We’ve been busy this weekend and it seems some of you already noticed. There’s a new look on Triberr. The user interface has received some much needed love that’s been long overdue (last update was 3+ years ago). Most notable is the overall visual refresh. We have several new features planned, but this overhaul was first before other items are officially launched.
There’s a saying – “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” – It clearly didn’t apply to Triberr’s previous UI. We all wanted to tear it up and start over.
It took 3+ months to complete the entire UI refresh. Every screen has been updated to catch up to modern times, and this update will serve as a UI framework for additional features. While designing and developing the updated user interface, we had a few guiding principles:
- Keep it familiar – Given that many Triberr users have been with us for years, we didn’t want to go overboard and change everything. Hence, it’s still looks familiar.
- Single CTA – Focus on the core action that users should complete – share content (i.e., either share immediately or Add to Queue)
- Eliminate clutter – if it’s not important to 80% or more of users, remove, reposition, or replace
- Look forward – Develop foundation for upcoming features
We did cheat in a few places but did our best to not violate the guidelines above. All in all, a product is never complete so we’ll continue to iterate. After staring at the UI for the last 72 hours, our team has added over 50 changes into the development backlog, as well as some new bugs reported by users (Thanks to all of you!).
So what’s different today vs. last Friday? Functionally, not much. From a UI perspective, every page has been re-done, yet the platform should feel exactly the same. Below is a list of some of the more notable changes as well as some decisions made during the process:
Stream – a cleaner Stream page that eliminates the visual clutter, shows off images, and allows more content to be viewable. Though, the layout remains almost the same as before.
- Consideration: We’re still considering compressing each item in the stream so that a single item does not overtake the entire screen. For example, we are tossing around ideas to either standardize the size of images by limiting their height or using thumbnails to show more items in the stream.
Post – the former post overlay screen was in dire need of a refresh. So we moved towards a new slide-in overlay that better groups the call-to-actions and positions post meta data where users expect. This new screen opens up additional opportunities to leverage the top bar and the sidebar to display .
- Consideration: To iframe or not? One topic the team tossed around was to show the actual blog post in an iframe similar to other sites. That alternative lost because anything ‘iframe‘ related didn’t sit well with the team and extended far beyond what’s familiar to our users. Though, this may be an option to explore in the future based on user feedback, data analytics, and whether it can be executed well.
Queue – 2 months ago we moved the Queue to its own navigation page which has proven to be more intuitive and useful. After all, there should be a dedicated page to see what’s going out to your social networks. It also better aligns with features planned on our roadmap.
- Consideration: To provide more clarity on user limits, we developed a checker that allows our team to see which specific limit a user has exceeded. This will be rolled out to all users in an upcoming release.
Tribes – The older tribes page left much to be desired. The updated page takes a few steps forward, but we’re not yet done with this area.
- Consideration: Tribe management is a critical area that needs lots of work. I’d love to set aside an entire month to focus strictly on this aspect. Matter of balancing time and priorities in a small startup.
Profile – minor cleanup of the Profile. Admittedly, nothing extraordinary.
- Consideration: In the near future, you can expect your personal stream – the feed of your own posts – to reside in a separate area (maybe called “My Content” or similar). Why? Because the Profile should be…. – a profile – highlighting your awesomeness, your content and social metrics, and achievements. Ideally, this could serve as the content creator’s / influencer portfolio or highlight page (*hint * hint*).
Take a look around and chime in with your thoughts – good or bad.
Since March of 2016, we focused primarily on back-end infrastructure and code updates. For example, most of the Triberr code has been optimized. With the exception of a few visible updates, the majority of effort by the team went largely unnoticed. Fortunately, this large UI update is immediately visible to all users.
Our next 60 days involves development activity happening in various areas. Depending on what gets completed first, look for major updates to the following:
- Promote Posts – completely rewritten with a focus on providing the maximum ROI for your promoted posts (aka Sticky Posts). If you’ve never promoted a post, it’s our fault. The feature is barely noticeable, and we rarely tout its effectiveness. Though, some power users swear by Stickies and promote almost every post.
- Queue / Crons – We have an overhaul to our back-end infrastructure that handles the Queue and cron jobs. To scale, we’ll need to migrate to a more robust queueing process. Of course, that’s complicated to do without disruption.
- Campaigns – completely rewritten from ground-up. Imagine developing an entirely new web app and then integrating it into an existing one. It was the long route, but seems to have been the right approach. Some of the changes you’re seeing past few months are in preparation for the re-launch. We had hoped to launch by Jan 1, but unfortunately still more development work is required.
- Tribe Management – so much to do here to help Chiefs better manage members, grow their tribes, and build engaging communities – – where to start?
Ultimately, most of the value of an app comes from how it works, not how it looks. Of course, a visual refresh is not nearly enough. However, this UI update is a foundational pillar that enables several new functionalities within Triberr.
While many redesigns leave users ready to revolt, we’re hoping this long overdue UI update is welcome by the community.
If you’ve got a idea, suggestion or find an issue, please send details to our help desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading.
p.s. I previously started posting monthly updates to discuss such things and stopped – 100% my bad! Sorry. I’ll continue these type of blog posts to keep the community in the loop on what’s happening behind-the-scenes.