Product Improvements Coming Soon

My reward tiers are that way too, it makes them all look the same at first glance, since I list the previous rewards on the higher tiers, so all the additional stuff is hidden under a “Show More”. :frowning:

2 Likes

Just pitching in here. I think the new layout has a good idea, and it’s nice to see at least some feedback being incorporated, but I have a lot of the same concerns others do.

I honestly really like how the tiers themselves are displayed in the new layout. I’m dyslexic and have trouble processing writing, but it is a lot easier to take things in now that the tiers are aligned horizontally instead of vertically. I think this is a good change, if only in isolation

The most recent dev post about the potential new tier layout is a little better for at least showing all the options, but it still does two things that hinder the creator: it requires a click to show all the options, which many people won’t want to do, for one reason or another, and it removes control from how the creator displays their content. I think that’s a troublesome combination.

The tier descriptions being truncated if they’re too long is also really frustrating. My tiers have a tiny “hey, you’re cool for supporting me” blurb before I list rewards, but despite being short, it’s enough that the rewards are completely hidden below the “show more” link. The design makes me feel pressured to spit out rewards first, and anything personal second, but not only is that not how I want to run my page (I’m community-based and enjoy being personable), it also doesn’t even fix the issue. If I do that, the list of rewards itself will get cut off.

In the past, it was good practice to have fewer tiers with more rewards (and we were encouraged to list them out, as many of us do), and the old layout supported that. Maybe the page was tall, but at least everything we wanted on it, was on it. Now, if I want everything to be seen, the design encourages fewer tiers (so they all show) and a lot less information in them (so it doesn’t get cut off). It’s just really punishing.

I saw talk of letting us feature a specific tier, and while I don’t think that’d be a bad feature by any means, it’s not a solution. I would rather all the tiers just… show, somehow. Making them smaller to fit would work, or if word count is seriously an issue, then rather than truncating them after X amount of characters, I would almost prefer no text to show at all, just the name of the tier, the amount, and the image (if we have one). The “become a patron” button could be below that to expand all of them, or take us to straight to the patreon.com/join/creatorname page that the button does right now. That is admittedly pretty clunky functionality, but it would at least be more straightforward. A summary of information is a lot better than just some of the information.

Ignoring the tiers, this is a big concern for me right now:

The about section being truncated is incredibly frustrating, arguably more so than the tiers getting this treatment, and for it to be underneath my tiers is really damaging to my page. My work is particular, and I structured my page so that the first thing people saw was it, and me, and what kind of person I am. This is certainly not the case for everyone, but it was the case for me - this change removes my ability to inform potential patrons about my work before suggesting that they pay me for it. It makes me feel greedy.

In the same way that we can choose whether or not to show how many patrons we have, how much we earn, how our goals display, I feel like we should be able to choose what a potential patron sees first. I don’t doubt that the new layout could garner more patrons, but that is not exactly why I’m using this platform. I really wish the decision on what to prioritize wasn’t being made for me.

I do feel like this layout creates a lot of opportunities to organize everything else better. Why can’t the description be wider? Why can’t other useful information be to the right of it? Information being recent posts, the featured tags (which seem to be totally missing in the new layout) or perhaps something new: 1-5 images/videos of the creator’s choosing to show examples of what they make, or just a picture of them if they like. As an artist, it is surprisingly challenging to show examples of the work my patrons help me make on my actual Patreon page.

I know it is a work in progress and I’m sympathetic to the fact that you can’t please everyone, this just feels like an awkward stage to push changes at. When I first saw the layout, unfortunately, I thought it was a bug - the space below the tiers looks unfinished and is aggressively vertical, like when you load a mobile website in a desktop-sized window.

Despite all the complaints, I do thank you for your work on this so far. It’s obvious you have the right idea, to help creators, and I want to do my part to help you gus fine-tune things so you achieve that goal.

9 Likes

It must be very hard to make a one-size-fits-all page design that works for everybody. I also imagine it’s a tough job to present the idea that short, punchy, benefit-first pages convert better to creators who have lost themselves in writing a thousand words of explanation and parentheticals and FAQs, as is so easy to write.

However, I really think this change was rushed into production in a way that deserves criticism. You should have taken your A/B testing results and used it as inspiration to develop a more comprehensive change to the page (and page editor), rather than just implementing it straight away.

I won’t repeat critiques about white space and the clumsy overuse of “Show more” links, though I share them with everyone. I would like to highlight a few smaller things that I think you ought to address with your next redesign:

Use your vertical space more judiciously!

I understand that users who don’t know what they want will often rebel against the breathing room they really need, but there are so many clumsy choices that do not seem intentional. Why does it take four and a half scrolls of an iPhone 8 to get through my tier list, a tier list that doesn’t even show what’s in each tier anymore?

I think it’s because you insist on centering too many elements: tier image, tier title, tier price and select button. You also include an eyecatching Includes Discord rewards bit that takes precedence over my actual benefits beyond the second line and is repeated over and over! There are so many ways you could resolve the problems with this sprawling design, but here’s a quick idea that doesn’t even put any elements beside each other:

tier_example

This preserves all the luxurious whitespace, avoids the truncation, and comes out 20% shorter simply by integrating “$3 per month” into the “Select” button. OK, so maybe a dollar value on the button converts poorly! But you could also put the image to the side of the tier name. You could put the price in small text below the button. You could remove support for custom images entirely. You could do so many things I could mock up here.

But instead you went with a small tweak to a design intended for a sidebar that had loads of vertical space to soak up and patched it over by hiding much of the critical benefit information with a fade and a "Show more” link that looks ugly. It seems unbelievable to me that this was the best way to do it. I’m guessing you just didn’t try that many variations of this now utterly critical part of the page design.

How about on the desktop?

about

What’s going on with the Twitch icon wrapping over like that? How did that make it to production? Did you consider that we might not need the "ABOUT <CREATOR NAME>" heading anymore, given the clear position of this section within the page? Why is “Share” and “Follow” there — do people use Share, did you test it, does it earn a place? Is “Follow” adequately explained? Should it be more proximate to the posts section, with a better descriptor like "Follow public posts”, or “Follow free posts”?

Open up the About section on desktop

The font size, thin grey border and narrow column width don’t make sense for the about section anymore. Why don’t you take a hint from sites like Medium and open it up a little wider? Here’s a quick mockup:

This just looks so much better to me, and it avoids the “did it load the mobile CSS by mistake” gut feeling I have with the page currently. Of course, please, massage the numbers to make the column width and line height just right, and establish a limit on the about section’s height. Maybe mine is too tall, but not by too much, I think.

Another idea that could work is to have a means for creators to put decorative images on the left and right voids, so you could ban images from the about section proper while keeping a (controlled) space for creators to put enticing bits of art.

Revamp the goals section

It’s just huge and clunky. I deleted it in the above mockup. Surely you could make it nicer — even reduce it to a starburst that says “92 patrons away from goal!” I can’t really be bothered to dream up ideas for it, but it seems like another clunky leftover from the three-column design that squanders vertical space and fatigues me as I scroll.

Provide time and guidance

If you’re gonna make changes like this that necessitate page redesigns, I think it’s important for you to provide a transition period (for all the poor people that thought it was OK to have 800px-tall tier images who got screwed by this change) and clear guidance for us as we convert our legacy designs to the new thing. Tell me my about section is too long! Tell me that I should make my benefit descriptions shorter! Do it in a blog and do it in an email and do it in the page editor!

If you make radical changes, you need to develop the page editor hand in hand with the page appearance to facilitate these tips, character counts, vertical space estimators, etc. I know it’s a lot of work, but if you did touch it…

Allow some (sensible) customisations

It’s apparent to me that you don’t want a wild west of Myspace\Livejournal\Tumblr style campaign pages, and while I think many here would prefer total customisability, I am one of the creators here who values consistency even if I sometimes have to fight with the system provided. Indeed, I hope that my Patreon fees pay for smart people gawking at analytics software to figure out what works best and to arrange my page for me. I believe in you!

So, assuming that we’re on the same page: it’s clear that with your current page editor there are problems we’re all struggling with. It seems to me that there’s a number of page appearance options you could offer for tiers:

  • Allow 4 or 5 tiers to be displayed at once
  • Let us select which tiers we’d like to display (you can let us know that “3 works best!”, but give us a choice instead of forcing another ugly “More…” button on us!)
  • Let us hide the Discord rewards thing
  • Let us highlight a particular tier, perhaps by letting us tag a tier with custom text like “Most popular!” or “Best value!” — I’d even be fine with a restricted list of phrases that test well!

Beyond that, I’d really like to be able to feature posts or tags to ensure a new patron sees an exciting array of public and locked posts.

Highlight public posts

Use your new “Recent posts” design as posted by @ursula, but consider a tab control that toggles between “Recent posts” and “Public posts” (or add a short block before the actual “recent posts” block?) that highlights public posts. Before this change came out, knowing that there was going to be a change, I actually expected the new page design would be more revolutionary and less iterative! It seems obvious to me that making your Patreon page a great place for non-paying fans to check up on new content is a perfect way to get more of your audience right on the edge of that funnel, and an easily accessible “free posts” section would make the page much more likely to actually achieve that.


And that’s all I have for now. Hopefully some of these ideas can at least be mocked up or played with. But, of course, I’d also be open to a more comprehensive design overhaul! This one just feels like a proof of concept rammed through way too fast, and I just can’t imagine that your (seemingly quite talented!) designers were entirely OK with it. I’ll go back to mulling over whether I should rework my page all over again, given that new changes seem due soon anyway… grumble grumble.

16 Likes

This is an incredibly valuable critique, with well presented thoughts and ideas that were from a place of wanting to collaborate and breathe some fresh takes into the process. I love the suggestions for cleaning up the way tiers look, same for the about section.

And it sounds like many of these fine tuning aspects are happening, and were still going to happen…which is why I still scratch my head at why this whole thing came out as quickly as it did. Like publishing a first draft, just giving it a few more rounds would have made this a much more positive change.

I hope the team really digs into what you’ve said here and considers it, because I think it meshes very well with some of the things they’re looking to do! Thank you again for taking the time to share this critique!

5 Likes

This is awesome! Most of my traffic is from non-Patrons, so increasing their viewing pleasure can only have a positive impact on conversion rates!

2 Likes

Hey everyone, thanks again for your continuous feedback. We’ve been reading your feedback and are working hard to continue shaping this page based on your thoughts, along with feedback from patrons, perspective patrons, and test results. We are going to be sharing some interesting insights about recent tests with you all soon, as well as the design direction we’ll be pursuing.

Before then, we wanted to provide a quick update and let you know that we have a new experience currently being tested to help us answer the following question: how can we best convey the value of becoming your patron? We know fans find exclusive content enticing, so we’re providing a summary based on the locked , patron-only posts you have , right above those locked posts. There are two variants to this test: one only shows the media type of your locked posts, the other shows the actual number of locked posts. Below you can see what the two versions look like. Some of your page visitors will see version 1, some will see version 2, and some will see no change at all.

Version 1

Version 2

As always, we welcome your feedback, and look forward to sharing more about the landing page initiative and direction with you all soon.

4 Likes

This is very interesting! There is definitely a lot of power in showing patrons just how much they unlock by pledging! However, as a creator who uses Patreon for a very specific type of content, audio posts, I almost feel like such prime real estate would be wasted by talking about other post types. Even if there are locked polls, images, etc. they aren’t part of the primary motivation for my non-patrons when deciding to pledge.

If I was able to emphasize that becoming a patron unlocks HUNDREDS of audio posts, nothing else sells people on my Patreon like that. It is the engine that makes my whole project run. I know that something fine tuned and customizable like that probably won’t be a part of the first iteration of this, but it would be wonderful if the product gave me some extra muscle to flex in that regard.

I like how clean the version without the numbers looks. I feel like having so many numbers laid out on the landing page like that might lead to more skimming rather than actual comprehension, whereas the “at a glance” look serves as more of an idea of what people will unlock.

OR!

What if you could hover over the icons for the various content types and then a little box pops up telling you how many posts of that type you can unlock? That would be nice!

Anywho, I like the direction and am excited to hear more about this and the other things in store with these updates and tests.

8 Likes

I feel the same about post types! I’d like to show how many comic posts there are on mine. Or maybe have the numbers be by tag. 12 Bonus Comics, 56 WIP etc

3 Likes

One issue for me regarding showing the numbers of items that would be unlocked immediately is that the bulk of my posts are short videos - so far over 500 - which are available to the lowest tier. But since there was ongoing issue with patrons pledging, accessing and downloading dozens of videos for their own use and then deleting their pledge, I implemented a practice of changing the YouTube privacy settings from ‘unlisted’ to ‘private’ after about a month. This is noted to all patrons on every video post so no surprises, but a new person may expect access to a few hundred videos and only be able to see about 20.

2 Likes

If this is based on post types then it wouldn’t accurately reflect my content at all. I post all my images inside text posts because of the image compression issues which, last I checked, still weren’t resolved. I also prefer to present my images so that people can scroll through them vertically instead of clicking on the gallery pics.

Instead of listing post types I would much more prefer using featured tags for this purpose. Also potential patrons already know they’ll be getting images, so it would be a lot more valuable if it said “you’ll get x number of comic posts, x number of sketches/wips, x number of zine downloads” etc something more specific along those lines.

8 Likes

I agree with this idea. Featured tags could get a lot more love here.

7 Likes

Hmm, what about those of us who offer patron content but it’s mostly pretty small stuff, as our patrons tell us repeatedly that the main reason they are pledging is to support our podcast (which is free to everyone)? This new format would be a bit odd for creators like ourselves.

Also, how will this new format handle the fact that patrons at different levels unlock different things? You have to become a patron at our highest ($20/episode) level to unlock some of the rewards, for example. That might seem a little misleading to those who plan to pledge at the $1 level.

Also, it doesn’t seem to be doing a great job of figuring out what kind of content there is to be unlocked, just checking our 2 campaigns to see how it’s showing up. So it’s saying there are things to be unlocked that aren’t there, and mis-categorizing other things . . .
(Editing this reply to say that it is actually BADLY mis-characterizing what kinds of posts there are. I can imagine some unhappy patrons if they sign up expecting what is listed there . . . )

4 Likes

This! Most of my posts are image/gallery posts, but being able to see an overview of what those posts actually are by using featured tags would be great. That would also give us greater control over what gets shown there.

4 Likes

122

Is there a way to turn this feature off? It’s inaccurate and misleading. I have posted hundreds of images.

4 Likes

This new panel would be much improved if there was an ability to pick out a handful of post counts that are relevant to us, from a pool of both post types and tags. So, perhaps I could pick:

  • 9 Audio releases
  • 3 Livestreams
  • 20 Art packs <- Custom tag
  • 10 Wallpapers <- Custom tag

It might be sensible to allow a person to rename a tag in this interface to get the pluralisation right. So you’re mapping a custom label to a live-updating count of a certain tag.

Complex I know! But unfortunately a lot of this marketing stuff doesn’t really work in universal ways…

Also, I’m sad to lose the icons in the first version! I think the text only version is easier to gloss over. Could you badge these images like an iOS notification badge? Something like that?

6 Likes

Hi all! Thank you for the feedback. Our Data Science team has completed the analysis of this test and what we have found is that though conversion rate did not change when we showed the card that summarize the locked content, it did help with retention. In other words, there was no change in the number of new patrons, but there was a significant change in the new patrons that subsequently maintained their pledge in the version of the card that actually shows the stats. We believe this is because seeing the numbers sets expectations with patrons around how much content there is to consume, and therefore motivates them to stay on for longer to consume that content. This corroborates our qualitative research talking with fans and patrons about expectations from their membership.

The version of the card with the stats for each media type is now live for everyone, though we’ll continue to make improvements, so your feedback is still absolutely welcome.

What do we do if what you are showing is badly mischaracterizing the types of posts?? That is likely to only confuse potential patrons.

Happy to take a look if you can provide more detail.

For example, how do you decide what’s an update? For my husband’s campaign (https://www.patreon.com/gregross) he doesn’t actually post any updates. He doesn’t create any videos or audio content for that campaign either, though he sometimes includes other people’s. It might be misleading though to call them videos and have people expect that he has created his own videos. You also have that he has 644 images, but those are generally incidental to his posts (they are just to illustrate the content, and again, are not images that he creates). He would not characterize his posts with any of the words that you are actually using.

Similarly with our podcast campaign (https://www.patreon.com/futilitycloset). I don’t know how you have decided which posts are “updates” or not, and the categories of types of content you’re using are mostly just kind of off, not what people would be expecting. The only one that actually makes sense for that campaign is audio.

  1. If you are going to show just 3 tiers, why not let creators choose which tiers to highlight? It seems obvious that showing the cheapest 3 tiers encourages patrons to join at those levels. I think many creators would prefer to show one low tier, one mid-tier, and one high tier - for example, $5, $20, $100.

  2. Many of us promote our pages using unlocked public posts that we then share on social media. However, when non-patrons click on this material, they see the post but have to really dig around to locate the page or figure out how to join. This is such a ridiculously huge missed opportunity. There should be an easy way to convert people who land on these posts. They’ve just become warm leads, and the platform currently delivers a dead end!

8 Likes