Open Studio #1: Creator Page Refresh & Customization

Hey creators! For our first ever Open Studio discussion, I’m excited to show a preview of a couple of things we’re working on: a refreshed creator page and new page customization features.

Why are we working on this?

As someone who runs a creative business, you’ve probably put a lot of work into how your fans perceive you and your brand. Your Patreon page should be a meaningful reflection of your unique brand as a creator and should provide a consistent experience to fans who’ve come to know you elsewhere. These changes are a step forward in our goal of giving you more control over how you present your business.

Creator page refresh

The most significant change in the creator page refresh is we’ve moved your profile image and name to no longer obstruct your cover image. We want the cover image to be a reliable place for you to express your brand. With this change, the cover image would also no longer be cropped at most screen sizes.

Page customization features

For more ways of customizing your page, we’re exploring two additions: a custom page color and the option to hide your patron count. Setting a custom page color would affect the color of the buttons and links on: your page, your “become a patron” checkout flow, your post pages, and your “thank you” page. You’ll be able to choose any color you like—as long as it meets our accessibility standards—and we’ll make it easier by suggesting some options based on your images. If you were to choose to hide your patron count, that information would be private to you, just like how you can currently make your earnings amount private. You could choose to hide both your patron count and earnings amount, just one of them, or neither.

Feedback we’re looking for

As with most Open Studio posts, these designs are a draft for you to give feedback on, and not the final version of what we will build. Some things we’d love to hear from you about:

  • Do you think the new creator page layout would improve your page?
  • Does the color customization do what you would expect it to do?
  • What other customization features would be important to you? Would they be more important than these options?
  • Is there anything that concerns you about about these changes?
  • What questions do you have?

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I don’t think I am alone when I say I was a wee bit nervous when talk of “changing the color of your creator” page was brought up. I saw someone mention fears of it turning into Myspace, and yeah, that was my concern too.

I’m happy to say that this is really subtle and I like that the goal is to have it complement your brand. It stands way back, and allows your page to feel just a littleeee more cohesive. That’s fantastic! I love my banner and hate seeing it obstructed. Several media platforms are guilty of this, and I’m happy to see that change being made.

All in all, I like the changes a lot. The creator icon/name/info box getting cleaned up is a big plus and it looks nice with and without Patron count and earnings numbers.

I don’t have a lot in the way of requests, but I think being able to create a default image for featured tags would be great. I personally make a lot of audio posts and it defaults to the album art, but any time I create something out of the ordinary, it ruins the flow by having a different image break of the look. And I often have five instances of the exact same picture because my featured tags all lead to audio posts using my album art.

Being able to create custom default featured tag images would really allow users like me to compliment the whole look and feel of their page!

Though I am honestly crossing my fingers for a whole rework of the browsing system and I wouldn’t be upset if the idea of Featured Tags was completely dropped in favor of more elaborate browsing systems.

Edit: I’m attaching a screenshot of my current featured tags look. You’ll see that it looks ridiculous, whether each image is the same or one is different. It will be even more glaring when this update goes out because it’s clearly the one part that isn’t working in unison with “The Brand”

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The changes to the header image layout is something I’ve been hoping Patreon adjusted for a while now, and the new one looks great. I’m looking forward to being able to have our full banner on display - one question, does this change the resolution of the banner itself or will our old banners fit into this design without adjustment?

I think the other changes are positive, the color adjustments look minimal, but that’s probably a good thing.

Visual customization has always been a low priority for me but I think I might really like it if Patreon had a dark interface option, would be much easier on the eyes.

To piggyback on the previous comment, I might also say that the tags have always been a weird thing for me. The have multiple issues, not the least of which is that it can crop a picture at a completely arbitrary point making the preview visually confusing.

Patrons get emails about all content as it’s made, so they don’t really need previews on tags. The visual indicator seems like it’s more of an aesthetic choice made to catch someones eye and make them want more. So I would agree that allowing us to set default tag images would be a great choice.

Another alternative is to give us the option to replace the featured tags section on the overview page with a featured post section (featured tags can remain in the “posts” view section). This would let me specifically highlight public posts or private posts that I think might draw people to pledging or that I think are important.

I made a welcome post that contains links to all of my campaign content for easy access and this is something I really want people to see first when they open my page. It would be nice if we could manually assign pictures to featured posts too, so that they aren’t blurred out.

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And to jump off the blurred tags section issue, it would be nice if we had the option to change how non-patrons experience our pages a little. I’m always trying to improve the patron experience for people who give me money every month by making all the content easy to access and visually interesting when I can, but I also have to consider people that are interested in getting into my patron but have no idea what I actually post.

They go to my page and what they see is a wall of blurry pictures and partial text boxes, is there any way we can have a toggle box to upload an alternate image for non-patrons? It would work similar to how the teaser text works but it would be a teaser picture. This would let us always have visible content for people, but we could create an alternate image that we want non-patrons to see.

This would let adult content creators post alternate images that are non-adult as image previews, giving you an idea of what is inside the post but not showing anything illicit.

It would also work great for posts where the main header image itself is only a teaser, and the content itself is in the body of the post - such as links to game builds or private image galleries. In those types of posts you actively want people to see the teaser images so they have even more incentive to pledge and get links to the real content.

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1) Do you think the new creator page layout would improve your page?
This looks similar to what we have currently and i like what we have currently. I also like the centered social buttons and the better use of the real estate in the bio area for all that information. (name, what you do, social, numbers, etc.)

2) Does the color customization do what you would expect it to do?
While i don’t know what restrictions there might be for your accessibility rules (I assume as long as its high contrast then it will be fine otherwise it would be hard to read) but i really like the idea of being able to pick a colour to go along with my branding to bring the page into a better cohesive look. It’s also subtle so it’s not something that can really be abused so it feels like it will remain a professional look overall.

3) What other customization features would be important to you? Would they be more important than these options?
I’m pretty much echoing what others have said.

Featured tag image customization. The blurred images are not attractive and don’t entice anyone to go there. Blurred previews when actually looking at posts that you don’t have access to, yes, great, but not on the featured tags. Let us make those actually look good with our branding or showcase relevant art!

Being able to choose a crop for those post preview images would be great.

I also like the idea of featured posts though i’d kind of like to have the option to have some featured tags AND featured posts. (and pinned posts on the posts page would be spectacular.)

I have no concerns or questions at this time.

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Oh wow, thank you for not making the page icon overlap the header!

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Yes, yes, I’d -love- to be able to upload an alternate image for non-patrons! That would be -amazing!

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I realized after looking at these changes a bit, none of these examples have shown placement of Creator Goals. Are those being phased out, or simply not accounted for here? That’s a very curious omission! I’m wondering if that’s on purpose and if there is data that might reflect a reason for taking that off the prime real estate of the creator landing page.

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Good eye, @YuuriVoice! The omission in these designs is purely coincidental - it just wasn’t a part of the design mockups we made. There are no current plans to remove Goals, although we hear very mixed feedback from creators if they like/use them, and if they are effective. All that being said, it’s not something we’re spending time on right now, and if at any point we decided it wasn’t a good tool for creators, we’d let you all know many months ahead of time.

How have goals been working out for you?

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Hey @YuuriVoice @Watsup @Temrin @Lolibrary and @SarahDawn, thank you for your thoughtful feedback! It sounds like you’re generally supportive of the page layout changes and customization – I’m glad to hear that!

I hear you about wanting more control over the images used for featured tags and how they’re presented, especially for non-patrons. We’ll definitely consider how to improve that feature. @Watsup your idea of having a teaser image for posts is cool – and @YuuriVoice / @Temrin I understand the desire to control the presentation of the featured tags independently of the posts themselves.

I also hear you about the need for more control over post organization/browsing in general (e.g. with featured/pinned posts). It’s not the first time we’ve heard that feedback from creators, and something I’ll make sure we also address.

@Watsup to respond to your question about changing the resolution of the banner – we haven’t decided on the final dimensions, but it’s possible that the recommended dimensions will change a bit from what we’ve previously recommended. If that’s the case, we’ll be sure to give you heads up so you have time to modify your image.

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I’d really like to see how goals fit into the new design, given that I really like the changes we see going on in the top left of the page, and that’s exactly where goals sit currently. Wondering if it will still look clean, or if it would add some clutter.

And “clutter” is a word I hate to use for goals, I really do, but personally I feel like it’s more mental manipulation than me offering any value to my patrons. Don’t get me wrong, it USED to be handy, but I grew so steadily and so fast I’m essentially at the point where I have to come up with extremely lofty goals or “more of the same” and more of the same is boring, but honest. I’m creating more work for myself out of a weird self imposed obligation to have a Creator Goal because it’s supposed to be good and helpful and make your Patrons feel like they’re helping you reach towards something!!!..but in reality, I think most people just want the content you’re known for, consistently, and as often as you’re comfortable making it. Not some goal most people won’t take two seconds to read about anyway.

Ahem…sorry. Saying all that to say I could definitely live without goals, but having the option is a positive thing. Options in general are good. Hiding/Showing the number of patrons or your earnings is a good example. I can definitely see why Goals get mixed responses, and I think sharing all of this has helped me iron out my thoughts on the matter. There’s definitely something to be said for the amount of information you present potential patrons with as they first hit your page, and if having goals there is actually helping, or just adding to what could already be pretty overwhelming for a first time user.

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I hope there’s an option to keep goals on the front page.

My goals have been one of my better ways to convert patrons. “I’m seeking funding for ‘x’ so I can do ‘y’” has been a pretty effective “elevator pitch” for my Patreon and my work, especially in one-on-one conversation. (I admit, I’m still very small, but it does seem to generate the most interest of anything I’ve tried).

Even if they don’t convert to Patrons, they’ve often supported my work in other ways.

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I love this! The ability to choose a color that fits in more with my brand sounds fantastic! I like how the same color is used across the page, but with more of a transparency/lighter shade. It feels very cohesive. I think this customization is actually better than I might have expected because of that.

I’ll echo the suggestion to allow us to choose images for tag categories, though it’s not a big worry for me because I think most of my Patrons use mobile devices and I’m not sure you even see those there. But maybe that’s my request: better access to tags on the app since many of us do use them to help with navigation.

I’m not really concerned with anything about the changes and I don’t have any further queations at this point. I’m definitely excited to see this go live though! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hey Scott
I think it’s great that Patreon are thinking about customisation - here’s my feedback and answers to your questions:

  • Do you think the new creator page layout would improve your page? Absolutely
  • Does the color customization do what you would expect it to do? Yes
  • What other customization features would be important to you? Would they be more important than these options? I’m pretty new to Patreon and as a visual artist I’d like to show more of my paintings on my page - and am struggling to add them, despite trying to load from Dropbox etc. If we could upload non-web-based images, like jpegs or pngs straight from our computers/devices, that would be ideal for me.
  • Is there anything that concerns you about about these changes? No
  • What questions do you have? Just the image one above - and will the Patreon logo still be on the page? I think it’s important that it is, to give the whole brand approach, and to give future patrons the security that they’re on the Patreon platform (I know they type in the address, but some people forget stuff and get insecure).
    Cheers, Lynne
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Thanks for all this context. In general, we realize that for a lot of benchmark stats like goals, patron count and total pledge value, each creator has a unique relationship to that data based on where they currently are in their Patreon journey, the type of creator they are, and how they build their membership. For example, showing that you have 500 patrons means such different things to an emerging creator versus an established and well known creator, and will motivate different patron behaviors (“they don’t need my support”, “they must have an awesome membership”, “they aren’t doing better?”, “wow, they are doing SO WELL”).

With this in mind, we’re always trying to err on the side of creator choice. You know your business, so you should choose what to show or hide to get the most from your Patreon. Our responsibility is to equip you with the information that will guide you to the best outcome, and to prevent you from doing something knowingly harmful.

As for your request to see what goals look like in the updated design…

Finally, thanks for your experience with goals, really helpful to hear about your relationship with them.

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Thank you so much! I think the Goals section looks great under the icon and links, plus the color customization to match is fantastic. I feel like everything flows pretty well, and there’s probably a lesson to be learned by creators in regards to how much text and info to load up in their overview.

I recognize that the design team is dipping their toe in the water re: creator customization on their pages, but part of me wonders if a measured trip down the rabbit hole would be so bad. For example, I’m looking at that space beside the “Overview”, “Posts”, and “Community” tabs and thinking wow wouldn’t it be great if we could have our own customized pages there? Sort of like a pinned post or a featured tag, but perhaps it would work like an “unlisted” post that doesn’t show up chronologically in your feed or shoot an email to your patrons.

For me I’d utilize something like that to create a “Navigation” and “Downloads” page.

Or maybe that’s where a search bar should go and the idea of “pages” should be the evolution of the Featured Tags section. I realize this is evolving into more of a feature request than a commentary on what you’ve presented us here today, sorry! This is a big leap in the right direction and am really excited to see what the team does throughout 2019!

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This looks awesome!
Do you think the new creator page layout would improve your page?
Yeah absolutely! I would love to be able to change the colors like that. I like that it’s still restricted, and adds just a little pop of color.
The full banner doesn’t really matter to me, because I’m used to designing banners with icon space in mind, but it does look neat. I’m always a little concerned about huge headers because my design standards are still set in early 2010’s where you don’t want to “waste” space “above the fold” but I think big banners are The Thing nowadays so eh? Either way, it’s fine!

Does the color customization do what you would expect it to do?
Yeah! Absolutely.

What other customization features would be important to you? Would they be more important than these options?
I would say that the Featured Tag Images/presentation is more important than these changes but only just barely. It’s something that has more of a bearing on potential patrons’ view of our page than the colors or the header. But I would still be happy with these changes coming first.

Is there anything that concerns you about about these changes?
Nothing in particular comes to mind. I like it!

What questions do you have?
Does the user pick the Dark and the Light colors? Or does Patreon programmatically decide one from the other? Like, say I choose Dark Green for my color - does it then say “the right shade for the lighter color is This Shade”? Or could I pick, say, a light yellow? Accessibility aside of course.

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This is a huge improvement. Please do settle on something taller like you’re showing in terms of recommended banner image size. It’s not bad as it is now but it is hard to make an image with proper composition that’s so ‘strippy.’

The colors do what I expected. It’s not something that does a whole lot for me, but minor improvements are improvements, and brand appropriate buttons in combination with themed tier reward images could make a very attractive sidebar.

I want to echo @Watsup here regarding customimage teasers for nonpatrons and @YuuriVoice regarding tag images. These are really good ideas that I have no problem supporting whatsoever.

Can I also pitch for a compact mode? Something that squeezes the margins a bit and only loads comments on request? For those of us who want to show images and make scrolling through easier this would be great. Especially since Discord has been integrated for so long for things like feedback for those of us that want it.

Example of the possible difference, extremely mild adult content warning:

Normal mode
Compact mode

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Yay, I’m glad the color customization is better than you expected!

Totally agree, the mobile app does not make it easy to browse posts by tags – I’ll make sure the mobile team gets this feedback.

Thank you for your feedback!

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