Introduction - the Other Side of the Coin
I've been discussing ideas for promoting Steemit a lot recently (for example in yesterday's post) and it is something that I will continue to work on but that is one side of the coin in getting new users on Steemit.
The other side is actually enabling them to use Steemit and actually find answers/help when they need it and keeping them on the platform long enough to do so without them being discouraged to the point of giving up.
There is no point in bringing lots of people to the platform through promotion only for them to leave through frustration a short time later.
That is the equivalent of flushing our time, effort and money down the metaphorical toilet.
Further it might also make it harder to bring those same people back at a later time, not to mention the potential for them to spread negative feelings amongst other potential users.
Rather than letting things get to that stage we need to make it easier for new users to find the help that they need and where possible educate themselves:
In occupational terms this issue is known as "onboarding" - here is the Wikipedia definition:
Onboarding, also known as organizational socialization, refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors to become effective organizational members and insiders. Tactics used in this process include formal meetings, lectures, videos, printed materials, or computer-based orientations to introduce newcomers to their new jobs and organizations.
Although we are not an employer as such, much of the issues are the same as discussed in the definition above.
Whilst in person interventions are certainly possible, as a web based platform it is most fruitful (and cost effective) to employ web based methods of onboarding.
My Progress So Far
With Steemithelp.net the aim is to provide them with a central location that collates user guides in an easy to navigate manner.
I have gradually been updating it with some of my posts for new users including most recently the Quick Start Guide (which takes new users from registering to making their first post in a stepwise manner).
On a side note if any of the Steemit team would like to link to the site or the individual posts such as the Quick Start Guide, please feel free to do so.
Further I would be happy to host other content on there too (contact me in the chat if you want to discuss it further).
One of the remaining problems though is how to get new users to go there and also other locations that would be useful (such as the FAQ, chat, Steemtools etc).
Currently users need to click on the rather anonymous icon in the top right corner to bring up these kind of options.
Not only is the icon easily missed but it is also inconsistent with the rest of the interface. Even when I have explained where it is, users have had a hard time finding and using it.
The icon in the image below is hard to spot and it isn't really clear what it does to new users:
Illustration of how the current menu opens:
A possible solution
Remove the icon and replace it with a menu which mirrors the placement of the different feeds as so:
This is easier to spot, self explanatory and consistent with the current way of using Steemit.
It should not be difficult to implement and would at least show new users exactly where to go if they need help.
Also any remaining items that can't be fit in this position could be placed at the very top of the page as show below by the red text:
I think the simple interface change discussed above would make a big difference for new users and the usability of the site in general.
The big advantage is that it needn't take a lot of time and effort to implement either.
What do you think?
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If you like my work and aren't already, please follow me and check out my blog (I mainly discuss photography but I do other topics too) - @thecryptofiend
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Some of my other recent posts
- Get Paid Not Pwned - the Power of Slogans.
- Steemit X Prize Results
- Steemit Quick Start Guide: Step by Step from Registration to First Post
- Steemithelp.net a new resource for helping new users (with an updated version of the "Missing FAQ")