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March Product Updates from Orbit

March 19, 2021
Gareth Wilson
Director, Brand & Content
March Product Updates from Orbit
Welcome to The Observatory, the community newsletter from Orbit.

Each week we go down rabbit holes so you don't have to. We share tactics, trends and valuable resources we've observed in the world of community building.

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Spring is upon us 🌱.

As the days brighten and the weather warms, I always get that feeling of renewal. It's apt then that our latest updates bring renewal to our product, too - with a fresh new look, updated reports, CSV imports, and more. In this post, I’ll give an overview of enhancements that give you a holistic view of your community, improve your productivity, and enable you to show the ROI of your efforts.

💅 A fresh new look

New workspace home page and sidebar navigation

Perhaps the first things you'll notice are the new sidebar, member profile, and workspace home page. The home page gives you a snapshot of what's changed in your community - from key stats to be aware of to new high-reach members to check out. The top navigation bar is gone, having been replaced with a sidebar that links to all key areas of the product to help you and your team navigate Orbit and get things done faster. While the new member profile layout puts important information and activity front and center.

This is the first stage of a new look and feel that simplifies Orbit, adds polish and helps teams find and collaborate on their work more easily. Ultimately though, this new UI lays the groundwork for the future—we’ve big plans and new features on the way, and you'll see further UI improvements rolling out across the product incrementally in the coming weeks.

🌸 Blossoming new reports

For many, our automated reports are how you track and measure community activity and engagement. They're not just a way to demonstrate the impact of your community investments but also how you share wins and celebrate with your team.

So our team has been hard at work incorporating your feedback to make our reporting even better—improving customizability, performance, making them easier to share and analyze community activity wherever it happens.

The reports are now split out into analyze and explore sections. Under analyze, you can quickly see what active members are up to and the activities they're performing in Pulse. Whereas Growth shows you how your entire community is changing, with charts for total members and activities. There's a leaderboard section, too, listing your most active or high-reach members. From here, you can click-through to a new report showing per-member charts and tables that visualize their activity and channel use over time. Explore lets you look at more detailed reports on specific activity types, channels, groups, and tags.

That's not all. Changing reporting period and common filter options are now one click away, making it faster to switch timeframes or apply filters to visualize the data you need to understand quickly. And you might notice that reports load faster too. Thanks to some fancy database work, most charts now display almost instantaneously.

Although we've changed a few things, don't worry; old links will redirect, and any reports you were using before will still be there—just possibly in a slightly different location.

🐣 CSV imports have hatched

CSV imports are here! This is a long-requested feature and one we're excited to make available to you all.

CSV import support requests

You can now add members to your workspace via CSV. You'll need at least a name, email address, or GitHub, Twitter, or LinkedIn username for each member. Beyond that, you can add in a range of key details like member bios, company info, and titles, as well as t-shirt size, location info, or tags too. This is available from Workspace settings. Check out the docs to learn more.

While we were at it, we made some changes that enabled us to remove caps on CSV member and activity exports.

🌿 Budding UX improvements

We've also made some further user experience improvements elsewhere in the app.

Due to API limits, some imports from 3rd party APIs can take several hours or even days for huge communities. It wasn't always clear when these long-running imports were done, so we've now added in-progress notifications. These are flagged on the workspace home page, so you know when they're good to go.

Integration import progress notifications

New users will now see an onboarding guide. Once a user has activated their account, we show them a few screens to help them get to know Orbit. Like, how to create a workspace, add integrations, and get things set up.

🍃 Sign up is now open to all

Speaking of new users... we've now opened up access to Orbit for all. This isn't our big-bang release - that will come later in the year when we're ready to unveil some new exciting news and features. But for now, if you've been on the waitlist to get access, or you know someone who might benefit from Orbit, everyone can go ahead and sign up and start using Orbit to help grow their community.

💁🏽 Help is at hand

We hope you like these improvements but appreciate that visual tweaks like we've made can take a little getting used to. It can be frustrating if you can't immediately find things you were using before, so if you need help, then the Orbit team is here for you. Drop us an email to get answers to any questions you may have.

We're kicking Spring off in style, and there's lots more to come. To stay up-to-date, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter 👇.

💫  Orbit is Hiring Engineers in US/EMEA

Orbit helps grow and measure thousands of communities like Kubernetes and CircleCI. We're a remote-first company with a product-driven, empathetic engineering team that enjoys the occasional space pun! Check out our careers page for open opportunities.

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