for not only users but presumably would also improve communication on ideas for the Bricks team members as well. :slight_smile: