When I'm reading it is the same damn thing. You have TWO flashing beacons.
Do you think it's okay to rip-off something just because you think it shouldn't be invite only?
If they were longer like the breathing sleep LED on apple laptops it would be less noticeable.
Personally I think it's bad UX, but what do I know; I'm not Dustin Curtis.
In a world dominated by social media and ubiquitous "Like" counters, for someone to brush off a Kudos count as "an otherwise meaningless number" is either an incredible display of naivety or straight-up bullshit.
Never mind. I couldn't possibly care. It's a game. Relax.
You care enough to follow through with replying to me, it seems. I'm plenty relaxed, I just thought it was worth calling a spade a spade in this case.
If you don't think this is a big deal, I invite you to think about a natural extension of this concept: A comment form that sends its entire contents to the server on every keypress.
Imagine if you, using a new web browser, clicked on the "File" menu to see what was there and instead of dropping down a menu, it opened a file browser. In the end not a life-changing or permanent problem, but bad usability problem.
Also, usability is a subset of UX.
Here's a quick python script I whipped up to dole them out. Customize to the blog post of your choosing, if you like.
Maybe it’s a case of something that is confusing at first, but people learn fairly quickly?
Am I the only person that laughed out loud at this?
It perfectly accomplishes my goal: you'll remember it.
(Edit: Sigh. Now I remember why I have a rule of not commenting on Hacker News anymore.)
Because a meaningless counter is decremented?
As geeks, don't we recognize that The Deck ads are better than Google AdWords? Isn't the MacBook Air currently better than probably any other laptop? Wasn't Gmail the best thing since sliced bread for a long time?
I get it that it's part of the script in a socialist revolution, but in a start-up news site?
Curtis, can be as arrogant as he wants and still have a great product (or be right). Just like John Gruber is a jackass, but one who is usually right and (for the context of this site) has a successful business many us would love to have.
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind helping out anybody here (or being helped), but at the end of the day, I want kick all your asses and win. And if I can hire the best of you, even better.
Ah, but there's the rub: Dustin doesn't have a great product and he isn't right. At best he's a good marketer: the only things he ever stands out for are his gimmicks. His best posts were gimmick posts ("watch me redesign airport passes!", "let me show you how stupid commercial graphic designers are!"); his only creations are good marketing creations ("you should follow me on Twitter here", "kudos!"). Occasionally I've seen him get halfway towards having a decent thought, but I've never seen him follow through.
Compare that to John Gruber, who's talked before about how he painstakingly selected the Daring Fireball color before he launched his blog (which has displayed his thoughts, gimmickless and unchanged, for a decade now). Greatness is a matter of finding big ideas and sticking to them; the only thing Dustin's stuck to in the few years he's been promoting himself is that people ought to remember him. But he's forgotten to create something worth remembering.
> One of my main goals for this new writing interface was to encourage myself to spend more time writing and less time presenting.
Which is admirable, and I've noticed that his writing in this new iteration is somewhat less surface-irritating. But he contradicts this in this very thread, when he says of his jackass slogan: "It perfectly accomplishes my goal: you'll remember it." He cares about being remembered; it never seems to occur to him that there's more to writing good things than making them memorable.
His product is compelling for some people.
The Deck is compelling for some people.
MacBook Air is compelling for some people.
GMail is compelling for some people.
But my own personal opinion is that I don't love it.
The UI of the published blogs is nice. I actually like the animation on the left, though I personally would only show it once per session. I think the challenge will be making this a more usable, integrated experience for the user while retaining the sparse and appealing UI. Even for "vetted" bloggers, audience reach and accessibility matters.
I'm not a big fan of the UI for the backend. I like the concepts. But the UI seems too designed. The strict use of black and white, for example, seems almost a gimmick to me.
And I really dislike the Kudos "button" and his response to the criticism.
There is absolutely no functional benefit. People know buttons. They expect buttons to work like all other buttons work: You have to press it if you want to press it. I could go on and on about why this is bad
(unfriendly to touch UIs (even if it also supports clicking), people shouldn't have to be careful about where they rest their mouse, it takes 1s to "hover induce" this button and far less than 1 sec to click, etc.)
But the biggest UX blunder, IMO, is not being able to undo it.
I was less than impressed by DCurtis's response to the Kudos issue: that a kudos is meaningless. If it's so meaningless why not let people kudos the same thing more than once? Why have a kudos at all?
I hope this can be seen as constructive, because I think his project is much bigger than this critique. He worked on something, and shipped. Our industry is more of a meritocracy than most. Congrats on shipping, high-five and well done.
Now make it better, please.
And all you're replying about is the look of the UI. Aren't you missing the most important bit?
I especially don't want writers on the network hesitating about whether to write low-quality material. Insay, wcatter your ideas and let "the market" decide.
I'm not really interested in running my blog on someone else's platform, though (I realize I'm in the minority here).
Interesting timing - I came up with an idea this weekend for a Dropbox-based blogging app that pushes both final and draft posts to a blog every time they're saved locally, with public access for the final posts and a private password-protected directory for the drafts.
I'm pretty sure I can make it with watch folders and Jekyll (I've seen that setup floating around HN comments), although making something more advanced with a web panel and themes might make it a lot more interesting to a larger audience.
Not that I wouldn't be interested in reading what only the best and the brightest have to say. Maybe it's just the way it's been presented, but in its current form it seems sort of like the Mensa of blogging platforms.
Unless this is the guy's business plan and he just doesn't want to kill his server. But this really looks like an "I built this really cool thing for me and some friends and you can't play" kind of thing.
2. Svbtle: There are few names I've come across in my career that are as painful as this one to read, spell or pronounce. It gives me anxiety, and what's worse is that it's inspired by Svpply. A good name is a word that you can tell someone over the phone without them asking you how to spell it. Period.
3. The ideas panel is cool. Is there a way you could generate the list in other ways than just manually adding tags? Could you add a bookmarking tool, for example, that adds keywords to your Ideas List once you bookmark a page you find thought-provoking?
4. The S* Network: Your strategy to build a platform exclusive for exceptionally high-rated bloggers to use wont work for several reasons, here's just a few:
4a. I loved your site's design until I saw others on your platform using it. Then it became boring and nauseating. The design of a blog tells a story sometimes just as much as the content does. It gives the blogger personality, and the reader something fresh to look at.
4c. Top bloggers (any bloggers) not only use design to express themselves, but also to stand out. To be remembered. Eventually when you notice a site's design enough times, you realize you might want to check out who the author is.
4d. Social elements and "Sharing" buttons can look messy at times, but the fact is, bloggers like their content shared, and readers like to share content they enjoy. Removing arguably the most widely used tool on the web much poorer design that displaying a 'tweet' button after each post.
4e. Aside from 'ideas' your platform doesn't have anything that takes away the pain that enough users have to make it worth building. I add 'blogging' to pg's list of frighteningly ambitious startup ideas..
Absolutely. I thought that "kiln" was a horrible product name (it still is) but we've set the bar lower with this.
- The word “subtle” is appropriate for a minimalist product with minimalistic design.
- The obscure spelling and, yes, small brand stumbling block it creates is fine for an exclusive and invite-only network; the nod to Latin inscriptions has overtones of class and education, which are both exclusive concepts as well.
The problem here is that a good name (has become) one that doesn't collide with any popular search terms, and whose URL won't be taken. This is sort of at cross purposes with being easy to spell.
I find formatting to be the biggest annoyance in blogging, but I bet there's a markdown WP plugin for that which I should use.
Actually I do like this, but not for the "ideas" feature. I like it for the simplicity and hip minimalist aesthetic.
Aside from that, it looks really clean!
There is the temporary red overlay in the sidebar that is, as far as I can tell, new, and definitely a touch obtrusive (intentionally, no doubt); then, the relatively subtle circular pulse around the blog logo.
http://svbtle.com/ now has colours for each member blogger, and it looks like they all have their own left sidebar slideout thing. Additionally, their pulsing icons in the top left have an additional colour hint to them.
Edit: I think it's a little too intrusive and clashes with the overall feel of the rest of it, but that's just me!
I felt like I should be reading John Collison's blog, but I keep hearing Dustin's voice in my head. The same goes when I switch to other authors.
I get what he is trying to do - by keeping it minimalist and all, but I think it gets in the way of the content and the author by not offering a distinct enough experience on each author's words.
> It really is the essence of blogging[...] no social bullshit.
> And, of course, you should follow me on Twitter here.
PS. This also explains why Dustin needed a Markdown symbol back in February - http://drbl.in/daOE
(1) Svbtle is actually a decent name (I sort of thing the 'v' is tired, but that's just a product of things I'm following doing that) Unfortunately, it's probably not appropriate for a tech audience
(2) I'm very surprised at the significant negative reaction to his 'curation' of his blogging network. I understand the feelings of condescension, but is it really that big of a deal? Many things are invite only, vetted by one person. I'm personally bothered by /other/ elitist attitudes prevalent in the industry. This is pretty consistent and he never said this was never going to be public...
Insert foot in mouth.
I really like the idea of the two columns. I'd totally use this.
Is Rails good for an API?
It's a tool, and it has different merits depending on the situation. That's the answer to the question, and it's the answer to any question like it.
I said I didn't want an invite because I didn't want to be associated with the three of them arguing over so fine a point, and getting so much exposure for it.
It all seemed very weird to me. That was my real point.
I'm still working out the problems and polishing the interactions. When they're all ironed out, I'll open it to the public.
Thank you for making something like this a reality - I had a blank-page type editor a while back but didn't have the chops to make it actually usable at the time (hence my interest in recreating this).
It's working I suppose. And the "invite only" system sure helps drive desire.
I wonder what language/platform it's written in?
I've recently wondered if we (devs) shouldn't adopt a standard like robots.txt/humans.txt, maybe dev.txt or something where we could put such information and opensource links (instead of polluting the UI sometimes with all the 'powered by' braggadacio).
//edit: submitted for discussion http://hackerne.ws/item?id=3742784
Server: nginx/1.0.10 + Phusion Passenger 3.0.11 (mod_rails/mod_rack)
Minimalist design is supposed to be about presenting the content first and foremost. But the content is overshadowed by your frame. Your name and flashy CSS tricks are the only constants on the page and take up nearly 25% of the view, but you claim you're trying to draw attention to the content? Perhaps if the content you're presenting is you, then you have a successful design.
Overall, it feels like the designer is wagging his/her tail in my face.
This is so important. I’ve been using SimpleNote to the same effect. I just handle the publishing part separately; I publish so rarely that it doesn’t make sense for me to couple the two together.
Dustin, I just emailed you with a name suggestion.
The only criticism I have is that it relies on sites like Hacker News and Reddit or email/twitter for discussion. Blog posts may be full of errors, but readers (and maybe authors) may never find out, due to the relatively inaccessible discussion/feedback system.
But really, the same thing could be accomplished by having the comments page be separate from the article page, yet still be hosted on the same blogging platform.
How can I get an invite?
Edit : Okay, so much for speculation.
It looks so usable.
I've been irritated by lack of features in Tumblr; whilst you don't those features, it does look like you have a cleaner approach for content-creating.
Reminds me slightly of Trello.
Sidenote: The judos thing is annoying and the design is mad plain.