Optimizing On-Ramps, Community Strategy, and On-Boarding

by | Wed 5 Jul 2017

As part of my work, I tend to write a lot of articles, participate in interviews, and various other things. Previously I have not done a very good job at sharing these things on my blog, but as the number of people who subscribe to my posts seems to be growing, I am going to make a point of sharing these pieces here.

So, here are some recent pieces that you might be interested in.

Designing For Participation: Take Your Site’s UX to the Next Level

This week a new article I wrote for Velocitize went online. It covers how every website for a product or project can be broken down into an on-ramp that we can optimize how we derive the outcome we want. From the piece:

Fundamentally, websites should (a) deliver information we want the reader to consume, and (b) encourage user behavior we want to see. For example, we might want to show someone our product and then have them sign up for a demo. Or, we might want someone to read and comment on our blog.

First, sit down and think of these desired core outcomes. Now, for each, map out an on-ramp that breaks down how someone would get there.

The piece then walks through a sample on-ramp and how this can be used to break down the experience into pieces we can optimize:

The article also runs through a checklist of recommendations for optimizing a website, including:

  1. Design for laziness…and SEO
  2. Have a clear and simple navigation
  3. Deliver value for users without signing up
  4. Have a single call to action on each page
  5. Test extensively with real world users

Go and read the piece here.

What I’ve Learned…With Jono Bacon

Recently I was asked to join an interview with OpenChannel where they asked me about a range of topics including building a community narrative, structuring community strategy, gathering community feedback, trends in commercial communities, and more.

Go and read the piece here.

Bad Voltage: Wikipedia, On-Boarding, and Resolving Community Issues

I co-founded a podcast called Bad Voltage which covers technology, open source, and other topics.

In the most recent show we touched on an interesting research study into Wikipedia community on-boarding, how it was optimized, and the lack of impact in solving their broader on-boarding issues. In the segment I delve into why this wasn’t particularly surprising to me, and where and how we should focus on these kinds of challenges in communities.

Click play below to listen to the segment:

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