Cake
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    • When I first joined this platform, I instantly loved the premise. A clean writing experience with some great discussions, no frills, a focus on content rather than people, and no unnecessary clutter. But I also noticed a lot of room for improvement, which I shared just 10 days after joining the platform. It's been 8 months since then, and I have some more ideas that I think could make Cake an even better experience for all of us.

      Post bumps

      Remember back in the old days of internet forums, where a thread would be created, then other threads would be created, so the first thread would get pushed down the list, but then someone would post in the first thread, and it would go back to the top of the list again? I think Cake could potentially benefit from something like that, but not exactly like that. Case in point, this conversation about Google Stadia by @jpop that was written back in March. Google recently announced pricing and availability, and @Victoria reignited the conversation by updating it with this new info. So now people who are already following the conversation will get a notification about her post, but people who missed the conversation a few months who might also be interested in the topic will now be left out. This kind of scenario could benefit from a "bump" back to the top of people's home feeds, but at the same time I know it wouldn't be feasible to bump every single conversation that receives a new post. Maybe someone else could come up with a more elegant solution?

      Recommend for Featured

      @apm suggested this a few months ago and I think it's a great idea. Assuming the selection of Featured posts is a manual process, and assuming Cake will continue to grow in both membership and content, I feel like the team might eventually be unable to cope with the number of conversations posted daily, which could lead to some gems being missed. A simple button for readers to recommend a post might do the trick, highlighting potential Featured posts for the team to evaluate, or maybe something like a reaction/reply counter, so when a post generates enough interaction it could be highlighted for the team to take a look? Something like that.

      Better notifications

      Sometimes I struggle to visually identify new notifications because they just blend with old notifications. There's no divider between new and old notifications, and the blue hue for new notifications is so subtle I sometimes have difficulty differentiating them from old notifications. So maybe a more apparent design element to better differentiate between old and new notifications? I'd also like to suggest that notifications from the same conversation are marked as read once the conversation is viewed. As it stands, I could get three notifications from one conversation, click on one to view the conversation, go back to my notifications, and the remaining two notifications from the same conversation would still be "new" when they should already be "read". Lastly, linking back to my previous section, it would be nice to be notified when a conversation of ours is featured, since the only way to know if it was featured would be to view the post manually.

      Lastly I just want to resurface some of my old suggestions from my previous post in hopes that they may be revisited by the team again, such as a proper draft system which allows us to draft multiple posts with multi-device access, an Android app (or at least better support in mobile browsers), and integration with Google Photos.

      Hope @Chris and his team continue to make Cake better! I really enjoy this network and want it to thrive.

    • First of all, @JazliAziz thank you for taking the time to give us this great feedback! I'll address each point with some details:

      Post bumps:

      This kind of scenario could benefit from a "bump" back to the top of people's home feeds, but at the same time I know it wouldn't be feasible to bump every single conversation that receives a new post. Maybe someone else could come up with a more elegant solution?

      We've been looking for a solution to this problem for more than a year now. On one hand we want to show people fresh new content, but at the same time also ongoing conversations.

      By default we chose to go with the "Interesting" sort order in the feed, which is a combination of what is most relevant to you, level of engagement in a conversation and how recent it is. We assumed that if you are interested in an ongoing conversation you'll either follow it, or by posting in it, you'll be automatically notified.

      Another options we considered by default is "Active". This works exactly like old school post bump. Whenever there is a new post in a conversation that you haven't seen, it will jump to the top of the feed.

      Both Interesting and Active options are in the dropdown in the feed and you can manually choose your preferred sort for most feeds For You, Following and All. They are all independent feeds and will stay sorted that way until you change them.

      Would love to hear if anyone out there has a better solution for this problem!

    • Recommend for Featured

      A simple button for readers to recommend a post might do the trick, highlighting potential Featured posts for the team to evaluate, or maybe something like a reaction/reply counter, so when a post generates enough interaction it could be highlighted for the team to take a look?

      @apm had a great suggestion, but we haven't gotten around to implement it. For now you can still use the Flag Content feature for a conversation and type in that you actually like to have this conversation and want it to be featured. We look at every single flag and it will definitely catch our attention. This solutions isn't very intuitive, but for now it is the best solution we have. Once we have more engineering resources we'll do it right. Sorry about that!

    • Better notifications

      Sometimes I struggle to visually identify new notifications because they just blend with old notifications. There's no divider between new and old notifications, and the blue hue for new notifications is so subtle I sometimes have difficulty differentiating them from old notifications. So maybe a more apparent design element to better differentiate between old and new notifications? I'd also like to suggest that notifications from the same conversation are marked as read once the conversation is viewed.

      Improving notification is also on our long to-do list. I also would like to have a divider between new and old notifications. We also want to aggregate multiple notifications and mark as read notifications from the same conversation (at least for reaction notifications). All that is great feedback and thank you for bringing it up!

    • Multiple images in a post

      We've actually started to work adding an ability to upload multiple photos into a single post instead of embedding external links to images. Over the last couple of weeks we've made some progress. The design is ready, but the engineering piece turned out to be harder than we thought. I'll continue advocate for pushing this feature forward as it is something I desperately need for posting as well!

    • I still want dark mode. I pop in to see what is new here and after about 5 minutes the white burns my retinas.

      It may be more work to set that up then I know but it is brighter than most interfaces.

    • We assumed that if you are interested in an ongoing conversation you'll either follow it, or by posting in it, you'll be automatically notified.

      Having read this, it occurred to me that I'm not "following" individual conversations for the most part, and I wondered why. It might be caused by a simple UI issue:

      I'm currently reading your post, which is #2 in a conversation consisting of six posts. If your post convinced me of the conversation what do I do then? I can either scroll up to find the "Follow" button at the top of the page - or skip the remaining posts to find the "Follow" button at the bottom. Either way, I'm going to lose my current position in an ongoing thread. Alternatively, I could wait until I've reached the end of the conversation, and click "Follow" then. This is somewhat realistic in a short conversation like this, but less so in a longer one (where I either forget what to do, or don't have the time to read everything in one go). Overall, chances are that I'm not going to specifically follow a conversation even if there have been interesting posts.

      Regarding @JazliAziz' original point of "post bumps", the good thing about them is that they can bring conversations to our attention that we're not following yet, perhaps because we haven't seen them before. This is similar to the "Active" feed, but I feel there still might be a difference to old-school forums in that you saw reverse-chronologically sorted threads per section (~Cake topic) there, while Cake offers a one list for all your followed topics instead.

      At the same time, feeds for individual topics (like https://www.cake.co/topics/bXGMkd1/) are somewhat hidden and seem to be sorted by their creation timestamp, not by the timestamp of last post(?). Maybe offering the user a better way to access individual topics they like, and giving them the option to sort existing conversations there in various ways, would be something that also solved this issue?