boutell: (Default)
[personal profile] boutell
Dear Super Badrats,

I launched a new website yesterday. What Shall We... is an insanely simple way to plan dinner, drinks, a movie party, or pretty much anything that isn't formal with people that you place at least a little trust in. I'm gunning for a level of simple that just doesn't happen with tools that require accounts (who wants another account anywhere ever?) and limit the amount of input that your peers are allowed to give in the decision. I'm also shooting for realtime here - you can watch people vote and suggest stuff on the fly. Which hopefully encourages folks to stay involved and come to consensus on the decision.

Please give it a look-see and let me know what you think!

What Shall We...

Date: 2010-11-29 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2010-11-29 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As picky as I can be:

1) URLs need to be shorter, just for SMS/twitter purposes alone. I know you're trying to avoid random people finding each page though, so I'm not sure where the balance is. Maybe short urls + an optional password?

2) If an "Option" is long, it wraps way earlier than it probably should, and is hard to tell what you're voting for, or where one option starts and the next begins, if multiple options span multiple lines. If you can't make the option element wider, maybe a thin, faint hr or border to mentally push them apart more?

3) Maybe move the - icon to the left of the options, so they're all justified together?

4) Make it so that the thumbs up/thumbs down icons under "Your Votes" stay lined up whether you've voted or not. Maybe move the X to the right side?

5) I'm not sure how you could do this, barring maybe using a cookie or something, but if I "lose" a link I'm kinda screwed and can't get it back.

Great idea though, and i like how simple it is.

Date: 2010-11-29 08:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you, this is gold

Shortening the URLs would be tricky for the reasons you mention but I will think about it. As it is they are 57 characters which is not godawful really. I would hope people wouldn't publicly tweet these (5000 strangers voting, just what I need) but you might tweet them via a DM or a tweet on a private account.

I just noticed the wrap problem too when I tried to set it up for something where I felt a need to say more about each option. I can make the options much wider by summarizing the vote activity. My current horizontally consecutive thumbs are obviously not sustainable anyway with more than about 20 people.

I like the idea of moving the "-" icon.

The "X" should die and be replaced by just clicking on the thumb again to undo it, I think.

As for #5... I am using cookies, as a low-security way of avoiding really gratuitous double votes, but if I let you review your "what shall wes" at any time without going to the links, then I have effectively logged you in with no way to log out. I could have optional accounts that give you this feature if you want it. I've been adding the pages to my favorites if the question isn't resolved right away.

(Which leads to #6: the title needs to adjust to reflect the question somehow or it's really hard to tell them apart in bookmarks)

I lean toward optional accounts for power/picky users because I don't want to kill the real distinguishing feature of the site, which is its simplicity, the fact that you don't have to create accounts blah blah blah and the fact that it's not limited to people who use FB or Twitter or any other one specific site.

Date: 2010-11-29 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Actually, people are tweeting them, and it is not terrible. The indifference of most people to whatever the question is seems to be insurance enough against meltdown (:

Date: 2010-11-30 07:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm playing with it now and it looks great, much easier to understand what I'm voting for now.

Could you do modified base64 (no trailing =, + and / are replaced by - and _) to shorten things a bit more? Same number of bits, just less charachters.

I am seeing some weirdness though on this one:

I added three options, then clicked thumbs up to the middle one. It instead registered a thumbs up vote for the top choice. I clicked thumbs down on the middle choice, and both the middle and last option got a thumbs down vote added to them.

I closed my browser, came back, and the votes were different yet again. If you can't reproduce this, i'll try again, but I'm not sure where I went wrong.

Date: 2010-11-30 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have thought it over and I think I can safely whack the GUIDs in half. So the URLs will get a lot shorter soon.

Concerned about your false votes obviously! But I haven't had similar reports. Weeeeird. I will try your exact steps after work.

Date: 2010-12-01 02:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I chopped the IDs in the URLs in half. Much nicer.

Also, I had a brainwave and set up "Add This," and now it's crazy-easy to share a question on FB or Twitter. And FB will let you send it as a message rather than a more public update if you want, etc. Plus having it in your twitter or FB timeline helps address the lost-URL problem. Pretty stoked about this.

As for your bug, I'm concerned, but I can't reproduce the durn thing.

Date: 2010-12-01 02:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

It looks like the problem I was seeing only happens in Safari and wasn't actually what I thought was happening.

Looking at it in Chrome, I see that after voting it's reordering the choices to show which is most popular. When I tried in Safari, the votes column and the thumbs up/down column were moving, but the choices weren't. (Leading me to think the wrong option got voted for, because the scores moved).

I'm not seeing any JS errors or anything even marginally helpful to explain why it's not behaving though.

Date: 2010-12-01 02:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's VERY weird. Particularly since it's reloading that entire section of the page.

Date: 2010-12-01 02:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think I may have seen something like this in mobile safari

Date: 2010-12-01 03:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've seen Webkit browsers do something similar before, where if you were replacing entire elements using innerHTML and some other phase-of-the-moon thing was just right, "weird" would happen. In my case it was letting multiple things pile up on top of each other...

I think our fix was to set innerHTML to "" then set it to what we wanted, but I honestly can't remember now. If I have time tomorrow I'll see if I can narrow it down if you'd like.

Date: 2010-12-01 12:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If you get a chance that would be awesome. I'll try to figure it out too

Date: 2010-11-30 12:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I implemented a lot of this stuff:

* Lots more space for the answer
* Compact display of vote totals, scales much better
* Moved the "-" icon to line up at left
* The "X" is gone, you just click the thumb again, and the tips explain that succinctly

No optional accounts yet, that's a bigger deal.

Date: 2010-11-29 08:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
As usual sir, you've taken something that really needs to be out there and made it very straightforward and useful. Kudos!

I'm assuming that it records your responses to a cookie? Is there a fairly simple wait to lock it down via IP so that people wouldn't be able to erase their cookies and 'stack the votes'? That smells like a complicated issue, but in a perfect world scenerio, I would be able to use this for a much more broad group of people (including strangers who may or may not be trustworthy...)

Date: 2010-11-29 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for the input yo!

I have pondered this issue. It is tricky, thus:

I can keep it really simple, and just have one link that you give to your friends (which is what I have done here) -

Or I can make it way more secure, by having a separate link for each friend.

But if I do the latter, are you really going to bother? I have to wonder.

And even if I give you a choice, are you going to bother figuring it out?

One way to address this is to require people to log in, but then they have to make accounts, and Nobody Wants Another Account. I could require them to log in via Facebook Connect and/or Twitter, but some people might not have these either, and they can still make bullshit Twitter accounts to enter bullshit votes (oh joy) unless I make the original person invite specific people via Facebook and/or Twitter in the first place. In the case of your coworkers you often have neither. So much for planning that lunch.

So... I just set a cookie that lasts a year from your most recent activity on the site, and boot people who don't accept the cookie.

This rules out the site's use for Super Important Mega Stuff With Tons Of People, but I'm trying to identify an audience (even if it does not include everyone) and satisfy its needs before it gets bored and wanders off in search of shiny.

Date: 2010-11-29 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Love the fact that it's Just Plain Simple. The only major change needed is to make the options wider, and the URLs a little shorter. Pretend for a moment you need to manually enter the URL on a cell phone. Do you really need 128 bits of randomness for the id?

Funny enough, I considered writing something like this over the weekend, played Zelda and minecraft instead. If only I hadn't been so lazy, I could have made billions of internet dollars.

Date: 2010-11-29 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Why would you manually enter the URL though? I know there are awful smartphones that can't copy and paste, but the usual suspects can...

Date: 2010-11-29 09:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Speaking of mobiles, it looks good enough on the blackberry, although the left margin is apparently zero.

Date: 2010-11-29 09:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Can you copy and paste on the blackberry?

Date: 2010-11-29 10:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh good.

I think it's close to a nonissue then. Twitter shortens things for you, and the devices without copy and paste are... Windows Phone 7, which is bombing in the marketplace as we speak, and even rarer things

Date: 2010-11-29 10:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd like it to be faster (too slow responding to my clicks) and easier to set up questions & options. Having a separate submit for each option is a PITA, as is needing to click (+) to add an option.

If you made a wider box and allowed us to type in

> What do we do tonight? video game, eat out, drink massively, watch movies

It could create the question and populate it with four options all at once.

And there shoud be an empty box below the list of options so an option could just be auto-entered by typing it in. A non-blank field would get vote icons, and clicking one would add the option AND vote for it at the same time.

Date: 2010-11-29 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you!

These are very cool power-user optimizations. I'll think about how best to do them without scaring people. The latter part about an empty box already being open is a pretty good idea. Provided that it doesn't lead people to not even read the options that are already there... nah, probably okay there.

Date: 2010-11-30 12:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
After pondering your requests a bit, I made this change:

* "Add Answer" is now "Add Answers"
* There's a note explaining you can add multiple comma-separated answers
* There's a checkbox to vote "thumbs up" on them right away, which defaults to being checked
* So you can click "Add Answers," type in five comma-separated things, and press Enter and bam you've added and voted for all of them.

This does not do everything you wanted (you can't enter a question and some answers at the same time; you can't vote "no" for stuff you're adding) but I think it addresses the most likely points of pain for power users without being too hard to explain or too easy to accidentally trigger.
Edited Date: 2010-11-30 12:16 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-11-29 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But can it solve the problem of people who can't decide on anything?

"Indecision Quadruplets, Activate! Form of..."




September 2014

2122232425 2627

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 17th, 2017 10:09 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios