I want to say that I'm not the best at writing so I will keep this short and simple. I wanted to see what new members saw for the 1st time signing up to our site and I must tell you I sat there for about 15-20 minutes wondering where everything was at and what to do. Maybe it's because I have seen my profile over and over and seeing a new view from a member threw me off a bit.
the 1st image is a screen shot of what I saw after I added only a photo. Very basic and doesn't make me want to really do to much more.
This is something I would want to if Ning would rearrange a few things that would make the NEW member want to do more than just add pictures. A featured member section on a new profile will instantly give a member a chance to look at other member profiles. The Navigation at the top really doesn't do much and if NC's where able to keep featured members visible...I think they would engage more with other members.
Below is a description of all the changes with lots of easy things Ning could implement to help the new member stay on their page and encourage them to discover more, do more and even tell their friends about their page.
Members today create pages and NEVER share their page or even come back because the fun has been stripped and members are lost at first glance.
Please take a look and any feedback could possibly turn into some changes if we all give suggestions on what could work to keep members engaged.
You will notice a few things missing like Gifts, latest activity and a few of the twitter and facebook links. The gifts to me are 100% worthless and shouldn't be a high lite, If users want gifts then they can add them from their settings or something. The share on twitter and facebook links on the left are good ideas but I would rather a user tweet or post their status rather than give them options to promote a page that they don't even have set up yet. Once their profile is set up the way they like maybe the invite link can include facebook and twitter. A new user isn't going to use the Share your profile to facebook and twitter more than they are going to post status updates. And I personally think it is to many options and can lose them because they don't really know what to do with it.
I hope anyone reading this can see and understand where my head is at while doing this. User engagement is the most important and should not be held hostage anymore.
Please give me your feed back. Not that Ning is going to do any of this stuff but at least we can Hope right?
You maybe right but some of these things are all ready on Ning but just in bad positions. Ning wouldn't need to create anything different for the photos for example. Why do you need to go to photos, upload photos, create a photo album and copy a code to paste on your site just to have photos on your page. Something like that to would be simple to do and could keep members on their profile a little bit longer and might even want them to come back.
And yes I have thought everyone might not like certain things but I also know about functionality and how things should work and if you don't put it in front of a new user chances are they are not going to waist time discovering things to make their site better. We are dealing with the myspace generation that wants to spend HOURS creating, designing and changing their profile. The only reason facebook took off is because it was more social and the layout was right there. Upload, Make Friends and Say something. Ning has way to many unnecessary steps just to Feature a member, friend a member post photos...But again it is just my thought and feed back is what I wanted no matter if I like it or not. The more we discuss it the more we can possibly effect future outcomes...
You are right as well. The way they've set up the design studio is like Blogger. Blogger has had that type of design studio for years. Ning is just now adopting it. I wish they'd gone more Wordpress than Blogger though.
I've even noticed a dramatic decline in the number of people on FB. I have about 1,100 friends over there and it's not as interactive as it used to be. I have been more active on Twitter. My site is for the high school I went to and the community. You have a music/entertainment website - I can really see why better functionality would be a key factor in your site. Even if we could inject the FB commenting system (i.e., Disqus), that would even help. But, everything has it's challenges. Ning has their own "mindset" and we have ours. I am just glad at this point that they are giving us new tools.
Wow Socman, Thank you honestly...
There are a bunch of other things I have in my book but this was mostly from a users perspective that I think most of us that have sites never look at. If you go threw your member profiles I bet you will notice most of them haven't even added the twitter message thing. I know I have personally spent a good year on making our site look perfect and have neglected the only reason why we are online..Our members. Our site can look all pretty but if it doesn't make you want to comeback to your own page...What's the point.
I urge you to create a new member and see if your experience is much different than what I had. Maybe it's just people don't like SwurvRadio anymore...IDK.
As far as facebook...I have written a few post & blogs about that and it is very debatable. Because of facebook I can honestly say we are now getting 25% of all new members are from facebook. On all our pages we have a large number of friends. The one thing I will say is that it's not easy getting them to come to your ning site but all of our post go to facebook and we can see from our analytics they are from FB.
Love it man. Ning should offer you a job as CCO - Chief Coolness Officer
Your proposed changes give the site alot more juice, and would boost user interaction very greatly.
Keep it up!