Spectrum v3: Communities, communities, communities 👨👩👧👧March 25, 2019 at 5:03pm
Last Thursday we silently launched the biggest experiment since we first came out of beta more than a year ago—and you are looking at it!
Here are the big picture changes and the ideas behind them:
- 👨👩👧👧 Community-first: The “Everything” feed of the previous version was highly practical and utilitarian, but lowered the sense of belonging to a community. We have removed it in favor of switching explicitly between communities.
- 💬 Chat-first: People told us that they miss hanging out in real-time with their communities, bantering about nothing in particular. v3 puts chat front-and-center on each community. Threads are still the right place for conversations about a specific topic, but hanging out with your fellow community members is much easier now. (note for admins: you can en-/disable open chat in your community settings at any time).
- 👌 Consistent: Previously there were three different ways to view a conversation on Spectrum, which caused many users to get confused about how to navigate around. v3 boils it down to one experience (RIP ?t and ?thread) and also bases the entire app on one, shared layout.
- 💅 Fresh, yet familiar: While we were at it, we also took a paint brush to the interface, freshening it up and making it easier for newcomers - especially folks familiar with other popular chat apps like Slack - to dive right in.
We have received a bunch of great feedback from all of you already (thank you!), and are working on the highest priority tasks (you can follow along in the repo). We are also thinking about ways to move forward and other experiments we want to try.
We would love to hear more about what y’all think about these changes, so please comment below with your thoughts! We are listening to everything 🙏
March 25, 2019 at 5:09pm
March 26, 2019 at 2:40pm
- people feel like the centered columns create awkward whitespace on the left/right sides, especially on larger screens
- people are confused with how to navigate in and out of threads quickly (we're working on this right now)
- there is a bit of general confusion around the role the chat tab should play, and whether or not we should be cross-posting thread notifications into the chat tab
- some people really miss the "everything" feed
- there was some confusion in general about "where am I in the app" when viewing things like a channel or a thread - we're working on this as well right now
March 27, 2019 at 7:34am
Just a quick observation about the "main nav" (web app) that now is pinned on the left side:
- it's too thin/narrow and doesn't stand out.
- there's a mix of icons that are related to different functions, such as account management, discovering, notifications, and then all the communities get pushed down.
- I also loved the Everything view. It was a quick way to see all my communities and see where my attention was needed. I also liked the full use of the screen space before. The centered community column feel too tight and restrictive.
- as for the post creation changes, I do agree that before the Post's Title and Body were confusing, but now I can't seem to compose paragraphs by hitting ENTER. Instead it publishes the post as if it was a chat... this is a problem for posting in coding communities.
- The way the Posts are listed now, it needs more visual separation from each other. The colored left border and light background on all of them makes it very hard to discern one post from another.
March 27, 2019 at 7:45pm
Overall love it - Appreciate the hard work - I added some thoughts in the chat last week.
One topic I haven't seen a response to - Where did reputation points go ? 🙂(sorry if it was already asked/responded in the chat... I love the chat... but now information/knowledge is now getting split between the two. Hoping for a "Create new thread" option on chat messages to help document chat conversations into a post)
Re: reputation - we're trying to think of the best home for those in Spectrum. They're still calculating in the background, so nothing is getting lost right now, we just want to make sure we have a strategy for rep going forward
Got it - good to know. I'm running a self-hosted version of spectrum and we're currently extending the reputation into a full gamification system (with levels, badges, points)... so this topic is very top of mind / heart.
I'll keep my eyes/ears open for any updates. LMK if there's anything I can help with or if you'd like to do a user interview. Happy to help in any way.
March 28, 2019 at 3:34pm