This blog is Part 2 of 2. Part 1 was released Tuesday and can be read here.

Earlier this week we introduced you to the Fan Journey. It’s an idea that’s at the heart of making FANDOM a complete and inclusive destination for all fans. There’s a lot more product development work left to be done in order to realize that vision — and 2018 will be a big year for figuring out just how to best do it.

Over the years we’ve released a lot of features designed to reach a wider audience. We’ve had different apps, different products, and different ways to contribute and view content across platforms. But as each one of those solved different problems, a common theme emerged: the site had many disconnected and often confusing access points. The video below shows you a fun way to think about the current state of things, and why the current Fan Journey on FANDOM can sometimes take unexpected twists and turns.

The FANDOM Mystery House

The FANDOM Mystery House

As we develop the products needed to easily help fans along their journey on FANDOM, we’re asking ourselves a series of questions to guide that work. The overarching goal in 2018 is to make every stage of the Fan Journey a more connected and modernized experience.

  • What are the most effective ways to show users FANDOM’s breadth of content no matter where they land first? This question is about striking a good balance. We want to help users quickly get to what they’re looking for, and then show them there’s more to be discovered. But we have to do that in a way that doesn’t overwhelm them with suggestions of where to go next. We’ll be using data to give visitors smart suggestions about what they might like, and we’ll be experimenting with some new ways to help them get there.
  • How can we ensure app users know there’s wiki articles and discussions and editorial about their fandom? App users are a dedicated set of fans and can be very loyal, as long as they’re getting what they need. Once someone has the FANDOM app on their smartphone, we want it to be the first place they think about going for informational deep dives, connecting with other fans, and getting the latest news about their fandoms. In the next few weeks you’ll be hearing from us about how the FANDOM mobile app experience will evolve this year.
  • How can we make different parts of a community feel more connected and make traveling around FANDOM feel seamless? This is where the disconnected access points mentioned earlier come in. With over a decade of product development and design behind us, many FANDOM elements feel like they don’t work together. We aim to bring some of them closer together in a smart way. For example, we’ll have new designs for some portions of the site, like the search results page. We’ll take a look at the various types of activity feeds that exist across the site in apps, on web, and on editorial and see which elements should be available everywhere. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll try to eliminate dead ends where visitors feel like there’s nowhere else to go. Because there’s always more to discover on FANDOM!
  • How can we make sure contribution and community remain at the forefront? Communities and their wiki content will always be the core of what FANDOM is about. It’s clear that more contributions result in more visitors, and that’s what helps keep your communities growing. It’s a virtuous cycle, and we’re studying what helps new contributors become successful and keep coming back. 2018 will see thousands of new games, shows, and movies, so we’re also exploring how to make building a new community even simpler so someone can have an easier time building the next great wiki.

FANDOM has evolved a lot over the last few years, and you’ve made your communities a massive success. The web continues to change and audience expectations change with it. The Modernization effort we began last year continues as we work to find the best answers to all of these questions and be the best companion for users on the Fan Journey.

If you have your own questions about this initial look ahead at 2018, let us know and we’ll answer those as best we can!

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