Aha! Roadmaps | Public ideas portal

A public portal provides an ideas forum that is open to anyone who is given the public URL. Since public portals can be indexed by search engines, it can also help users and prospects find your portal.

If you want to dive deeper into how to build, manage, and launch an ideas portal for your customers, check out this tutorial recording.

Click any of the following links to skip ahead:

Create a public ideas portal

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.

In the Ideas Overview page, the Add ideas portal button is in the upper right corner.

The ideas portal builder is a three-step process.

  • Select a Title for your portal. Click Next to continue.

  • Select a theme Color. Your theme color affects links and buttons in your ideas portal. Click the color icon to select a color, or enter your own custom color using a hex code. Click Edit to edit your choice, or Next to continue.

  • Select your portal's Access level. Portals can have Public or Private access, corresponding to the public and private types of portals. In this case, select Public access.

Click Create portal to create your portal!


Public ideas portal users

Users may register for your portal in one of two ways: by clicking on the Log in/Sign up link or by entering an idea where they will be prompted for an email address. You can also invite or import users to your portal.

Public portals are useful for teams that want to let anyone provide feedback and also encourage voting and discussion to help with prioritization. All users will be able to submit ideas, see what else has been suggested, vote and comment on ideas, and follow ideas. By following an idea, a user will be notified when it has been implemented.

Ideas and comments submitted by users are publicly visible by default. But you can filter for spam and you can change ideas' default visibility for each type of user. For example, you may want ideas created by users in your Aha! Ideas account to be private by default, while ideas created by customers to be publicly visible immediately.

Public ideas portals are open to any user who has access to the portal URL — but some users' ideas might be better kept private. You can create a subset of your users whose ideas are not initially visible to everyone with the Employees setting. Users with the Employees designation might be employees at your company or they might be partners, beta testers, or power users. You can define which types of users are employees in the Users tab of ideas portal settings.


Add ideas

Since most ideas in public portals do not contain sensitive information, users do not have to create a password to submit an idea. This makes it easier for users to submit feedback — they just need to access your portal URL.

Users do have the option of adding a password themselves. If they do not, when those users return to the portal in the future, they will be required to create a password before logging in. If you want to require user authentication, you may want to consider a private ideas portal.

Once a user logs in, submitting ideas is easy. Public portal users can add new ideas to the portal by clicking the Add new idea button. As they start typing a title for their new idea, they will see a list of existing ideas that might be related to theirs. If their idea already exists, they can comment or vote on it instead of creating a duplicate.

Your customers submit ideas in your ideas portals using the Ideas portal — Ideas layout. You can customize this layout for each of your portals to gather relevant information from your different audiences. By default, the ideas submission form is a single step. If you are an Ideas Advanced customer, you can create multi-step dynamic forms with conditional rules, such as showing or skipping specific steps during the idea submission process.

Portal users will fill out all required steps to submit an idea. If their idea requires visual context, they can add an attachment.

Attached files must be less than 20mb. The following file types are supported: csv, doc, docx, eml, gif, jpeg, jpg, mov, mp4, msg, pdf, png, ppt, pptx, tiff, txt, vsd, vsdx, xls, xlsx. Aha! Ideas uses file type detection to avoid simple renaming of a file to a different extension to bypass it.


Search for ideas

Users can search for pre-existing ideas before submitting their own — and if they find one, they can vote, comment, and subscribe to it. This helps you avoid duplicate ideas that you have to merge in the future.


Filter for ideas

Users can filter for ideas that are relevant to them by using the Category filter on the left side of your portal. Like search, this helps you avoid duplicate ideas. For even better filtering abilities, add a custom filter to your portal. You can add any predefined choice or tag filter to your ideas portal to help portal users narrow in on the ideas they want to view.


Portal comments

Capturing comments on ideas gives you valuable insights into what your community wants and why. Any portal user can comment on an idea in your ideas portal to share additional insights. By default, comments in your portal are public. But not all of your customers may feel comfortable sharing their feedback openly — especially if they have something sensitive to discuss. If your portal users wish to comment privately, they can check or uncheck the option to Only share privately each time they comment on an idea. Private comments will appear with a Lock icon to denote that they are private. Internal portal users and Aha! users can view private comments. An account administrator can enable private comments for your ideas portal.

You can configure default comment visibility for portal users, internal users, and Aha! users so that users who tend to submit sensitive information can have their comments default to private.


Pinned ideas

Pin ideas in a special section at the top of your portal so you can draw attention to specific requests and gather more feedback faster. You can pin as many ideas as you want. Pinned ideas appear on your portal homepage and related idea category pages. Two pinned ideas will be shown at a time. Whenever someone refreshes the page, the portal will cycle to show any additional pinned ideas. Users can also access a Pinned ideas page in your portal to see all the ideas you have pinned in one place.


Custom brand your portal

Like any ideas portal, a public portal can be custom-branded. You can even use CSS, JavaScript, and custom fields to make it look and feel just like your website.


Display a roadmap or note (Advanced plan)

You can provide meaningful updates about your product plans right where your customers are already engaged. Display a roadmap, report, or note on a custom page in your ideas portal. You can add as many custom pages as you choose. Each page is added to your portal’s navigation.


Enable the My organization menu (Advanced plan)

Your portal users need to see ideas and votes submitted by other members of their organization to understand what their teammates are asking for. The My organization menu in your ideas portal provides your portal users with a view of all the ideas submitted and voted for by other portal users at their organization. Enable it in your portal settings so your users can see all their organization's votes in a single, easy-to-read view.

You must have organizations set up at the company level of your account to add the My organization menu. If you create organizations automatically, new organizations will be added as portal users join with new domains — so customers will always see their organization view.

From your Ideas overview, click the pencil icon next to the ideas portal you want to configure. Then navigate to Overview Type Organizations and check the box next to Enable my organization menu.

What your customers will see

Once you have enabled the My organization menu, portal users will see it listed in the left portal navigation. When they navigate to this new menu, they will see the My organization's votes view. This shows a list of all the ideas that other portal users from their organization have either submitted or voted on. Portal users can sort the list by ideas that are Recent, Trending, or Popular and filter ideas by Status.

When a portal user selects an idea from anywhere in the portal, they will also see a new MY ORGANIZATION'S VOTES tab on that idea. That tab shows who at their organization has engaged with the idea. Additionally, they will see a My organization indicator next to any comment on that idea that came from another member of their organization. The organization name itself will not be shown to the portal user.

You can see how many votes came from your organization out of the total vote count from your ideas portal from the My organization menu.
  • Only verified portal users will be able to see My organization details in your ideas portal. If the My organization menu is enabled and there is no data to display or no other portal users from a customer's organization, the menu will still be visible but contain no data.

  • Aha! users cannot be included in organizations. They will not see My organization data from their teammates, but they will see the menu to signal that it has been enabled.

  • If portal users inform you that ideas or votes from their organization are missing from the view, there may be duplicates of an organization. You may need to merge organizations to ensure a complete view for your portal users.


Copy your portal

Make an exact copy of your ideas portal so you can save time configuring a new portal. Then customize the new portal to suit your product, brand, and community.

Navigate to Settings Account Ideas portals. Find the portal you want to copy and click its More options menu. Then and select Copy. Doing so will duplicate the portal's settings and create a new portal configured nearly identically. Only the following portal configurations will not be duplicated:

  • Title: The portal's title will be [Copy] $portal name.

  • URL: The portal will be given a new random URL.

  • CNAME: If you have configured a CNAME for your ideas portal, it will not (and cannot) be shared with the new portal.

  • Users: No portal users will be copied.

  • Widget: Any widgets you have enabled will not be copied.

If you are using the Aha! Ideas Advanced plan and have enabled single sign-on (SSO) for your portal, the SSO configuration will be copied and shared with the new portal.


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