Welcome to part 2 of 3 of this series.
I'm sorry it took 4 extra days to write this but It was a lot of work....
part 1: can be found here:
|Please understand my findings are based relatively simple methodologies and facts from personal observations and my review of online information.|
Part 2 of the series will not present solutions or possible courses of action, that will come out in Part 3 on Monday...
In Part2 (this post) I will go over:
- Terminology, General rules and what they mean.
- My Observations and the Issues that they present
Alright time for terminology, methodology, and general rules!
In business and social networking fields people think UI and UX are the same thing.
And in the real world people think Efficiency will be enough for Efficacy.
And its not understanding or paying attention to UX in an effacable way that will end up with SteemIt behind the 8 ball.
Let me give you the definitions and the affects it has in the real world.
UI stands for User Interface|
UX stands for User Experience
|Efficiency is achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.|
|Efficacy is the best way to go about doing a task||.|
So how do they relate to each other?
The UI is just what you see and the options and how its presented to you.
The UX which is way more important it's about how you feel about your interaction|
with the UI by the way it reacts and you how you have to deal with it.
For instance a restaurant could have a great locations, look amazing inside, have a great menu. That's a nice UI.
But say I told you that it took 1 hour waiting time at a packed bar before you could be sat at a table, and the Waiters did not come around to take your order for 20 mins. You'd have had a crappy UX
Lets take this to the internet as a sample: For instance a site that your trying to type a long list into can have beautiful buttons and nice background. Essentially a great looking layout/UI.
But if I have to signin to the site 3 times because the captcha they implemeted fails when all I'm doing a simple operation and hit the send key after each entry amd there is no spellcheck, I probably would be pulling my hairout. Absolutely from terrible UX.
Now when it comes to efficiency, to make code absolutely the fastest and most optimal means you need to spend more time and resources on them. If you have limited resources that's not the most efficable thing to do if you have other things to implement.
The most efficient to save money and time during the development phase is to use off the shelf common frameworks/libraries/components to implement a standardized simple UI.
Which is not effacable also, at all in some cases (especially large non-trivial systems), because it does not serve the UX needs of it's community.
Efficacy falls in that fuzzy zone of trying to figure out how to get things done good enough for the purposes, while still preventing wasting a lot of resources.
Alright lets put a pin in that! We will come back to it later....
We now need to talk about some general principles about human behavior.
The fields of psychology and advertising have a taught us a lot and bring to bear a lot good information.
We've learned these general numbers that has held in newspapers for over 2 centuries, with TV commercials for 60 years and online with banner ads over 20 years.
Cold reality it takes around 12 times on the average to see an ad or piece of superfluous information and remember it.
And it takes 16 views/impressions to act. That's why a phenomenal response rate on a 1000 impression ad campaign is only around 19-25 click thru's. And that's not even conversions!
Essentially that means the average person getting a friend to signup via word of mouth without other advertising effect will get 2 new people out of 100 to try it.
Let's remember that.
Another important bit of information is the transference affect..
When running a service business such as a store or restaurant a percentage of people will return as regulars if they had a good UX. And they on the additional usages average more 2 or 3 times the usage then the first time.
|Positive affect is they also become your champion out in the world encouraging others to participate in the good UX.||!|
On the other hand if the UX was sub par no regulars are developed and the negative affect is you have people out in the world steering potential customers away.
This is the scene in the restaurant industry....
That's why 1 in 10 restaurants don't make it past a year. Besides mismanagement, money problems, bad location and marketing issues.
Imagine, when a restaurant first opens you as an early customer try's it out.
If it was good. You are willing to come back. If your friends ask you if they should try it, you speak well of it.
If it was bad. You leave the place without expressing the displeasure and just won't go back. And you proactively tell your friends and family not to waste their time and money and stay clear. It usually takes a shut down and relaunch under new management to attempt to get people back.
On websites that provide a service the situation is even worse. If not viewed as good source when being tested out by users, they do not return and it would take 10 times the effort to have them just try it again versus a user who had no knowledge of it. So to capture the same amount of responses with 1000 impression campaign would require a campaign of 10000 impressions going to a group of people who a previously had a below average UX. It's the reason for old saying bad apple spoils the barrel!
Another important piece of information is the timing affect related to enthusiasm.
This occurs because of apathy that sets in because of the distraction of the next shiny thing affect.
Advertising which is marketing has to work in conjunction with Customer Service which is sales...
All marketing does is gets someone interested.
Ever wonder why fast food places are so colorful, with big windows?
It's to be noticed and entice people in. And they always have large pictures of their product outside making you salivate and want it. Sales has to do with how quickly and easily they can take your money and upsell through offers, That's why they have drive-up windows so you don't have get out of your car. Making it easier to purchase.
So how does apathy come into play that affect our Fast food scenario....
That's the old marketing/sales saying, "You need to strike while the irons hot."
Say your driving down the street to go pick something up and your a little hungry and have a sugar craving, you see a doughnut shop But....
the line is so long its coming out to door.
Because an incompetent slow cashier, so you think I'll get one on my way back.
But when you get to your final destination there is an ice cream shop next door, so to get something sweet you decide to walk in and buy an ice cream cone.
As your going back home licking your ice cream.
You go right by the doughnut shop not even thinking about it.
Essentially the owner of the doughnut store did what (s)he needed to do advertising wise, but fell down on sales by not having a second register working
or not having trained the cashier right.
This scenario is the reason that in business areas there are always multiple delis and there is one that is blowing away the completion, because they have more employees, better organized and handle a lot more volume, they realize it isn't good enough to have a good price or tasty food, Because when workers have an hour for lunch they can not wait 45 minutes on line to get it.
Worse yet is if you spend on advertising and lose customers because you aren't able to or ready to handle it.
In online advertising which is synced with an event the demand is highest just before and during the event depending on the situation it could be 90% of the sales, right as the event ends and maybe for a few hours or a day 5 to 15% is sold and then it peters out over time.
|Here's a scenario directly from the past I manufactured products being used on the TV shows "Trading Places" and "While you were out"
prior to the show on the website my product was on the site of the show runner with a story about an episode and link to where to my site to purchase the product.
As the episode aired multiple times in the week on TLC network. For the hour before the show till 30 minutes after the show, I got a significant sales upswing of that product and small amount over the next day.
About 10% from the hour before the show to 40% during the show to 25% 30 minutes immediately after, with remaining 25% over the next day and half.
Now compare that to the situation where my product was appearing on the Apprentice in Season 5, and the Donald Trump's production company screwed me by not living up to their contact and having the writeup and links to my company Arkahdia Arts on the NBC website before and during the show, and 2 weeks after airing finally put them on! Of course at that point it was just to cover their asses on an archive site.
Do you think that resulted in a single sale for my company????
But this isn't a conversation about a crook in the white house, (that's another blog post or 10 by me).
The reason is to show that good word of mouth and Advertising don't work unless its at the right time and you make the sale / convert. Again strike while the iron is hot....
The final concept I need to go over is Stickiness...
Stickiness is what builds a customer base and gets them coming back again and again.
Stickiness is related Customers/Users and either getting them to spend time at your location, and incentivizing them to come back and use it again.
Say your a lawyer for tradesmen. It might behoove you to advertise on the free carpenters calculator app Because potential customers will keep picking up there phone multiple times a day and seeing your information as they are on client site working with measurements.
And if new things they can do with calculator app are constantly added, and lots of features to explore easily are there. They are incentivized to come back, as long as they are not intimidated. The beauty of it is once they are comfortable with your app. They are going to continue to use it till it can not suit their needs. They will eschew other apps because they more important have work to do and don't want to waste time learning another interface.
|So the App just became sticky and the lawyers ad. for services just keeps sitting in front of lots of craftsman a day.
When the day comes and a GC stiffs a contractor on a site, think if he might call the lawyer whose name he saw 3000 times over the previous 2 years?
Remember this is one thing that your dealing with fickle user, say the ad on the app becomes to large or plays a bothersome sound, people might actually dump the use of it for another of similar capability. And once they start using another app, the likelihood that they delete yours is high. So even removed the reason for leaving the likelihood of them coming back to that app. is very low.
That's the important other side of stickness....
And the reason for the old saying you only have 1 shot at the brass ring!
Final terns Heat and Reach....
When a site has Heat its new and people what to try it out..Like a Hot new car...
Most people don't run out excited to try out last years model.
Reach is who a message is getting to....
The more Heat the longer the Reach....
When Advertise and you have Heat you multiply the Reach Length many fold.
If you have no Heat you lose reach.
A group that uses its heat can get more adopters.
Thats one of the reasons modern sports teams have allowed so many teams in the playoffs....To keep the Heat on during the season, and create more heat for the following season because more subpar teams can say they were a playoff team, Its also why T-shirts are given out free at sports events like the playoffs. esentially your using the heat to increase the reach for the sponsor of the shirt.
By contrast if the team sucks no one wants to wear the shirt and the reach goes down.
Same said if the is terrible you go and do something else for the day.
After a few years you lose the fan...I know I was a knicks season ticket holder during the 90s and early 00s
I even worked with Charles Oakly doing his Website and had a few meals with him after the game at the cafe/restaurant/bar next to the garden and next to where our cars were parked.
but once Cablevision took over I was out of there.
So to bring the background together:
Conversions and opportunity to build the adoption of project by a population are hampered by Barriers to Access.
And the loss of enthusiasm because of delay will severely reduce adoption.
In addition the UX can be hampered or helped by the UI.
Stickiness is a sign of a good UX, and lack of Stickiness will hamper adoption!
Simply put, barriers to usage, and reduced or lack of stickiness , both will reduce the UX.
They WILL ALWAYS result in killing adoption/usage of any endevour, whether they be a brick and mortar store, a social group, or an online social media site.
That's why all MLMs eventually fail because of the fact there is no stickiness for new members trying the system, because markets are saturated by previous members who already covered the area.
Pretty straight forward I'd say.
Now that we can agree on these simple definitions and outcomes....
It's time to look what it means related to the SteemIt community and Platform.
Time for some very simple analysis.... .
It's taken me longer to write this Blog Post then to determine these things:
Now I agree the premise of the platform....
That's why I spent time writing this
and placing all the pretty pictures in it!
but the only way its going to survive is to grow the community.
Here's the rub the rule with sites/communities at the stage we are looking at now, that SteemIt and the other Steem Apps are at this stage they need to be growing geometrically or they fail to get wide scale adoption and fall on the heap of flawed good ideas. Just like bidbay, froogle, alta-vista, and many other services no longer around.
Now lets go over simple stuff
Item 1) No matter how much @JerryBanfield promotes the platform, if 9 out 10 people walk away because they had to wait a week for a signup.
THAT BY FAR IS PROBLEM 1
But here is the rub:
Item 2) After they actually get signed up the 1/10 are left with an environment that is hostile to bringing users on!
The reality is there is a serious lack of stickiness and a very degraded bad UI:
The following are all problems with the site that will drive Users off:
- navigation on the steemit platform sucks.
- no advanced search features
- no categorization
- very little visible on initial view or returned
- no real curation which is editorial review
- no enforcement of facts on posts pretending to be experts, having to mention disclaimers and references
- intentional misscategorization resulting from keyword
- ability to rig the system
- no levels of filtering information and catgorizing it personally
- lack of integration, of things done even on small sites
- no share it with other social media platforms
- chat, dicord, dtube and other apps not seamlessly integrated.
- tutorial information, statistics and tracking info found on other sites
- No page showing latestest posts from each person following with a display order control
- And the fact Most voted blog posts through curation will not appear high in google because they are paid for
- and don't have a natural correlation to the keywords in the post. So no natural advertising of the platform.
- the editing of posts and blogs is a joke compared any blogging site. This a picture from Blogger I setup my blog on that site in 2009. Jeez even a small site like that is easier and more friendly
- The tutorials are left up to the community and not integrated with the system
Now the user interface is not the only thing that makes things sticky it's preexisting content and when you are in the business (yes its a business) of providing a community with forum for all forms of Ideas and discussion you need to have all of them. There is a serious lack of some of the most followed:
Sports, Religion, Politics, Trade Skills, Online Teaching, and Dissemination of general information.
This list is gotten from personal experience from my conversations with fellow professionals I have let use my account to look at and try the site.....BECAUSE THEY HAD TO WAIT A WEEK TO GET ON....
Getting paid was not a good enough reason for them to come over to the site....Because they don't see a following that will build here. And the group of people I converse with on my facebook accounts over 7000 facebook friends were very disenfranchised.
So considering I think it would be fair to say that the UX is probably one of the worst of any social media site, and twitter and instagram are garbage as far as I'm concerned. so lets be generous and give a 1% retention rate on new sign ups as opposed to 10% retention rate.
Finally the Blockchain, ICO for the Steem community do no advertising, make no timelines with big goals or noise about releases. ESSENTIALLY THEY BUILD NO HEAT...In fact investors would call it a cooler!
That means that when the site has crippled it self 10,000 times over constantly on acquiring a community.
9/10 walk away just because it took a week to sign up
99/100 walk away for UX
9/10 asked see SteemIt as a negative because of the cooler affect of the coin value and lack of annucements and adoption
So essentially over a simple cookie cutter django blogging site I could put up in a few days.
It would be 10,000 times easier for me to acquire users then SteemIt's uphill battle.....
The now defunct JaoPoker had the same problems but worse because they weren't willing to change the course.
Given that simple reasoning is why SteemIt will fail if some dramatic things are not done......
These opinions are mine, but I've seen it happen for good and bad for 1000s of ventures in business and communitiies when they do or don't affect change. Because these are simple common no nonsense rules...
What will follow in my next post will be a few of the most effacable courses of action to turn this situation around.
With my professional suggestions,
That is what is coming in part 3 of the blog post.....
After I get some sleep & a week to write it.
Please pass this on and as usual if you comment upvote it if it is something constructive!