Feature Suggestion: Custom Pages

Let me start off by saying I’m really happy Patreon has been showing us future design plans and the interactivity with the development team has been great. I really appreciate the more open communication.

I’d like to present a suggestion for customization to one of the areas on campaign pages that I think has been incredibly underutilized. I’m talking about the campaign navigation header.

This thingy:

I think this is an incredibly underused space and could be helping creators across the entire platform accomplish so many things with some small (and large) adjustments.

When you see bars like this on creator pages on other sites, it’s an opportunity to separate and parse content into easy identifiable areas. I think that isn’t being done on Patreon, and I think that’s a huge shame. Here’s some issues I have with it and solutions I think will make Patreon campaign pages far more navigable and user friendly.

  • I don’t think there are enough sections on this header. It’s pretty simple, but when I look at headers on websites I’m expecting them to basically break my content and navigation options down. When I subscribe to a creator I’m basically opening a door to everything they’ve created since they started their campaign, I don’t know what’s down that rabbit hole, but I’ve subscribed and I want to. As a new patron on large campaigns I need help knowing that something exists.

  • When I look at the menu as it currently stands, as a new user, what I expect is an overview of their campaign, the posts they’re made, and… I have no idea what “community” means. Community is very nebulous, is it a list of all the people subscribed? Is it a forum for discussion?

  • I also don’t think the sections that are there are broken down in a way that is very helpful. The overview section also contains posts in chronological order, which doesn’t help convey an “overview” or introduce people to a campaign. The overview section is basically the post section with an introduction.

  • The overview section is the only section on the site that gives me a block of text to work with that I can put anything I want in and know that it will be there. This causes me to overuse the overview section for way too much stuff and forces people to scroll through a long boring rambling single post whenever they first view any of my content.

My suggestion: Allow these sections to be customizable. Allow me to make new sections. Maybe make them partially modular.

  • To start off simple, I would love to be able to call the “community” tab the Q&A tab, I think if I saw a tab that said Q&A I would know that questions to the creator are welcomed and this is a place for the community to interact with the creator. “Q&A” as a label encourages people to click to ask the creator question, and is more creator focused. Most people aren’t interested in specifically asking other people in that community questions, and I imagine if you check out community posts, most people are directing their questions to the creators and not the community. I know other people call their communities special names so even if other people wouldn’t want to call their tabs Q&A, they might enjoy calling their communities something related to their brand identity.

  • I think the site would flow and function much better if I were able to customize the overview screen in a way that was designed to introduce new people to my campaign. What I mean is, instead of having a long-winded explanation about what it is I do, who I am, where I come from, what projects I’m working on, a special thanks section, project members, my favorite colors, etc. - I would like to be able to focus entirely on introducing new people to my campaign by customizing this specific “tab” into something I want a new person to see. When a new person navigates to my page I’d like them to see my content and say “oh this is the kind of content I’ll be getting and it’s cool, I’m going to sub.”

  • I’d like to have control over what posts new people see when they come to that overview page. If you come to my page and all you see is blurred posts right under my introduction (that you probably skipped), I think that really puts people off subscribing. Having a posts page where they can see the quantity of my posts works just fine, so on overview, why not let us choose the posts that show up under our introduction? We could even call it the “introduction” page instead of the overview, and maybe even have it only show up to people who aren’t subscribed yet.

  • I want to add sections to contain all that important information I currently include in my overview (and more), but in a less obtrusive way. Like an “about me” section that people who subscribe to me can navigate to after they become patrons and want to know more about what I do. Currently we have to use this one customizable space to throw everything and the kitchen sink at people the second to they see our page. It’s very common to have to scroll down 3-4 pages worth of text before you see a single blurred post that is meant to sell you on subscribing. Separating this information that is useful to know but not required onto it’s own defined pages would be incredibly helpful.

  • I’d like to be able to add tabs that can only be viewed by subscribers. If I can separate out new tabs that contain information and links, I could form a page that indexes all of my content so old and new subs can easy jump straight to the index page and find content they may have missed, not seen, or are looking for to show a friend at a convention.

  • Ideas for things I would use tabs for: Galleries, Indexes, About sections, Other projects, Other creators, Merchandise, Hall of Fame section for subscribers that pledge above and beyond, specialized sections for detailing parts of a campaign (like on the VN I’m working on, a characters section where I can detail characters in the story). The opportunies are endless for what you could allow people to break down their navigation section into. Having a “collaborators” or “other projects” or “links to other campaigns you might like” pages that would be very useful in building communities across Patreon and establishing connections between creators in an optional way. I’d love to have a page dedicated to other creators I support so that I can link to them all. I hear from patrons frequently that they just “don’t know any other campaigns with the same themes” as the ones I do, and I would love to show them.

As for how you could accomplish it, I would imagine just allowing us to create posts and isolating them to custom pages would be enough (removing the likes and optionally removing the commenting), or recycling the “overview” section and allowing us to have more tabs that function identical to it. It would be a bit hacked together, but if we could somehow use the navigation bar for actual navigation I think it would improve the overall feel of the site.

Thanks for taking the time to read this suggestion, I hope you consider it in some form!

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I like where your head’s at! And I agree that it’s wonderful to be able to communicate with Patreon team in these Open Studio things. My 4 cents:

  • I would also love the overview to show up to non-patrons as a compelling series of information and teasers designed to entice them to sign up. Maybe even with a freebie or two to start. Or a trial. I’m thinking of the media services I subscribe to.

  • I’d be excited by an FAQ tab as well. I’m not sure I want ALL of the customizability (save me from myself!), but within reason or moderation that still allows our page to look modestly clean, absolutely. Maybe a variety of modular sections like you said (sort of like the Facebook Business page model).

3 Likes

I would like this very much. I think this is an excellent proposal. I hope this moves forward from suggestion into development.

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Hey @Watsup, thank you for the incredibly thoughtful post. We’re so happy that Open Studio has helped open up these kinds of conversations and ideas.

I’ve shared your post with the design and product team who work in these areas of Patreon. Rest assured these are all things we’re thinking about and discuss on a weekly basis, so this is incredibly helpful to know how you think about your page. I know you saw the thread where we shared one way we’re thinking about solving this challenge by having a separate view for patrons vs non-patrons. When thinking about making large changes to the product, especially with an area as complicated as your page, we always want to ensure any changes we make won’t harm your earnings, which is why we do a lot of research before we even start designing things!

We’re looking for creators to participate directly in the next round of research we’re conducting on the impact of short vs. long descriptions . We’ll start this experiment in about 2 weeks and it will last for 2-3 weeks. The test will implement a show/hide functionality on your current description, similar to what is in the mocks (none of the content in your description will change). At the end of opt-in experiment we will be able to share some personalized data with each of you directly. Reply here if you want to partake in that :slight_smile:

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