Let's start the debate about the home page

Published on Sep 26, 2020

Allow me to cast the first stone with my opinion about the design of the home page. I consider myself a power user of 200WAD/Co-Writers/Writelier whatever we are calling it these days. Or at least I was a power user prior to the latest re-brand, which I will get to.

What makes me a power user? Not only was I on the site writing and posting every single day, but also I read and commented on many posts every day. I would estimate that I spent anywhere from 30 minutes up to 2 hours on the site any given day. Notice this is past tense because the new format makes it more difficult for me to do the things I used to do.

Example 1: Welcoming people who made their first post. Before, there was an easy way to tell when someone made their first post. Now there is no easy way for me to find these people, unless the post happens to show up in the random roll of the dice. I like the idea of a date tile that will show me all articles published on that date in order as long as it is accurately doing that. If there is something that should be a spotlight, it should be a legitimate first post. Legitimacy brings me to the next example.

Example 2: SPAM. We need some way of getting rid of obvious spam. Perhaps give patrons a checkbox or some way of identifying spam posts. I don't care what you do with them as long as they don't appear on the main page. If you don't want to create a blacklist of users, maybe give us the ability to hide posts for specific users so we can control what we see.

Example 3: When the articles were in date order, I had a sense of which articles I had already seen and which ones were new. I could scroll back to the point where I left off knowing everything after that is new to me. Now, I have no way to do this. Why should I be forced to see articles I've already seen and rely on randomness and hoping that I will eventually see every article if I refresh the page enough times? What is the solution for someone who wants to ensure that he or she sees every post? @phaidenbauer suggested some sort of sort algorithm that can be changed on the page directly for each person.

Example 4: Private posts. Why do we see these at all? There is nothing for me to do with a private post. Let's eliminate displaying them and stop wasting tiles for them.

Example 5: I effectively lost my ability to manage #Teamstreak without the ability to see who is still on the team and who joined the team. There is also no easy way for milestones to float to the surface, e.g., 10 days, 20 days, 50 days, 100 days, etc. Even with a version of the fellowship page back, I'd have to manually track all this down. I don't have an easy way to manage #Teamstreak anymore, so I think it's time to take off the captain's hat. 

Wish list:

I am interested in posts on which I've commented. If someone replies directly to me, I will get a notification otherwise nothing if other people also comment on the post but I am not "tagged." On a FB thread, if someone comments on a thread where I've commented, I get notified. I'd like the same sort of either notification or way for that to float back to my radar. I've had posts I returned to days or weeks later because someone tagged me, and I see a whole conversation had gone on that I was not privy to otherwise.

In terms of posts to spotlight, what about a "most commented" post of the day? Or a post that gets all four of the other button interactions (if those are coming back)? 

*Not home page but a thorn in my side nonetheless: As I mentioned previously on Telegram, it's good that notifications are saved now but we need some way of differentiating between new notifications and ones that we've already looked at.

Ok, that's all I got for now. Who's next??