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Cover image for Hello again. It's time to do some work!
The DEV Team

Hello again. It's time to do some work!

pp profile image Paweł Ludwiczak ・2 min read

tl;dr

DEV is redesigning the home page. But we need your help and feedback. Also, hi!

Hello, again.

This is Paweł, I'm a part of the Product Design team, here at DEV. Lisa and I joined DEV recently.

So, what does the Design team at DEV actually do? Great question! To keep it short: we're trying to make DEV more usable, better-looking, and welcoming. We're also going to work on our design system — a bunch of tools and guidelines to make designing and building features much easier; it should also help us make things more consistent because… well:

Buttons

The Home Page

One of our very first projects will be improving DEV's home page. There are several things we'd love to do here — some of them will be subtle changes and others more drastic and groundbreaking (ok, I'm exaggerating a bit).

Goals

We have one main problem to solve with the home page makeover: people struggle to find relevant content. They don't know where to look because the current home page is a bit overwhelming.

We need you!

WE NEED YOU

Now, the most important part.

We don't want to sit in a closed room, moving pixels around and suddenly deploy changes that you may totally hate. We want to stay in touch with you through the entire process. We want to inform you of our ideas and progress. But most importantly, we want you, the DEV Community, to help us by providing feedback, words of wisdom, opinions, and your ideas... DEV is open source and we want to be as transparent as possible. That being said, can you let us know:

  • What are some things about the home page that you dislike the most?
  • What are some things about the home page that you like a lot?
  • What did you wish the home page did more of?

Thank you so much for your help. We’re going to take your feedback and make DEV a better place for us all! ❤️ Expect another follow-up post soon with more details about Home Page work.

Posted on by:

pp profile

Paweł Ludwiczak

@pp

I'm a Product Designer, here at Forem (DEV).

The DEV Team

The team behind this very platform. 😄

Discussion

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Editor guide
 
  1. Please show me first the articles per my followed authors and tags.
  2. Please allow me to “hide” an article from the home page if I don’t want to see it again.
  3. Please indicate a “read” indicator for an article on the home page. (somehow grayed out or somewhat?)
  4. The side bars are good on desktop but they’re very hidden on mobile and I realize that’s on purpose but the listings are not visible on mobile. Maybe scatter the listings on mobile throughout the feed like reddit does? I haven’t thought this through so there are likely holes in that idea.
  5. Maybe even start showing me articles on my “to read” list if nothing else to show me? They pile up and I actually forget about them but I do visit the home page a lot.
 

I agree with all your suggestions, especially the last one!
I have a huuuuuge reading list, and almost always forget about it

 

I like these ideas alot!

 

Oh your first point is awesome. With this done it enables removing notifications everytime an article is published from the notification center!

 

The image of all our buttons really says a lot 😅

 

Hey, I've got more examples like this :d

 

Can't wait to see more of them!

 

If I have already read a post, why see it again in my "timeline"?

 

One thing I don't like: clicking my face makes the world go dark. I'm not sure why, but it's a bit jarring. I do this at least once a day, expecting that my click will take me to my profile or dashboard or something related to me, but all it does is turn out the lights. 🤪
Clicking user face makes everything go dark

 

Hey Pawel, first of all, in my humble opinion, I believe that it is better asking for things that "work or don't work". I strongly believe that asking and using like or dislike in the same sentence tend to follow with not very good feedback. I'm one of those designers against the word "like", sorry!

That being said, @jess hit the spot. Nevertheless, I don't see it as a major problem. The main question that comes to mind is why so many different kinds of buttons and are they all necessary?

Explaining with words is going to be difficult, so I made this pretty fast, bare with me, I did it really quickly! but you can have an idea about it.

mock

Maybe using collapsed components, with a little bigger box and bigger typography can help unclutter the UI and help navigation. It's the first idea that came to mind. (Also aligned my profile card with the first post, that way the empty space left and right helps that center nav with the feed and days of weeks, etc);

Hope it helps, and again, sorry for the quick dirty mock ;)

(Edit: Uploaded a less shameful mock, but forgot to include the sponsors on it, but I swear they were there! 😅).

(EDIT 2: As others pointed out, the eclectic "style" of DEV it's part of its brand, and I really love it! I'm sure you guys will do a great job with the new redesign :D)

 

I believe that it is better asking for things that "work or don't work". I strongly believe that asking and using like or dislike in the same sentence tend to follow with not very good feedback.

Yea, I tend to agree. Although feedback so far has been great soooo 🤷‍♂️


Your mockup is perfectly fine, thank you for spending time on it - visualizing ideas always helps.

Maybe using collapsed components, with a little bigger box and bigger typography can help unclutter the UI and help navigation.

The left sidebar now reminds me a bit desktop twitter - which I think is good. I like decluttering it and collapsing "my tags".

I have similar feeling about right sidebar but we also have to keep in mind that we want people to discover new content (not only for of sake of discoverability but simply engagement == money). So we definitely don't want to hide/collapse all sidebar content by default, but I think we have to do some juggling here anyway.

 

Totally agree Pawel, happy to be wrong!!

 

I have to admit, somehow the eclectic style of this site (and its buttons, haha) made it likeable.

It has something of "we don't focus on graphical shenanigans, we improve real UX!"

 

I think we certainly want to maintain the soul of the site, but it might be nice if new users could figure out how to find a podcast or browse listings. :P

 
 

Yes, that's something I'm looking forward to :)

 

Totally agree, the "imperfect" UI and kinda "glitch" style is what makes DEV so unique (visually). We obviously don't want to kill that but at the same time I think we will want to find a right balance between style like this AND readability & usability.

 

The graphical shenanigans are part of the real UX ;-)
but because everything else seemed to click we have stayed !!!

 

Totally agree about liking the eclectic style,but for me I like it because it gives the place a "made by hands" feel to it.

 

HomePage show articles of tags and authors that I follow.
Have a page "Explore" where we can see all posts and all tags

 

Ooooo! "Explore" is a neat idea! Oh wait, isn't that what Popular (you know, week | month | year | infinity tabs) does right now?

 

join all these 4 tabs in "Explore", with week | month | year | infinity as a filter, plus as someone mentioned here, make a something to see all the tags, I think you can do it everything together inside "Explore" tab/page.

I believe will make the homepage Cleaner, on the other side will make the user to make 2 clicks to see, for example, the week posts

While I found the idea interesting of the "Explore" option, I'd caution against it.

Whilst it would make the homepage more clean it might cause an annoyance of the user friendliness, since two clicks might not seem such a hurdle in the beginning, it may become just that long term.

And it might just become cluttered up inside of that drop-down which might make the design deviate from the feel of the website.

Overall, I really like the feed to-the latest bar on the homepage. But to offer an alternative view of this.

Couldn't you guys add a "My Tags" option below the "Settings" in the drop-down that is in the top right corner where the profile pic is. Here's a little demo that might be what it can look like when you click the "My Tags" button.

dev-demo-tags

The green marker indicating the chosen tag and those that haven't a green marker are off the feed.

Love that idea!

 

Another thing, I like to scroll until I find some articles that I like, you know that people who scroll and scroll on instagram? Thats me on Dev.
Will be nice if I already see an article to make them disappear on homepage but easily reachable if I want to read them again. I don't know the best solution for this but what I mean is if I scroll for 2 minutes and then refresh the page, I need to scroll everything again to see new articles and that makes me leave the page and wait until new articles appear on top of my feed again

Thanks for this feedback! Curious, have you used the "Save" feature to save articles you are interested in and want to return to later?

yes sure :)
What I mean is If I already read the article probably I don't want to read them again and I don't want them to appear on my feed

 

May be just add ”Day” as well to it and that will be explore, while home page shows content from people you follow and tags

 

I really love that y'all are asking the community for their opinions. We definitely won't all agree on the design of the homepage, but it's amazing that y'all include us. ❤️ Anyways, here is my input:

I like...

  • the 3 column set-up.
  • seeing the company sponsors in a column. I feel like most sites list them in the footer with small text.

I've noticed inconsistencies with...

  • the right column. The "newest listings" section has borders around every listing whereas when I look at the different sections for the tags that I follow there is only an outside border.

I hope this helps even just a tiny bit!!

 

That's very helpful, thanks!

And yes, with this post we wanna establish some sort of a communication channel with the community, not only for this project but for future ones as well. And you're 100% right we will not always agree on everything - sometimes we will have to make some calls that some people won't like. I think it's important to understand that we won't consider the community to be our "client" that we will be working for BUT more a team member that can give us some good feedback and ideas.

As designers we will have to filter signal from noise which is not very easy thing to do. On one hand we would love to please everyone but on the other hand it's simply not possible because "community" is not a one person.

 

What did you wish the home page did more of?

I wish the homepage would default to showing me a feed of My Tags, as opposed to everything. I think that's my only ask.

What are some things about the home page that you like a lot?

I like that #help is visible on the sidebar.

 

Hey everyone, thanks so much for all of your input, ideas, and feedback. @pp and I really appreciate it! We've condensed a lot of the feedback here in this latest post:

It also talks about our next steps of how we'll address this. Stay tuned 😀

 

I like the small profile section on the top left side bar:

And I prefer it over the one in the site header. But I almost never use it, because the site header is where I see notification badges, and I'm more likely to be clicking around over there so I end up clicking my other face, the one in the header, every time.

I guess they fight for attention.

 

Excited to be working on homepage makeover with y'all. 🔥

 

I feel like the key links section is buried and could possibly be combined with the profile / hamburger menu.

In my case, I often find myself looking for that page that lists all the dev.to formatting tags. It is under FAQ? It is, but I wouldn't expect it to be there. Maybe it's own content editor / how to guide link that is accessible from the home page.

 

I have to admit that I almost never visit the home page. I find it overwhelming. There's too much information competing for my attention. Combine that with all the various forms of buttons, and half the time I'm not sure what I can click on and what I can't.

Instead, I generally end up reading posts only because they show up on my twitter feed, not because of any tags or anything else I follow.

So, for me, my only hope is that the redesign will focus on a "less is more" approach and make the whole site feel more relaxing to visit. Personally, when I'm overwhelmed, I just back away. And in the meantime, I'll keep an eye on the twitter feed (which is what brought this to my attention). :)

 

Decluttering the home page is definitely one of our main goals here. Sometimes I feel like reading newspaper from 1936 :)

Newspaper from 1936

 

Would be nice if the content took advantage of my widescreen monitor and not ride a single small column down the middle.

 

Oh yea! I'm not sure if this gonna happen very soon but we definitely have improving the responsiveness on our radars.

 

Was gonna say the same

 

Q: What are some things about the home page that you dislike the most?

A:

  1. I don't think we need an extra link to visit our profile. Our image in the top-right is enough. There's an extra card for just visiting the profile. That space can be used for something more important.

  2. Just like Christina said,

"Please show me first the articles per my followed authors and tags."

  1. Allow me to like the article from the homepage itself.

  2. If I have read a post or liked it, I shouldn't see it again on the homepage.

Q: What are some things about the home page that you like a lot?

A: I really like the 'navigation' and 'my tags' part. Also the 'job listing' is good too.

Q: What did you wish the home page did more of?

A: It should have more relevent and should have a section of recent/trending articles or authors so that I can discover new content easily.

 

This is so exciting!!!! (runs around the room in a positive frenzy)

💃🏾 💃🏾 💃🏾 💃🏾 💃🏾

 

🎉 Super excited and jazzed about this!

 

What are some things about the home page that you dislike the most?

The fact that it's not easy to identify the purpose of the areas in the sidebars at first glance. They look too similar to each other and this requires me to scan a lot of content.

What are some things about the home page that you like a lot?

Content is given a lot of importance.

 

I wish there were more buttons on the homepage!!

/sarcasm

I really like the visual comparing how many competing styles we have around the site.

 

About the design (the so called eclectic style) I really like it. recently I have started to use the dark theme, and I like it even more.
What I would like to change is the neverending content in the feed section. It's like the wall on facebook or Linkedin,... how anyone actually like scrolling and scrolling and scrolling (and scrolling...) I will never understand.
I much prefer a recommandation page like on YouTube based on the creator I follow and like, while keeping the week / month / infinity ...
Of course the problem to this kind of homepage would be the near impossibility to read the new content of everyone, of authors with not a lot of followers. One of the strong point of dev.to is also that, the fact that anyone can write something and be read, even if it stays in the top of the page barely a few hours...

 

SOMEPLACE. TO. FIND. ALL. TAGS. NOT. JUST. TOP. 100.

 

I'm a bit late to the party, but here goes.

I use Dev.to exclusively on mobile and didn't even know that there was a hidden sidebar for the first few months.

The button to expand the sidebar looks like a database symbol, so in my head I didn't make the connection that it could be a hidden menu.

I also didn't try swiping in from the left because there was no indication to do so. And because my phone users gestures, swiping in from the left goes back to the previous page, so I don't usually attempt that gesture to navigate the same page.

I also didn't notice the bottom bar with the heart/unicorn/tag for weeks. I didn't know how to heart a post I was reading without going back to the main feed, searching for the post, and clicking the heart there.

Maybe if there is a new visitor, do some sort of intro to show those things. I know the bottom bar is clearly there, but my brain doesn't see it.

 

I would like to be able to switch between the "global" feed that any anonymous user would see, and a customised feed.

For a customised feed, I'd like to be able to filter by a selection of multiple tags.

It could be easier to browse tags as well :)

Thank you for working on the site!

 

I appreciate the land of 1000 button styles. :)

 

I like the old school look of the website. Standardize, update but do not change the feel please.