Attention grabbing UIs, UXs and metrics

in OCDlast year (edited)


I got a new Steemitboard badge today which is relatively meaningless considering what it measures, which is the number of upvotes received. Today, I reached 500,000 upvotes. This puts me in 34th position for most upvoted. As said, it is meaningless however as number of upvotes means very, very little - since this is a Proof-of -Stake platform.

For instance, the person in 33rd position has about the same upvotes as myself, half the number of posts and has earned about 3x (200,000) more Steem. This is the way it works and early adopters into anything of value will get the largest gains. People who arrived on Steem in the first six months of the start of the chain had a very large opportunity to earn, some took, some didn't. The way of the world.


There is this interesting little metric that appeared a few weeks back on the interface and I was wondering what it actually measures. You may have noticed it, you may not have, but it somehow tracks downvotes. This is what it looks like on one of my posts from the other day on Cross-posting that got a fair bit of interest in it.


No, I didn't downvote myself, but I just wanted to highlight the downvote button for the image to further indicate what the driver of the metric is. However, I do not know what it actually measure - number of downvotes? Staked weight of downvotes? Some relationship to upvotes versus downvotes?


I kind of like. Although it seems useless.

One of the problems I think Steem has faced is focusing on the payout of a post, rather than the post itself. While this has its merits on a dPOS platform, it is also worth thinking about adding other rating metrics that might be more meaningful to users regardless of the payout on a post.

For example, that particular post got 20 Resteems, which is some kind of indicator of community interest and I think that in time, could be a very strong indicator once the platform user base grows significantly. I think it would also be interesting to show who has resteemed and a metric for them also and while the Steemit Reputation might not be a great indicator these days, perhaps something could be developed to provide some kind of quality-of-share rating.

Once these various metrics are able to be added and tracked, they can be used to cross-reference and give some kind of rating (for example a 5-star scale) as to whether something has community support to be read or not. While always inaccurate to various degrees, once there is a lot of participants the "wisdom of the crowd" does come into play at some point and can influence behavior. I know quite a few people who use the IMDB ratings out of 10 to make decisions when they are unsure or it is an unknown move selection.

I believe that account analytics are a vital part of building a compelling user experience for an active contributor, but I also think that these metrics can also be a highly influential part from the consumer's perspective. Due to social proof, we are generally attracted to what others have already marked as attractive and while we might not like it, because others seem to can at least make us curious enough to have a look at it, in mu ch the same way that "recommended content" will see more hits than what surrounds it.

On Steem, each interface experience can find their own ways to attract usage through UI and UX design, but it would likely be a good place to stat to see what other platforms are doing, and pay special attention to how they do it. Little things like the animation on the heart when adding a like on Twitter gives a tiny little hit of dopamine satisfaction.

One of my clients from about 15 years ago who worked at a paper company and managed specialty packaging, told me about how they design cigarette packages with two examples that stuck with me.

  • The first was that they increased the length of the package and added a special hologram to the tops for the Asian markets, as genuine brands were expensive and there were many fakes made. The extra length and hologram meant a man could have the packet in his chest pocket and it would peek out from the top, showing off that he could afford the real deal.
  • The second example was much more interesting in my opinion, as they designed the package to feel good whilst crushing it and throwing it away. They spent a lot of time on creating a satisfying feeling when discarding as it made it feel as if the smoker was accomplishing something of importance. Hacked.

While this little experiential details might seem far too subtle to make a difference, when they are grouped together, they compound against each other as well as target a larger range of people to provide an improved feeling. When people feel good about what they are doing, they will do more of it and it will add to the Time on Site metrics of a platform. Feeling good doesn't mean being happy either, a lot of angry people feel good about their experience, which is why some people are so addicted to Twitter.

While I know we have a very long way to go, what I like to see is that these small changes are happening across all of the various interfaces with varying degrees of success. Targeting the low-hanging fruit by perhaps seeing and learning about what others are doing might help, as they have teams of behavioral scientists constantly testing how they can hijack the attention of their users.

This is an attention economy after all - we should grab what we can get.

[ a Steem original ]



There is every reason to get serious about the UX (and UI) design.

I fully agree that the payouts are overemphasized.

Yes, and it is inching along at the moment.

I have a cousin who worked for Bell Telephone before the monopoly was broken up. Her job was to figure out which phone would be more popular with teenage girls and what color etc... etc...

Amazing the amount of $$ that go into these things. The loss is enormous with the wrong analysis.

Payouts are totally overstressed. So are the empty votes.

You are always an interesting read. Does your brain ever shut down? Even for sleep?


Amazing the amount of $$ that go into these things.

Yes, the competition in some industries is intense, and it becomes a game of psychology, like a top sport.

The loss is enormous with the wrong analysis.

The investment into something is very high. I know from one of the Nokia phones back in the day, a project manager wanted the release to be perfect and kept delaying it for silly reasons. A competitor released a similar product and they then rushed theirs the next day - too late. It cost millions.

Does your brain ever shut down? Even for sleep?

For sleep these days yes, as I empty the energy into Steem :)


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We should remember steemit is a decentralize rewards basd social media platform but question is that why steemit developers are focused only on rewards why they forget its social media platform to

I totally agree with you steemit developers should learn from interface of other top social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and implement good changes to steemit after learning it

As you mentioned some popular platform have social scientists to research how they retain there users it's not a bad idea learning good things from other while keeping over own uniqueness

As far as I have heard, there are plenty of resources on the design points and things to consider, it is just implementing that seems to be the issue.


Let's hope good changes will be implemented in near future

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Because I use night mode I first had to look hard to actually notice this little dots. Noticed these dots are not aligned with number of votes. But don't seem to align with the SBD value on the post either. However, it seems to show more dots for posts that got more of a combination of things. Knowing the Steem blockchain a bit, with all its complex rules, this one will probably have some complex function behind it as well.

I fully agree with you UI is everything. I suppose STINC is not ready to go large with the service, or they simply don't know what web designers do. It is for a reason why A/B-testing is big business. And yes, I do hope many of the Steem UIs will become professional in a way they give the user an real experience. Thus far everything is too technical, too complex and the UI itself not very user friendly. I suppose marketing people and UX designers need to be attracted, but that costs money and even STINC had major problems attracting fiat money, therefore I suspect it'll be even more difficult for any of the blogging dApps to get enough funds to pay for the people required to create the best user experience possible and drive usage with a smooth and super user friendly service.

Because I use night mode

Doesn't everyone?? Some people are insane... :D

Yes, they don't seem to make a lot of sense at this point.

I am hoping that the interfaces and applications start getting experienced designers in to knock off the edges. Some of the interfaces are quite good though. Steemhunt was okay.

The basic are their in the UIs. Need to get ride of default going to Trending though; Adding Random channel (like Steemhunt has). Give the reward value a less prominent position. Maybe add a counter for real votes over auto votes. But foremost, Steemit shall get a p2p messaging system inbuild. The later requires serious core development and has lesser to do wit the frontends itself, but it would increase the UX for sure.

The later requires serious core development and has lesser to do wit the frontends itself, but it would increase the UX for sure

I agree, but I am not sure it necessarily requires serious core development. Not my area -but I will throw something out there. There is a memo key that is used to send encrypted memos, couldn't that be leveraged in a messaging application that would allow for secure p2p messaging between two accounts while still keeping it on the blockchain?

Yeah you maybe right. The trick with p2p messaging is that the transaction rate will go much higher than posts and comments requires. Guess we have a fast blockchain, so maybe not a problem. I think in crypto space already blockchain based messaging services exists. I would say, start using one of them at first and maybe later bring something to Steem, if it makes sense to use the same blockchain. Can imagine we dont want p2p messaging on Steem, since Steem is build to allow blogging content and vote for content, better to use that capability for the social side of services rather than p2p messaging.

I am unsure what would be best, but having even a simple (but easy to use) DM would likely add a lot of enjoyment for users in the day to day, rather than having to rely on Discord.

Agree! In case you have some connections with developers, please reach out to them. I dont seem to have any :(


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Sometimes the designers just need a push or reminder that it is important for things to change and to be improved, a temporary fix may look okay, but then they need to improve on and make it a real fix. I know a lot has been talked about the missing views, and how it can be gamed, the temporary fix was to remove it, lots of advertising is done based on views, so there is a way to minimize the gaming, if not ad revenue would not be based so much on views, web page rankings are based on visits/views, there is a way to minimize the gaming, it just has not been done, so we still have the temporary fix of no view count.

Steempeak has an estimated time to read a post, they could use that as a measure of did a person read the post, look at the post, how long did they stay on the post, but once again the game issue would come up with they left the post open in another window. I do like some of the analytics that are available, and easy to read.

I know a lot has been talked about the missing views, and how it can be gamed,

People paid attention to that metric, even though it as a BS number. I would rather see it there on the posts even though I know it was BS though.

Busy has also had the read time for a long while, another metric I like to look at - even though inaccurate. =)

Playing around with the UIs is a good way to get and keep people interested.

It is, (Playing around with the UIs is a good way to get and keep people interested.), people like to know that they are not the only ones that likes something, I know a lot of people are afraid to make comments, but they still want to know in a quick glance 'was this an interesting post'. Vote counts help some, but there are so many trails, comments help some, but there are so many auto ones now such as !ENGAGE 25, and others, number of resteems help, (I do like how if there are more than two resteems it now says others on steempeak). So any help for the consumer of content is a help for everyone involved. The UI, The Author, The Curator, and of course the content users.

Different people are attracted to different parts too, so having a few embedded components widens the audience.

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I...still don't understand feeling good about being permanently outraged ^_^;

Those little dots look like the Youtube dis/like bar. Didn't notice it because I don't use steemit but did jump on for a couple of seconds to check it out closer (which failed because my screen is big XD).

Pretty sure @midlet (for one) has been yelling about the importance of ux for...ever now XD

Everyone has been yelling about UX and UI. Only some seem to see the importance enough to try and do something to improve it.

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