Note: This article discusses functionality that is included in Ideas Advanced. Please contact us if you would like a live demo or would like to try using it in your account.

Introduction to idea management in Aha! Ideas

Ideas connect you to your customers. They give your customers a voice — and give you insights into what your customers need most.

When you gather ideas with Aha! Ideas, you have a way to keep all your customer feedback organized. You do not need to keep track of a customer's email that is being slowly buried deep in your inbox. You do not need to wonder what your customer meant in their anonymized survey responses. You can link, merge, score, and analyze ideas — and you can start real conversations with your customers.

Because ideas portal users are free and unlimited in every Aha! billing plan, you can invite or import as many users as you want. Or empower your sales and support teams to submit votes on behalf of customers through our Salesforce and Zendesk integrations — or for Ideas Advanced customers: proxy voting.

Note: This article discusses functionality that is included in Ideas Advanced. Please contact us if you would like a live demo or would like to try using it in your account. (Roadmaps accounts created before October 20, 2020 include this functionality.)

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Create an ideas portal

Ideas portals are ways to gather groups of ideas together and solicit feedback from particular types of users. You can create as many portals as you need to and manage ideas in one place in your Aha! Ideas account.

There are three types of ideas portals:

  • Public: Anyone with a portal's URL can access a public ideas portal. It is a good option if you want to allow everyone to give feedback and you do not want to require the users to log in first. The Aha! ideas portal is a public portal.
    Note: Public portals are also available for indexing by search engines, including the ideas on the portal.

  • Private: Private portals limit access to a subset of users that you select on the Users tab. They also allow users to use proxy votes to vote on behalf of someone else.

  • Submit-only: Submit-only portals are portals where ideas portals users can submit new ideas but not view any ideas in the portal. They are perfect for when you want to collect feedback but do not need to respond to the feedback or interact with your ideas portal users.

To create a new ideas portal, navigate to Settings ⚙️ → Account → Ideas portals, or Ideas → Overview. From either page, click Add ideas portal to open the portal builder. You will need to be an administrator with customization privileges to do this.
Note: In the Ideas → Overview page, the Add ideas portal button is in the upper-right corner.


Customize your ideas layouts

With your ideas portals created, it is time to think about how you would like to structure ideas and ideas-related layouts. You can create custom layouts for ideas, with the option to include (or require) different types of fields for the different types of ideas.

To edit the custom layout for an idea — including adding custom fields — navigate to Settings ⚙️ → Account → Custom layouts and select one of the following ideas record layouts:

Note: Looking to customize the layout your users will see when they submit an idea? Make sure you choose Ideas forms. If you are an Ideas Advanced customer, you will see an Add step button when editing your ideas form layout, allowing you to create dynamic forms. Add multiple steps to your form, then apply conditional rules to the fields on each step to determine who needs to answer what questions.

  • Ideas: When users in your Aha! account want to submit an idea internally, outside of your ideas portal, they use the Ideas record layout. Only users in your Aha! account can create, see, or edit these ideas. This layout is useful for ideas that apply to parts of your strategic plans that aren't yet publicly visible.

  • Ideas forms: When people submit a new idea through an ideas portal submission form, they use the Ideas form record layout.

  • Ideas portals: When people view a submitted idea on your ideas portal, they use the Ideas portal record layout.

  • Ideas portal proxy votes layout adjusts what portal users see when they add a proxy vote on an ideas portal.

  • Ideas proxy votes layout adjusts what users in Aha! see when they add a proxy vote internally. This form gives you the option to include fields that you might not want available to an external audience.


Submit, comment, and vote on ideas

All ideas portal users are free and unlimited. This means you can have as many stakeholders submitting and providing feedback on ideas as you would like.

There are four ways to submit an idea to your ideas portal:

  • Portal users can navigate to your ideas portal and fill out the idea creation form.

  • Users can create ideas by email.

  • Salesforce and Zendesk users can create ideas with an Aha! integration.

  • Any user in your Aha! account with at least reviewer user permissions can create an idea in Aha! by clicking the + icon in the upper-right corner of the page.

Note: Reviewers can create, vote on, and comment on ideas but can only edit ideas they themselves created.

The ability for ideas users to vote and comment on ideas is especially important because it adds the users as subscribers. Subscribers are automatically notified when status changes and admin comments are made. This makes it simple for you to engage interested users in further discussions.

Note: Ideas portal users can one-click unsubscribe to portal email notifications if they do not want to receive notifications.

Users can edit their own ideas in the portal after they have been submitted. If they locate an idea in My ideas that should be updated or refined for better context, they may select Edit idea and edit the idea name, description, or custom fields for the idea.

If a user adds a proxy vote to an idea, that user is subscribed to the idea — not the organization they were voting on behalf of. The portal user can then keep track of updates to the idea and notify the organization or contact of important developments.


Manage submitted ideas

If you manage the ideas in your portal well, you will pick up on trends and insights that might otherwise be hidden — and build customer relationships you might otherwise miss out on.

Start with the Ideas → Overview page. From here, keep track of all the ideas submitted in your portals, and review any ideas that need your attention. You can merge duplicate ideas, comment privately or publicly on an idea, report on votes (both direct and proxy votes), or — for Ideas Advanced users — invite the subscribers to an idea to discuss it further in a live empathy session.


Idea visibility

By default, an idea's initial visibility is determined by the type of user that submitted the idea. For example:

  • Ideas submitted by public users will be visible to anyone on the public portal.

  • Ideas submitted by an employee will be visible to other employees.

  • Ideas submitted by a registered Aha! user will be private by default and only be visible to other Aha! users in your account.

  • Ideas created via a Zendesk integration will be visible or not depending on whether the person submitting the idea is a member of your Aha! account, an employee you have designated, or an ideas portal user.

However, you can override these defaults, based on each type of ideas portal user:

  • Portal users are end-users, not associated with your Aha! account. You may want ideas created by portal users (for example, created by the customer who first submitted the Zendesk ticket) to be Visible to all ideas portal users.

  • Employees might be actual employees at your company, or they might be partners, beta testers, or power users. You may want ideas created by employees to be Visible to (other) employees.

  • Aha! users are members of your Aha! account, and privy to internal information that Portal users and Employees might not be. You may want ideas created by Aha! users to be Not visible in portals by default. You can change individual ideas' visibility settings to Visible to all ideas portal users where appropriate after reviewing them.

Note: You can also change any idea's visibility individually.

It is important to understand that these visibility settings do not just apply to an ideas portal. Ideas can be visible and searchable in multiple ideas portals. So Visible to all ideas portal users means that the idea is visible to any public or private portal enabled in a given workspace.

For this reason, if you have an internal private portal, we recommend setting the default ideas visibility as Visible to employees.

To change the default visibility of ideas in a portal, open your ideas portal's settings from Ideas → Overview or Settings ⚙️ → Account → Ideas portals. Then navigate to Overview → Type → Visibility and change the selection.


Hide portal user names

If you need to, you can choose to make your ideas portal users' names anonymous. While we believe transparency in the ideation process is important, sometimes you need to provide customers with anonymity. This option makes it so users in a public or private idea portal cannot see the names of other users.

Ideas submitted by others will show up as submitted by an anonymous user while ideas submitted by the user will still display to them as an idea they submitted.

Aha! users viewing the idea within Aha! can still see full details on who submitted the idea, so teams will not lose visibility into where requests come from with this setting enabled.

To hide your portal users' names, open your ideas portal's settings and navigate to Users → Privacy.


Change the idea submitter

At times, it is helpful to change the idea submitter. For example, if you are still receiving ideas through email or in discussions with customers, you might want to submit the idea on a customer's behalf. An owner or contributor can set another user as the submitter by editing the idea and setting the new user as the idea creator. If the customer is also a portal user and the idea is made visible to them, they will be able to see that idea under My ideas.


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