Improving Inkito - Game plan

in #hive2 months ago (edited)

upwards-businessman-flying-like-superhero-red-cloak-with-yellow-arrows_126608-47.jpg

Hello there,

Happy New Year 2021 everyone!
It's a new beginning, so it's the perfect time to think of ways to improve my beloved site Inkito.

Let's be real, after the lack of success this summer, I had left Inkito aside and pursued other projects. The first prototype (https://inkito.io/) specialized in displaying Hive comics and novels unfortunately did not attract creators.

Despite this hard fact, I still think there is a lot of potential in Inkito and the webcomic community could benefit from a step in the blockchain world.

So what can we learn from this prototype!
After taking a step back, these are the points that stand out to me:

  • Create Trust - the site needs to be extra polished for creators to share their work on it.

  • Blockchain as a bonus - the blockchain aspect of the site should not be the selling point but the cherry on the cake. So many people are skeptical about this technology and won't join in because of it. In terms of image, Inkito should be a great comics hosting site FIRST, and have a blockchain feature second.

  • Master marketing - What I realized is that bringing people over is the hardest thing. Especially at first when the site lacks content. So I need a solid marketing plan using social media platforms. Any ideas?

So what solutions can I bring to all this...

Image Optimization

This is actually a crucial point. The home page loading time is currently way too long on Inkito especially on a slow connection. It gets better in the reader as the next page loads while the current page is read.

But the home page sets the tone, creates trust, so it needs to be PERFECT! ;-)

download.png

To solve this I will be loading images with a different resolution depending on the device. I might have to change image hosting for that. I'm currently using IPFS.

This will be my primary focus as user experience depends a lot on it.

Gamification

To counter the blockchain trust issue. I think the experience should be "gamified". Just like in mobile games. You earn or buy coins, treasure chests, etc...
I would only add the feature that you can cash them out too! ;-)

So I would be changing the $ signs by token logos that pop like below.

colorful-game-icons-set_1284-37042.jpg
image from https://www.freepik.com/

I would also need to have my own wallet page for the experience to be seamless.
One point that stands out is that cashing Hive is difficult for non blockchain users.

I'm sure such service would come with time. In the mean time, I'll have to think of the best way to present this. Maybe a series of youtube videos to explain.

As this feature would be presented as a bonus, I can leave the withdrawal problem aside for now.

Redesign

This goes hand in hand with the previous point. The Inkito website has a clean design but the prototype lacked a little personality. Bringing funky recurrent characters and logos that pop should resolve that.

The style used by competitors is a cute manga style. So something like the images below would speak to the webcomic community.

logo ideas.jpg
images from https://www.freepik.com/

Reading Experience

Finally I think the reading experience could be improved. I have to think mobile-first.
The best reading experience out there is probably from Kindle as it's their core business. So let's look at how they deal with it.

  1. Kindle

    • Home page

    I can tell the focus is owned comics, showing first your library. This could be a way to approach this but might be more suited to a book purchasing app like this one.

Capture décrans_20210110-091822.png

  • Reading page
    The reading is a horizontal slide. I like the slider that allows to skip easily through the story. If a page is not quite loaded it shows white for a few seconds before displaying.

Capture décrans_20210110-091646.png

  1. Comixology

Let's look at Comixology that is also owned by Amazon but has a desktop reader too.

  • Home page

    Their homage which focuses more on discovering new titles. I think I lean more towards this proposition. My home page shows trendy and new content mixed together to offer new creators more visibility. It's way more structured here.

Capture décrans_20210110-092142.png

  • Reading page
    I quite like the desktop reader, displaying pages as spread instead of single pages. It does give you the option to change that underneath.

    The black surrounding background makes it quite immersive.

-On desktop:

comixology.jpg

-On mobile
First thing you notice, the menu is very sober. The content is king here.
The reading experience is also swiping horizontally. A different approach than Webcomics specialized sites like Webtoons or Tapastic. Which one do you prefer?

Capture décrans_20210110-093117.png

You do have a menu when the page is clicked but very simple, mostly a page selection.

  • Page selection
    Capture décrans_20210110-093039.png

Seeing all this, my final though on the reading experience is that I should maybe experiment with a full screen mode. But I feel that my reading page is not so bad, so work on it would not be the priority.

That ends this first round of thoughts.
I'll be working on all this going forward. I'd love to have your thoughts on this.

See you on the other side,

Jrej

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Only knew about this dapp after @steevc made a reblog. That just means you needed more marketing done on the dapp. Just my opinion but targeting content creators first and having a good system in place to reward these content creators should be top one. Because content creators can be content consumers as well and that would be the beginning of a community niche.

Thanks for the input.

That is totally right, the first step should be gathering all Hive story tellers on a same platform.

As you said that would serve two purposes: fresh content and hopefully a few users.

I haven't thought of a many ways to reward content on Inkito but, for now mainly exposition.

That's actually one of the major hurdles. An incentive to make people stay and share content versus doing it on some other platform. Sometimes, even when the content doesn't get any rewards, it's better to have it on a site that has a high traffic and consider lost potential rewards as marketing expenses if the creator is conscious about the business side.

Due to the nature of this blockchain conditioning people to be rewarded with any effort they try to put, it's difficult to really draw in content creators that will share works for free. I would argue that other social media sites also don't pay them but those sites generate them popularity compared to Hive and that leads them to do more commissions and other projects.

I'll support your project because I like to see a webtoon site this blockchain has helped prosper too. Just have something like occasional roadmaps and updates for me to reblog about to spread visibility. Not much I can do about other stuff :/

No worries, I'll keep you posted on the latest achievements.

Don't worry. You are already doing a lot just by sharing your thoughts. First, I can see that the platform could be of interest for some people and also it's great to bounce ideas on and off eachother.

I'll think of ways to incentivize creators. Initially my main target was non blockchain users as I was spreading the benefits of earning crypto but it's hard getting new people over. Blockchain can be scary sometimes.

Somehow I have missed seeing this dapp. It's a great idea as we do need easier ways to read comics on Hive.

A few queries and thoughts:

  • Are you or someone else manually controlling what comics appear?
  • It does not show who the author is. Maybe it should have a link to their blog on Peakd or elsewhere.
  • I cannot see dates on pages/posts. Obviously this is relevant to voting. It also only seems to allow 100% votes. Maybe votes could be redirected to any current post the creator has if it is past payout.

I think it's a good start and should be getting more notice.

Thanks for the reblog. That allowed the project to be discovered by others. I had some doubts about the interest in this project but I can tell there is a space for it.

About your queries:

  • The content is found through a system of tags. It looks for content with "inkito-comics" or "inkito-novels" tag than organizes by series with a tag {username}-{series name}.
    I suggested the use of these tags to hive creators but I know it's hard to change posting habits. To display more content, I'll create a "whitelist" system adding Hive series manually and on request.
  • The creator is actually just after the series name. I guess it does stand out much. It links to a profile page on Inkito that fetches Hive info. I have a feature in mind to display hive blogs in there, but a link until then could be easier.
  • About dates, I calculated the time since posted. It's visible when the description banner is opened. The idea was to hide as much info as possible for a better reading experience.
    The heart does change color from grey to blue when 7 days have past. Not obvious, I know but it's more a prototype really... I did choose 100% only to make it less confusing for new comers but thinking about it I might make it clearer to users that they have a limited amount of hearts to use.

Thanks again for the encouragement. As I was saying, I'm mostly working on optimization now. I wanna make sure the images load extra quick. I'll rework the UI after that. I'm happy that you have suggestions.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Well it looks like people are interested now they know about it. I hope this inspires you to keep going.

!BEER

Yes for sure. I'm super hyped.
I'll keep at it and share my progress in the next blog.

I'm working on it over the weekend and a couple hours per day after work. It's great to be back at it. ;-)


Hey @jrej, here is a little bit of BEER from @steevc for you. Enjoy it!

Learn how to earn FREE BEER each day by staking your BEER.

Ergh I hate mobile-first design! XD

mostly because I usually see terrible implementations of it

Glad you're still proceeding with this. Having made a few community sites in the past, getting users if you don't already have a bunch of people is a pretty damn hard slog. And sometimes even if you do have a bunch of people it's a pretty damn hard slog. I made this forum once for a group that felt that they had outgrown Facebook and wanted a full blown website, so I gave them one and like some server admins who want a channel for literally everything, they went a bit overboard having a board for literally everything they could think of on the forum, and then apparently some people found it "too complicated" and went back to Facebook.

I've probably already asked you this previously but have you searched communities for ones that do comics and roped them in?

Let's say mobile friendly then...

Thanks for the input. About adding Hive creators, you know, I've been thinking and I'm looking at this the wrong way.

I did contact hive creators but asking them to start using my tag. That's just not ideal.

Instead I'll create a Hive creator list myself that will be displayed to Inkito automatically. After all Inkito is a Hive front end so it should proudly and seamlessly display Hive content.

It's gonna look fantastic! ;-)

About the current design anything I should improve?

Use responsive design, the end goal there is to look good and work well on everything. My sister and I both hate mobile-first because all the ones we've seen, sites look and work fantastic on mobile devices (to some value of fantastic) and suck on desktops XD

  • the login modal kind of gets stuck on the screen, I couldn't click out of it but did manage to make it go away by scrolling down (the modal itself is adorable btw)

I dragged my sister (The Designer from when we used to have our webdev business) over (not quite literally, she's kind of sitting next to me on a wheelie chair) and she says:

  • banner (doesn't have to be huge)
  • the footer is probably taking up too much space given what's in it, perhaps make the logo smaller and in line with the text or remove it

She also questioned your choice of blue (but I'm not sure which blue) and then it got busy and we got distracted, and also we're allowing for the fact you're still in alpha XD

UX-wise do you add the tags you need automatically if people submit stuff through Inkito? As that would remove the mental load of making sure you're adding the right tags for people (and having the ability to manually add the tags will be great for people who prefer whatever other front ends).

That's great feedback. Thanks a ton.
I'll implement all of that for sure. Nothing out of my league.
I might also try something completely different, just for fun.

For the tags, if a user posts through Inkito, the 2 necessary tags are added automatically and then I'm letting users choose the remaining. A good compromise I think.

Would you consider creating a community and having users post into it instead of only tags? We at @ocd have been curating manga/comics in the past and usually we direct them to The Anime Realm community due to lack of a more specific one, but having a community that also has a dapp on top of it would be great for growth and we'd be willing to host it in our incubation program where we try to grow niche communities. Would love to talk to you more about this if you're interested, this is my Discord if you can shoot me a message: Acidyo#2501.

Thanks for reaching out. I'm sure I can do both tags and posting in a community. I'll definitely contact you on Discord so we can talk more about this. Glad to have spiked your interest.

Wow! This has really flown under the radar. Really neat design and off to a great start. Thanks to @steevc for reblogging this post.

Tagging a veteran Hive artist here since I've followed him for years and this is up his alley: What do you think, @katharsisdrill?

I supported it with some Hive (or that was probably Steem) back when it started. But I have forgotten about it since. It looks great. Comic artists could really be a good user segment for Hive.

Thanks for chiming in @katharsisdrill . I remember you supporting the project right at the start. That was definitely Hive but close from the fork.

I'll continue working on the UI. As I mentioned the loading speed and comic reader could use an upgrade. Glad you like it so far. ;-)

Glad you like the design. I might try something a little different just for fun and to get extra feedback.

Also getting new content will definitely help fill up the site a little.

On mobile (Android) you could make an extension for Tachiyomi.

Oh thanks for pointing that out. I'll definitely check the design of their reader. Looks like they have a lot of customization possible. I don't know if I'll integrate completely as I would want an consistent design but I like how their reading list is organized.

Yes. I especially like the reader.

I actually had time to go through it more thoroughly. It's great to see you can read in every direction, you can change the background color, etc... Applying to be in the list of comic providers looks complicated and there is lots of competition anyway...

Hello there! Thanks for passing by.

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