Ideas to Improve onboarding and User Experience

Hello dear community,

we would like to improve the onboarding on Disroot, and the User Experience when using our services. We’ve created an Epic on the Disroot Board with a lot of ideas (User Stories) of things to improve / work on.

The thing is that the four of us have been using Disroot for quite a while (with Muppeth and Antliopa since the beginning obviously), and we may have forgotten how it was when we didn’t know much about it, when you’re brand new, create an account and try to find your way on the Disroot plateform.

So, we would love to hear from you! What should be improved to help new users, but also older users, to use Disroot easily? What was hard for you at first, or perhaps even still today? What would have you done differently? What would you improve if you could, in term of User Experience/Onboarding?

Thanks a lot for your feedback :slight_smile:

The Disroot Core Team

2 Likes

meaz @ 2019-09-09 14:55 UTC:

we would like to improve the onboarding on Disroot, and the User Experience when using our services. We’ve created an Epic on the Disroot Board with a lot of ideas (User Stories) of thinks to improve / work on.

That page asks to login, even after logging in it says I don’t have
permission to view this page.

So, we would love to hear from you! What should be improved to help new users, but also older users, to use Disroot easily? What was hard for you at first, or perhaps even still today? What would have you done differently? What would you improve if you could, in term of User Experience/Onboarding?

  • Maybe the page that says we’ll be reviewing your request should
    highlight other important pages like howtos, contributing or donate.

  • The answer field for the extra question that is asked should be
    larger, I remember having to trim my sentences. Also it should allow
    any character to be passed (why not?) because ’ often comes in sentences.

I would’ve allowed any characters to be passed and increased the length
to something higher (1024 chars?). This also solves ’ character problem
because after increasing the length “don’t” can be changed to “do not”
but still why restrict?

  • For some reason uBlock Origin hides login with disroot on
    forum.disroot.org, I had to put some time to figure that out.

  • Why put limits on password length and characters that can be used?

I would’ve allowed any chracters to be passed and increased the length
to something higher (1024 chars? because why not?). Only reason I see to
not do this is because some software that disroot runs do not support
those requirements and hence the limits or there is no benefit to
increase limits and allow any characters to be passed.

  • Hubzilla still looks very hard to use compared to something like
    mastodon to which you just signup and you have an account. I still
    don’t understand that channel thing on hubzilla.

There’s already work being done to make this more easy.

··· -- Lugubris
2 Likes

My experience with Firefox Fennec Mobile (f-droid) + Ublock Origins has been different than yours, it does show up in mine. As well on the built-in browser of the Disroot apk.

I suggest that the Disroot APK be put home and center of the onboarding process… including the initial registration. I suspect that it could be achieve by posting a link to F-Droid almost as a direct download ( warning to enable “unknown to Google” sources)
If implemented, the icons in the Disroot Apk should direct the users to the how-to’s or special notes on the services upon first use. That would simplify the onboarding for services like the forum and would allow to set the tone for support ( how-tos first) right from the beginning and also allowing users familiar with other suites of services to be advised that due to the nature of the project reliance on other projects for software in both clients and servers there would be some learning to do, while also giving them a local hub ( the apk icon in their devices) where to start the process, something that currently the home page ( Sept 2019) is intending to do.

Thanks for your consideration and I would be happy to answer clarifications on this idea/ or arguments for dismissal.

2 Likes

Damn. Something was wrongly set, I had to manually change the database. Now you should be able to see the content as I changed the permission to view only by external users. Thanks for pointing this one out. (fail)

Definatelly nice little touch to get people straight away directed to things they can read while they wait for the account approval.

Yes. this is something we have already on the todo list.

This is a limitation of the ldap as far as i know. But indeed something to look into since it would be nice to specify only minimum limit.

thats a bug we need to workout.

Currently hubzilla is not in the scope of this as its its own project we want to properly work on once this one and other things we planned for Q4 of this year are done. We do want to get to the point of deciding/launching hubzilla as a public instance with its own page on the website and as a go to social network on disroot, but we arent there yet, hence plans to work on it as a priority in the beginning of next year.
Profiles/channels on hubzilla are basically seperate accounts. So you can have a more private profile and more public of your account. Or if you want to start a forum or gorup you can just create new profile/channel with apropriate privacy settings. Much like fan-pages (i guess). So generally you could have a profile which is more for your family and have another one for your friends etc. This way you can be sure that once your grandma starts sharing with you, you are not exposed to all the crazy stuff you did during that night out on weekend.

@sflm Thanks for the ideas for the disroot app. Of course we, on purpose did not put it on google store (it does not exist for us), so even if we decide to put apk on the website, it will still require you to select to install from unknown sources. But maybe we could think of something that on one hand would allow people to easily find the app (people that dont know f-droid exists, dont even know there is an app), and perhaps convince them and explain why using F-droid is a good idea.

I like the idea of sort of in-app tutorial (much like lots of apps do atm) on first launch. It would definatelly help the onboarding, especially if we put the app on the front page.

1 Like

sflm @ 2019-09-10 04:43 UTC:

My experience with Firefox Fennec Mobile (f-droid) + Ublock Origins has been
different than yours, it does show up in mine. As well on the built-in browser
of the Disroot apk.

Maybe you have cosmetic filtering disabled for disroot, even now
cosmetic filtering hides that button.

··· -- Lugubris

muppeth @ 2019-09-10 09:23 UTC:

Currently hubzilla is not in the scope of this as its its own project we want to properly work on once this one and other things we planned for Q4 of this year are done. We do want to get to the point of deciding/launching hubzilla as a public instance with its own page on the website and as a go to social network on disroot, but we arent there yet, hence plans to work on it as a priority in the beginning of next year.
Profiles/channels on hubzilla are basically seperate accounts. So you can have a more private profile and more public of your account. Or if you want to start a forum or gorup you can just create new profile/channel with apropriate privacy settings. Much like fan-pages (i guess). So generally you could have a profile which is more for your family and have another one for your friends etc. This way you can be sure that once your grandma starts sharing with you, you are not exposed to all the crazy stuff you did during that night out on weekend.

It looks like hubzilla can do a lot but just is hard to work with, that
channel thing looks like a good feature to have.

Is there a plain-text mode with Discourse, the emails it sends me sucks

  • either html or it is badly formatted ([quote] and other things are
    included, which I guess is for discourse’s ui to format the page).
··· -- Lugubris

What I would like to see improved in disroot

Email: Usability (UI)
Cloud: An urgent decent office suite (criptypad maybe?)
UI General: New themes in the disroot ecosphere
Increase from 2 to 3Gb per user if possible.
A new smartphone email client

1 Like

quartocrescente @ 2019-09-10 13:50 UTC:

Email: Usability (UI)

iirc there were talks to change from rainloop to roundcube which is imo
better but again many users may find it less usable so its better to use
a local email client.

Cloud: An urgent decent office suite (criptypad maybe?)

Meanwhile you can use other public instances of cryptpad, one being
https://cryptpad.fr by the team itself. This does not imply they are
going to host cryptpad, idk about that.

Increase from 2 to 3Gb per user if possible.

You can get additional storage here:
https://disroot.org/en/forms/extra-storage-space

A new smartphone email client

This is not in scope of the disroot project, also maintaining an email
client is not an easy task. There is k-9 mail which is very functional,
you can use that or there is k-9 material (not up-to-date with upstream)
which claims to have better UI.

··· -- Lugubris

@quartocrescente, @lugubris already answer to you suggestions pretty well!
We are asking for User Experience improvments, not what new services you guys would like to have :wink: SO basically, we want ideas on how to help Disrooters to better find their way on the plateform, how to ease things a bit.

Short videos of available resources (screens) is always interesting. Tutors for new users would be welcome.

1 Like

have you seen https://howto.disroot.org ? As for video tutorials they will come for sure, but they do require much more time to produce.

1 Like

A new smartphone email client

With disroot you can use any mail application which supports IMAP/POP3 protocols. Even default android email app does. We do recommend K9 as a good alternative with GPG encryption support. Check out:
https://howto.disroot.org/en/tutorials/email/settings

UI General: New themes in the disroot ecosphere

What do you have in mind exactly?

Email: Usability (UI)

Could you be more specific, and give some examples of what bothers you or what would you improve?

Probably in the minority here but I really dislike the forum format. Would much rather have something like phpBB or vbulletin. Also, I’d have the Forum listed as the first thing under the “Community” tab. At least, that is what I would expect to find there. Actually, I’d even put the forum link right on the front page for easy way to talk to users / contributors.

1 Like

New user here.
On the home page and dashboard it lists Diaspora as your social network instance, but in the tutorials it lists Hubzilla.
Since Diaspora account creation is closed, I assume Hubzilla is newer?

@errorabend Hi and welcome!:wave:
yeah it’s sort of in between situation. We are highly considering closing diaspora (phasing down by not-reopening the registrations and slowly removing inactive accounts until last person closes the lights at some point), but at the same time Hubzilla is not ready for general use (if it will ever be).

That said, you are right the the info regarding diaspora should be removed, which is something that @Antilopa and @meaz are already working on this sprint, so result would be out in a matter of two weeks time. It’s a part of front page rebuild.

Same thing with the chat? Howto describes Converse, but the chat link goes to RedPill. The URL is the same though, so it’s not as confusing.

I was also briefly confused about the difference between the Chat and Nextcloud Talk until I figured out that one for text, and the other for audio/video.

Finally, it’s nice having forums, chat rooms, and social media channels, but it’s also a tiny bit confusing as to where you should go to connect with other users.

@errorabend Red pill is our take on ConverseJS. It’s just a theme we worked on the last weeks. But indeed, we need to be more consistent with names around (the name for the theme and the webchat was a spontanious thing).

As for nextcloud Talk.
The thing powering webchat (redpill) is protocol called XMPP. Its an old and rock solid chat solution which also is federating (so you can reach users on different servers). XMPP offers lots of clients (apps) you can use it with. Much like email that can be used with number of options and webmail is just one of them. XMPP was with disroot form day one. Then at some point Nextcloud Talk came. However, it does nto federate and for some strange reason, instead of using what there already is (xmpp) they decided to re-invent the wheel. Nextcloud Talk can also be used for text chat and it has a bit different use case. XMPP is more like whatsapp/telegram type of thing, while Nextcloud Talk is more integrated with the nextcloud ecopsystem which means its more suited towards group collaboration. You can discuss files while working on them, create rooms and have video conferences, all within the nextcloud ecosystem.

Yeah this is indeed something to work it out. For quite a while we are no longer used by fediverse nerds that know exactly what everything is and how to use it. In fact just today a neighbour (disroot mail user) asked me if I know any replacement for doodle and she was suprised to learn that she can use disroot for it. So this is one of the reasons we want to work on making the onboarding easy as well as finding information with tutorials, guides etc.

Hi nice to meet you all,

I have a bunch of advices to help newcomers:

The first time you get on disroot.org you see something different from anything else you’ve run across: you understand that it’s a project that values people but it’s quite uneasy to understand what I’m looking at: is it about activism? it’s a journalism-related website? So I would suggest for example to let people perceive the product alongside the value.
For example, the second sentence in your homepage “Disroot is a platform providing…” may be the first thing you see.

and another thing should be the access to the different services: sometimes you need to input your username, sometimes your email address, it’s quite confusing at the beginning, as people are used to input always the same credentials.

For now that’s all, I hope it will be helpful,
Wise :slight_smile:

1 Like

@rifthewise Thanks for the feedback and welcome!

As for the credentials. You always need to use username. Email login does allow username@disroot.org but thats because of the way it works. Nowhere else (exeption hubzilla but this is still in test phase and it might change) inputing email as login will work. But yeah we need to make sure this is as consequent across the board as possible.

Your remark about front page are interesting too. @Antilopa and @meazare working on some improvements to the front page so let’s see how that will end up (i’m curious myself).