Having done many projects from WordPress blogs to complex enterprise software implementations, I tend to ask these questions when a website/software will be redesigned or upgraded. Consider these as fundamental questions that should be addressed from the beginning or early inception of the idea. Here are some of the questions at the top of my mind now that I’ll use to review the new Triberr:
- What is the main objective of the upgrade/redesign?
- What is working; what is not working now?
- What are the features (requirements) needed by stakeholders
- How will it benefit the business
- How will it impact the customer
- What are the risks that could potentially stall progress
- How will you evaluate the success of the project
What is the main objective of the upgrade/redesign?
From a customer perspective, I believe that Dino and co. hits the jackpot when he discussed in a blog posts that the old Triberr’s usability leaves much to desired. The upgrade is supposed to bring complete design overhaul that will offer an awesome user interface.
Looking at the new Triberr you can definitely see the vast improvement in design. While this definitely gives Triberr the “eye candy”, UX is much more than aesthetics. Later on I’ll discuss some small annoyances with the new Triberr.
What is working; what is not working?
This is based in my experience alone.
What is working : the idea about tribes, tribe invite system, freemium business model, blocking/muting, posts distribution through Twitter and other social networks
What is not working well: Triberr comment system (there’s a huge room for improvement here), laborious manual post approval (workflow could be tedious when you have hundreds of tribe-mates , pagination is sometimes hit or miss, post filtering sometimes does not work and statistics not accurate.
What are the features (requirements) needed by stakeholders?
How will it benefit the business ?
The way I see it — with the redesign, more users will take Triberr more seriously, consider it within the same league as Twitter and Facebook, and include Triberr in their social media strategy. More power users = more prime members = better cash flow.
How will it impact the customer?
My first reaction after the new Triberr rolled out was this:
After a while it turned to something like this:
It seems that Triberr is back to beta status. I seriously don’t feel bad or disappointed because what Dan, Dino and company created is tremendously helpful to blogging community so I am not complaining. I’m just concerned to prime members and how new comers perceive Triberr as a service or a platform. While paying members get to preview the latest version of Triberr before regular (non-paying) members get to see it, some major bugs are still in the wild after the new Triberr is released to the public.
The transition from old (legacy) version to the new version is also not seamless. Some users still love to use the old version but having to two versions only confuses some. For example some posts appear only in the legacy version forcing me to switch back and forth the old and new versions to approve certain post. I’m not sure why this is even happening. The infinite-scroll feature also lags when loading more posts and this frustrates both new and old Triberr users. I know it is still work in progress but isn’t better UX the primary goal of the redesign? It should have been the top priority.
The no-click approval feature truly saves time and prevent clicking fatigue and in my opinion, one of the best features introduced — but it doesn’t mean it is flawless. Some users reported that it is not working as expected.
So far the experience is so-so. Half the time you’ll read accolades, then half the time you’ll read complains about certain feature that doesn’t work really well.
What are the risks that could potentially stall progress?
Regular Triberr users have witnessed the long downtime last week and it shows that even a well planned event could go wrong. It also showed how many Triberr supporters are out there willing to understand the tough situation that puts Dino, Dan and Andres sleepless for several days.
With the amount of transparency and accessibility from last weeks trials, I wonder why the new Triberr doesn’t feel as polished as I expected it to be. How do Triberr team prioritize and resolve bug fixes is beyond the scope of my review but Triberr could learn more from the difficulty last week so that they could cut the risks involved in bug fixing and day to day operations.
How will you evaluate the success of Triberr Redesign?
Only Triberr can answer this but if I were to measure the success of the redesign, I would use measurable data such as prime membership sales, post shared in all social networks, total engagements, new sign-ups and more quantitative information.
Over all it feels like the new Triberr needs more time to fully materialize. While the basic features work there are bugs all over the place. To add insult to injury, the database corruption one week before the public release of the new Triberr made it a difficult experience to everyone not just to Triberr team. In the end, the focus for better user experience seems to be overshadowed by unpolished features.
I certainly look forward to progressive improvements and rolling updates that will eventually solve the issues I have discussed here. More power to Triberr!
Update: The tribe has spoken! See the comments below. Team Triberr will have bug fixing marathon over the weekends. Stay tuned!
— Dino Dogan (@dinodogan) March 21, 2013