I've been using Publish0x for two weeks now, and I must say that I have enjoyed it immensely. More than any of my other attempts at blogging, I've found blogging here on Publish0x has given me more motivation than ever before to blog. Obviously the idea of giving and receiving tips is great - but I've also found that I'm more motivated to put out quality content.
As I've used the system and interacted with parts of it, I've also made notes of things that I think can be changed or improved. I understand Publish0x is still relatively new, so I hope that my thoughts here may provide some good user based feedback for improvements.
For context, I work at a SaaS software company, and, while I am not a developer or QA tester, I do routinely influence and provide feedback to PMs on their parts of our product. With that in mind, I'll attempt to structure my thoughts in a manner similar to the way I would submit a JIRA.
UX - User Experience
UI - User Interface
1. UX Improvement - Make earning visualizations between the "Dashboard" and "Your Posts" consistent
One of the first things I noticed while using Publish0x was the discrepancy between earning amounts on the "Dashboard" and "Your Posts". It seems that the "Your Posts" section lags considerably behind the dashboard - seemingly by about a few days. For example:
In the above screenshots from my own blog, all of my posts show different earning amounts. On the left side, all of my earnings, as reflected in the "Your Posts" section, show lower amounts than the earnings on the right side under the "Dashboard".
From a UX perspective I find myself spending more time in the "Dashboard" than "Your Posts", simply because it is more up to date. And, while the "dashboard" shows total earnings including the BNTY earnings, the HYDRO amount remains different from the "Your Posts" section. Ideally, ensuring that these are in sync will improve the UX experience while navigating between these two screens.
2. UI/UX Improvement - Add a "Current Balance" Column to the Dashboard so that users do not need to click on the "payments" button to view current HDYRO and BNTY balances.
After my first withdrawal from Publish0x I found myself constantly navigating into the "payments" section to view what my current total was. After logging in, from the Publish0x landing page, I was clicking through three separate pages just to see what my current total was.
While three clicks is not a lot - I feel like the "this month" and "lifetime" totals do not accurately portray a users activity on the site, especially if that user is active in tipping and publishing.
Ideally, from a design perspective we'd want to move the "this month" and "Lifetime" columns over to make way for a "current balance" column:
The UX case for this UI improvement is, routine users will be able to more accurately look at their BNTY and HYDRO totals while reviewing their dashboard stats without needing to click into the "payments" screen to get an accurate total of what they currently have in Publish0x. This small improvement will give users a more streamlined earning experience while being able to manage their totals from one page.
3. UI Improvement - Include blog earning totals next to blog names on the "Your Blog" screen
This particular idea came to me as soon as I noticed the "Create a new Blog" option. Although I have not attempted to create a second blog, I'd assume that after creating my first, this option would allow me to operate multiple blogs.
Assuming I can, I feel like it would be particularly useful to show a running blog total somewhere next to the blog name. This would allow users to see at a glance, from this page, how their various blogs are doing, and, provide a breakdown not visible on the dashboard.
In addition, I believe a UX argument can be made here as well. Since blogs allow multiple authors to be associate with them, it would be useful to see from a management standpoint the earnings of different blogs against each other. For example, if I have my blog, and then a separate one that I do together with a partner, I would like to be able to see how the earnings stack up on an individual blog basis. And, since the "dashboard" and "your posts" screens only give us breakdowns by post, this would provide another level of insight into the content I manage.
4. UI Improvement - Include a spellcheck tool on the "New Posts Screen"
Currently, I write all my posts in Word and then copy and paste them into the new posts screen, and then upload any screenshots or YouTube links. Ideally a spell check option would be a massive improvement to the platform. As I've read through posts I've noticed a lot of errors - and while I acknowledge we are an international group of writers, a basic tool to correct spelling will go a long way towards improving Publish0x and the content we create.
A great open source project for spell check is Hunspell, used on projects like Libreoffice, Firefox and Thunderbird. Ultimately, I want to see Publish0x become a major blogging platform and to do this we need to be able to incorporate spelling tools for all users. I know personally I suck at spelling, so if I can save time and check right in the post creation screen it will help me improve the quality of my posts.
5. UX/UI Improvement - Develop a more complex and intuitive comment management system.
This particular idea is not as specific as the others - it's more of a general and multi part idea, but I believe that it will drastically improve the community and interaction here on the site.
Currently all notifications for follows, new posts, comments and replies funnel into the alert button at the top of the site. While this works at a basic level, the more blogs I follow, the more comments and replies get lost and go un-responded to. As I've read through a number of posts here, I see a lot of comments that go un-replied to, and, while it is the prerogative of the author to respond, I began to wonder if super-users and frequent users are not seeing these comments simply because they get lost in the shuffle of the alerts tab.
More so, in order to get a better understanding of the comments, I have to click into my own post, thus inflating my views for that post unnaturally. I feel like this may cause many to go unread, simply because I don't often think to go view my own posts and scroll to the bottom of the posts in order to view and respond to comments. From a UX standpoint it is unnatural and clunky.
Part one of this idea, would be to include a separate alert button for comments. This would help authors and community members to better interact with each other by being separately notified if they have a response or new comment. Ideally this would push community interaction be allowing users to have better insight into their interactions. See below for a mockup:
Second, I think a "per post" comment manager would also be useful. If we separate out the comments from the posts themselves, this would allow authors to respond and interact without inflating their views in order to do so.
Ideally the part in blue should be a wholly separate element from the actual post itself. (And, if this is more ammo for my suggestion, the comment in the screenshot above, I just realized was there when I went to go take a screenshot as I was looking through my posts for comments.) Ultimately we'd need to have two elements on a "post" screen, or, a layer of the comments above the actual posts which functions in-window, so that it can be linked to seperatly (for my idea below).
The third idea here, would be to modify the "my posts" section to include a comment breakdown. In order to do this, I think we can shift the structure of the page to include a "comments" section like this:
The comments there would allow the authors to click into just the comments element in order to respond to and manage their conversations with readers.
Like I mentioned above - the more tools the community has to engage with one another, the more the site will grow.
Publish0x is a great platform and I plan on using it as long as the community stays active. I think in its beta stage there are a lot of small tweaks that can be made to both improve the user experience and functionality of the site, as well as increase community participation.
I'd be interested in talking more with the Publish0x team if they like these ideas too!
Hopefully we can all contribute and work to make this platform as great as possible. I want to see it succeed!