I was in New York two weeks ago and I wanted to post some articles about my trip, with pictures and text. I didn’t have internet because I was traveling, and I was using the last version of IOS application, I tried to observe my experience and I noted down possible improvements.
As general feedback it was not easy, however I could use some workaround (log in on the web admin, for example) for two-three days, but afterwards I gave up and I stopped using it. It’s a pity because the application looks good, It think is a bit too complicated. I believe the great developers behind it, can do better, and I want to help.
Please consider this post in a positive way, I really want to do something to improve this application. I’m not an IOS developer but I try to use the skills I have.
I’ve defined my proposal as user stories:
As a user I would like to write posts and save/publish them online or offline in a transparent way. The fact of being offline should not make any difference.
When I try to write a normal post, if I’m offline, and I add a picture, it is cached due to ‘network error’ but it can be inserted and uploaded later. That’s good even if is a bit too complicated, because when I upload the post, I need to manually upload the pictures.
In general, the way the posts are managed could be changed:
- when you are offline, you should save everything locally, even duplicate the picture on a temporary location and being able to save it.
- when you are online if you can upload the post, then everything should be uploaded after the user tap to publish
- The upload should publish the post but, I don’t know if is possible, it should be added preserving eventual new revision on the history of the post. If the user had modified the post partially on the IPhone and partially on the computer, the two revision should be reachable on the administration panel, however only the iPhone revision should be published.
As a user I would like to post quickly multiple images and text without thinking about anything else but the text to write and the picture to select.
I really like the ‘quick post': is simple and straightforward. The big problem is that it doesn’t work offline. Solving the above proposal should solve this problem as well.
Moreover, this functionality should allow to post multiple pictures and text. Here a proposal, (I sketch it for the first time in the subway of new york), starting from the current UI:
The goal is to upload multiple images with text in the middle, In principle, the same UI should be reused and just a PLUS button could be added below the image.
When the user select PLUS, he can choose a new image and write the content. Image and related text are bounded as group and they cannot be changed with this functionality. The image goes before and the text after in the final post.
If the user wants to scroll on the text, can just scroll normally by using the finger on the left part of the screen (see mockup below). The user can also go back to a previous ‘group’ by sliding his thumb on the right part of the screen. In that way the groups are sliding and the text is aligned to the top side of the image.
In this way you can add as many images+text as you like and it would take less than 1 second. I believe, this first two proposal, could improve a lot the application.
An overview of the flow chart can be something like:
I write here to make it easier to understand:
Add image: Images are stored locally and referred in the post by fake URLs
- Images are uploaded,
- Links are replaced,
- Article is posted as a DRAFT,
- Article status is updated as PUBLISHED or SCHEDULED
Here, there are other two, they are minor, if you want me, as user, to think of some priority:
As a user I should use the easier way by default, even if with less options on formatting, to write comfortably.
The application for IOS should have as default way of posting, the simplified or quick way and as a secondary way, the more elaborated one.
As I user I should be able to select the tags also when I select quick post.
Is a bit annoying not be able to select the tags, the way it is done normally is simple and straightforward and would work fine also here.
That’s it, I hope these suggestion can help to improve this application, which is already quite good. I hope is clear, because I think is more difficult to explain than to implement it, if you are interested to continue this conversation, I’d be willing to discuss face to face with you.