Changes needed for Live Journal
Short, concise description of the idea
I am a writing teacher for international university students. I sign up a new class of students every two months to use your site. Today trying to explain how to use your site to a lower level group was really frustrating. To be frank, your site is not very user friendly. I am taking the time (that I don’t have much of) to share this with you for your own good. I also do this because I have a personal interest in seeing this site be all that it could be.
Full description of the idea
Ok, what specifically is frustrates me with your site:
1. First of all you have 2 menus one stacked on top of the other at the top of the home page. It is a little odd… but ok.
2. What is the difference between “Friends Page” in the 1st menu and “Friends” just below it? That’s a little confusing. Well let’s see, I click on “Friends Page”. Now I am on a very strange page. I have several friends who have written recent posts, but this page is blank from the top to the bottom! Then I notice that the top menu bar is thinner now and grey, but it used to be dark blue. This menu in the same position as it was on the homepage (just under the username) now gives a different set of options than before. Hmm?
The Home page:
1. Are you a journaling site? Good, then a user’s personal journal, with a button for adding a new post, should dominate the page! Well hey, such a page exists. Where is it? Under the “Journal” tab? I don’t see it there. I found it under the “Friends” tab! Click “Friends Page” (a new tab called “Friends” appears – the whole page is blank) then chose the “Recent Entries” tab to the left. What do you get? Your friend’s recent entries? No, YOUR recent entries. To see your friend’s comments you must select the link under each entry. Strange. I did finally figure out that from the home page you can click on the tab itself called “Journal” to see your journal, though it doesn’t highlight like each selection in the drop down menu, so it is not obvious that it is an active link.
2. The homepage should have a column showing recent friend’s posts with an option to comment. Do you offer live chat? Show, on the homepage, which friends are online and have a chat box at the ready.
3. Also, you need to have a menu that has the most important links and that is always accessible on every page – it needs to look the same. What are the important functions? My students want to post an entry (your button is very small). They want to set up links with their friends. They want to read what their friends have posted, and comment on that. They want to IM with their friends. They want to go to their friend’s page. These should be in a consistent menu that appears the same on every page. I find it interesting that on your homepage you have a small link “Post” and on the “Friends Page” it calls it “Post to Journal” with a little icon. I think there needs to be consistency of verbiage and design.
4. Your homepage is full of things that are not personalized content. The dominant box is “LiveJournal Today” with a bunch of objectionable material on it. (today it has “Sh*t vegans say, and a bunch of Fri the 13th horror photos). In fact there is clutter all over the site. One of my students was viewing your running window showing recent user posts and one of the posters had F*ck in his user name - gross. Anyway, no one cares that much about YOUR content (or F*ck’s content) – they already have to deal with the advertising on the page. Instead, They really just want to see THEIR OWN content and the people THEY KNOW.
There are more issues. All you have to do to find problems is sit down with someone who is new to the site and see if they can navigate. Thanks for listening. Send me a note, if you care to.
- Retention of user's - otherwise they will give up and join another site.
- A lot of work to implement this.