I joined Steemit a little over a month ago, and have been very impressed with what the dev team has done so far. They have added a ton of new features, fixed a lot of glitches, and have not broken more stuff in the process! I know they are hard at work continuing to make new improvements, and make the Steemit site even better! Thank you Steemit dev team!!
As we all know, Steemit is still in “beta”. This means the site is a little crude, a lot of useful features are still missing, and we may find an occasional glitch. That is expected, and I think that (most) people understand that, and have realistic expectations of how a “beta” site should work.
We are all here though because we are excited to see Steemit grow! Steemit should not remain “beta” forever. We eventually want Steemit to pass Reddit and Facebook, and become the most dominate social media website in the world! Heck, one day it may even take over the world!
As a “Software-as-a-Service” professional (7 years as a software developer, and now a development manager), I know that keeping your customers happy is the #1 priority of a good software development team. A very close #2 is managing your time, priorities, and code – so that you can succeed at priority #1, while still having a life and keeping the product manageable.
So who are the customers of Steemit? The users and the investors are the main customers of Steemit. The investors will be happy if the price of Steem goes up. Going into that would be a thread in of itself, so for the time being - we will focus on keeping the first group happy: the users.
Who are the users? Well, there are lots of them! We have content producers, curators, miners, lurkers, commenters, whales, dolphins, minnows, sharks, trolls, and bots. There are celebrities, pirates, grandmas, kids, parents, anarchists, bloggers, artists, writers, developers… and the list goes on and on! So with all these different people, each with their own expectations and goals - how do we keep them all happy?
Unfortunately, “you can’t please all of the people all of the time” -John Lydgate
With that in mind, it is still important to know what your users want – so that you can strategize on how to please the maximum number of people as much as you can.
I put together a list of suggested enhancements based on posts other users have done, conversations I have had with other users, and ideas that I have had while using the site.
When reading the list, please keep in mind the scope of the list. These are things that deal directly with the Steemit.com website/UI. While some of these would require a hard-fork to implement, topics that pertain 100% to Steem (and not Steemit) - such as changes to curation rewards (and taking over the world), are not included.
The List of Ideas and Suggested Improvements!
New Look and Feel
- New Sexy Dashboard for the Homepage (example from @etherdesign)
-Allow the user to customize what is shown on their homepage
-Add a small scrolling bar of advertised posts, and allow people to pay to be featured here
-Trending Posts by Category (see post from @cloh76)
-Trending Categories (see post from @stealthtrader)
-Have a feed with the follower's posts at the top
- Allow users to upload Avitars
- Allow the user to customize the look of their account page (see post from @acidyo)
- Create a slick new menu structure with well a organized hierarchy
- Allow users to customize the "skin" (color scheme) of the website
More Ways to Discover Content
- Advanced Search
- Allow users to follow a curator, so you can see the posts they upvote
- Be able to follow categories (see post from @neurosploit)
- Be able to hide posts with unwanted topics (see post from @mctiller)
- Show suggested posts based on what you are currently reading (see post from @avarice)
- Add the ability to mark trending posts as ‘ignored’ so they disappear, and lower paying trending posts are moved to the top of the user's trending list
- Add similar notifications to what is there on steemstats.com (developed by @jesta)
- Setting to configure sound alerts for each type of notification
- Collect notifications that occur while the user is offline, and provide a summary of new notifications when they log in
- Include the ability to acknowledge notifications
- Be able to configure which notifications are on/off
Note: Comments from @dantheman and others indicate that notifications is a high priority feature, and something along these lines is currently being worked on.
More Ways to Interact
- Integrate Steemit.Chat into the main website
- Secure Private Messaging (see post from @ibnu)
- Tip Button
-Possible integration with steempay from @steve-walschot
- Be able to see who your new followers are
- Add more sharing features
Enhance the Posting Interface
- Add buttons to the editor interface for all supported markdown options (headers, etc.)
- Add the ability to upload an image, rather than having to link
-Possible integration with https://www.steemimg.com/
- Add the ability to upload a video, rather than having to link
- Be able to upload a word document with content, and have it auto-format
-An alternative would be to more directly integrate with a markdown editing site like https://stackedit.io/editor
- Be able to save content and come back later (see post from @cryptobarry)
- Be able to schedule a time for a post to be submitted (see post from @sauravrungta)
- Add the ability to do surveys/polls within a post (see post from @sauravrungta)
- Be able to select emojis via the editor (list of emojis from @blueorgy)
Downvotes / Flags
- Allow the user to downvote without affecting a person's reputation score
- Allow the user to select a reason when flagging (see post from @bendjmiller222)
Official Wiki / FAQ
- Many users including @ned are currently working on this here.
- We do need to pull everything together and have one 'official' wiki though. Having 10 different users each creating their own independent unofficial versions would not be good. (see post from @samupaha)
Displays with Statistics
- View users based on followings
- View users based on earnings
- View users based on reputation
- See the highest paid posts
- Possible integration with SteemWhales.com (developed by @heimindanger)
Referral / Affiliate Program
- Having an incentive for users to recruit others to the site and make them successful is good for growth
- Getting friends to sign up and be successful on the site takes time and mentoring
- Recruiters should be rewarded based on how successful their recruits are
- As a possible solution to reward long-term (30+ day) content: If a new user lands on a content page and joins, the author who's post they landed on will get 50-100% of the user's affiliate revenue.
-100% if the new user discovered the site/post on their own
-50% if the new user was referred to the post by someone's affiliate link
- The affiliate reward does not need to be much. A very small lifetime earning percentage would provide a huge incentive.
Make Buying Steem / Steem Power More User Friendly
- In the “Buy Steem” page, move the “Deposit using Bitcoin” section above the “Estimate using Bitcoin” section.
- In the “Buy Steem” page, make the instructions clearer. As a non-crypto user, it is not very clear that I need to send Bitcoins to the wallet address shown in order to buy Steem/SP.
- In the “Wallet” change the “Buy or Sell” options in the dropdowns to be “Exchange Steem for SBD” and “Exchange SBD for Steem”. As a non-crypto user, when I see “Buy/Sell” I think this is where I would go to use my fiat currency.
- Allow users to specify languages when creating posts
- Have a default language selected in the user's settings
- Allow users to be able to exclude posts that are not in their language
- Allow the user to hide NSFW content in their settings (see post from @thovre)
- Require a user to acknowledge that they are 18+ when opening a NSFW post, before displaying content (see post from @wisehammer)
Other Miscellaneous UI/UX Updates
- Highlight posts in the account page (Blog, Comments, etc.) that have new activity since last checking
- Ability to toggle to ‘simple view’ to show title only with no picture or preview text
- Bookmarks / Favorites (see post from @theprophet0)
- Ability to create posts with no payout (see post from @r0achtheunsavory)
- Sticky Posts for mods/admins
- Ability to scroll back further than 20 posts in your account history
- Rename “Submit a Story” to “Submit a Post”
- When you click on a link in a post, have it open it as a pop-up instead of redirecting to that page.
- Give users the ability to subscribe to RSS feeds (currently offered via streemian.com - see post from @xeroc)
- Increase the comment nesting limit beyond 6 (see post from @neoxian)
- Give users things they can spend their Steem/SP/SDB on via the UI (see post from @intelliguy)
Single Site Integration
- Users are going to expect a single site (like Facebook) that has everything they need.
- Eventually the useful tools from SteemTools.com will need to get integrated into the site.
- There may be off-shoots that use Steem for completely different purposes than Steemit (like Squeek.io by @picokernel for example), which is something that will need to be considered as things evolve.
- Users are not going to want to go to (or trust) 15 different websites that all do different things.
If you have additional ideas that you would like considered, please add them in the comments. Feel free to post links to relevant posts that contain suggestions for improving the Steemit website. I will review the ideas and try to include them in the next version of the post.
I did my best to credit anyone who’s idea I directly used in this post. There were some that I had either thought of myself before coming across in posts, or there were tons and tons of people suggesting the same idea already – so I did not post a link if I came across posts after an idea was already in my list. I also reference whichever post I found the idea in, which may not have been the first person who thought of it. If you see an idea here that you truly believe is your original idea, post a link in the comments and I will review.
Thank You and Credits
I want to thank everyone who assisted me with putting this together. A special thanks to @renzoarg and @jesta who both spent a lot of time discussing ideas with me and providing valuable suggestions and feedback. Also to @innuendo, who unknowingly and indirectly inspired me to create this post by writing this post highlighting the need for Steemit to have a publicly available development plan.
Thanks also to all of the unmentioned Steemians, who have been contributing to the “Let’s make Steemit better” conversation in the background via their comments and posts!
Freelance Developers Please Read!
As most of you can see, there is a lot of work to be done here. The Steemit dev team can only do so much so quickly. For any developers out there, I want to highlight the fact that Steemit is an open source project that allows pull requests. What this means is that you can download the Steemit source code from here, and work on changes to the Steemit website yourself! There are people in the Steemit.Chat #dev channel that can help you out with this if you are interested.
One developer that has been contributing a lot to the Steemit website is @jesta! He recently added the feature that allows you to see your followers and who you are following in the account page. This was a great addition to the Steemit website / user experience! You can read about it in his post here.
We could really use a lot more developers like @jesta to start doing this, and knocking more of the improvements off of this list!