What's your biggest Patreon pain point?

Hey everyone! This is an exciting time to be in the Patreon forum. Over the next few months, we’re going to be using this space to work out what bugs, feature requests, and pain points there are in the Patreon product that impact creators the most so we can prioritize what to start working on first.

WE NEED YOU to help us figure out what you’d like to fix by …

  1. Reply to this with your top 3 pain points in order of urgency, extra points if you can link to appropriate threads on the forum about them (for example, better analytics for posts). If you can’t find threads on them, please make one so we can start collecting feedback from other creators!
  2. Please <3 any post that you care deeply about - the more hearts, the more we’ll see that creators care about this issue.
  3. Always give us context about this thing is negatively impacting you in your daily life, for example, it’s time consuming or stressful.
8 Likes
  1. Ugly, grayed-out images on featured tags, poorly representing my vivid, colorful work. And featured tags, in general, just aren’t cutting it. :sob:

  2. Notifications. They’re a train wreck. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

  3. Still no Instagram option in social media links. Seriously guys, there’s more to life than FB, YouTube and Twitter, and WTF is Twitch, anyway? Show your visual artists some love, FFS. :broken_heart:

32 Likes

Seconding @lisavollrath on Featured tags and Notifications.

Adding in the Note system - They are just as much of a train wreck as the notifications. The box is obnoxiously small, they aren’t searchable or organizable in any way. No way to flag important stuff. Generally just really needs a makeover.

9 Likes

I get email notifications when I get a new patron, but not when one leaves. I love the feeling of optimism in my inbox, but it’s not accurate. Is that a setting I can change?

23 Likes

As far as i am aware, there isn’t. I’d like for this to be more accurate as well. I sometimes get a “X person deleted their pledge” but it’s rare and so i have to do research to figure out why my pledge amount dropped out of the blue. The notifications just simply don’t function. It tries, but it’s not consistent.

2 Likes

1- I would ask more consistency on the new payment processor, because the amount of declines becomes scary.
2-Anonymous exit survey shouldn’t be anonymous. It would be nice to being able to answer them to improve our services.
3-The comment notifications are kinda poor. When someone replies you, it doesn’t notify you. Also the space is very tiny.

20 Likes
  1. Messages. Messages should behave more like e-mail clients. There should always be a big area to compose. I can use formatted text and inline images. I can see who a message is to (even if a show/hide control to manage large “to” lists). I’m never looking at an individual’s message and writing in a box just below that and having my message go to a large group instead. I can search messages by subject or body content. I can view all messages sent to a single individual.
  • Context: I avoid using messages whenever possible, because I’ve had the experience of writing into the box just below a person’s message and having that go to a group instead, I’m not willing to attempt to compose a meaningful message in a 1-inch-by-2-inch box, I can’t tell whether I’ve messaged a patron on a specific topic before, and I often want to use images and styled text when communicating with patrons.
  1. Notifications. They should never go away (patron signs up and then deletes, I should see 2 notifications not zero). I should get e-mails for patrons leaving. The notification list should accurately highlight the ones it thinks are new, so that the number of highlighted notifications always matches the badge number on the notifications bell. When I click “Show More” on notifications, it should never re-display the first ones again. There should be an option to sort all notifications by timestamp without splitting them into different groups.
  • Context: I’m always frustrated when I see multiple notifications, because I’m on top of new pledges enough that it’s not usually multiple new pledges, and that means I have to muddle through the notification mess to figure out what it’s actually telling me. I hate that I can’t tell when a patron drops other than by keeping my own spreadsheet separate from Patreon’s record, because Patreon will happily drop them without bothering to tell me, and I have to take action when a patron leaves. Especially aggravating with charge-up-front where they may be owed something because they actually paid, yet as far as the notifications screen is concerned, they never existed.
  1. Benefits. The list of patrons shouldn’t be paginated. If it’s going to be paginated, the pagination shouldn’t be broken. (But really, just show them all.) It should be sortable, filterable, searchable. I should be able to select all patrons of a specific tier, or for a specific month, or (for monthly benefits) only the patrons who are new or only the patrons who are pre-existing and got the benefit due to the month rolling over – and mark exactly that subset as completed. I should be able to show e-mail addresses or my notes as fields on the patron list (instead of mailing addresses). It should default to one of those if I haven’t collected mailing addresses for any of my patrons.
  • Context: makes benefits USELESS for existing patrons with monthly benefits. I do appreciate it for new patrons, but I have to use my own spreadsheets to track benefits due to monthly patrons. Why should that be?
27 Likes

I’d love to see easier customer service for my patrons. I don’t really know what it looks like on their end but it must not be obvious to them what they should do when they run into trouble. They are often mentioning their issues to me because they can’t get through to anyone there. And, of course, there’s nothing I can do. We all lost income for a while because one of my bigger donors couldn’t sort out his credit card issues with anyone.

8 Likes
  1. Lack of options for funding style (we want to use a loyalty scheme; also we’re interested in a no-funds-taken-until-threshold-reached scheme). We suspect we can’t get traction because we’re asking people to commit to a large fund but without critical mass it’ll never happen. We would like a no-risk approach to reaching critical mass for our customers.

  2. Can’t fully brand or layout our page or posts (backgrounds, fonts, CSS styles, you name it, we can’t do it). We’re all about image and presentation - we make games - and Patreon is almost exactly the opposite look to the one we would use to promote our stuff. It’s a pretty painful editing experience with the incredibly mediocre editing panel. Frankly we’d rather write raw HTML and paste it in there

  3. Terrible messaging/threading/reply mechanism on the site somehow combines the worst features of all possible systems.

7 Likes
  1. I create original artworks each month, it has been working great … so far. it is now September 12th and the money my patrons have paid to me hasn’t been transferred/sent to my bank on file with Patreon. It might mean that i need to tell all of my paid patrons that they won’t be getting art from me this month because Patreon hasn’t sent payment for the month. I have sent FOUR emails/help forms to patreon without any response. i also just sent patreon support a tweet. still waiting.
  1. The quite constant worry, whether founded in reality or not, that I’m going to wake up one day and find adult content gone from the site. I guess this isn’t any specific feature or anything but it is still the one Patreon related thing that takes up space in my mind so shrugs

  2. The notifications page is often useless in telling you any information. Several times a month I see a notification pop up on my dashboard but nothing has changed in the notifications page. The way it’s ordered makes it difficult to see what’s new as well. I find the e-mails I get telling me someone has posted something/messaged me/pledged to me much easier to follow than on-site notifications.

  3. I feel like the messenger could use some work as well. It feels extremely basic and although functional it isn’t exactly easy on the eye.

10 Likes
  1. Locked posts look ridiculous.

I want posts that can only be seen by certain tiers. I DON’T want ‘talk to the hand’ posts.

  1. Messaging

I want a text box big enough that I don’t have to use a separate app to compose my messages. When I interact with someone, I want to see all of their details - payment history, message history, right there on the screen.

  1. Notifications

Unread notifications get grouped with read notifications, which sometimes stops me from figuring out what the notification count actually refers to. Did I see the new thing… or not? Annoying.

12 Likes

We’ve had similar problems with patrons saying that they can’t find a way to sort out payment issues. We send them links to help pages, and for requesting help, but some of them still report that they just can’t find any way to get payment problems fixed.

4 Likes

I’m an artist and comic creator, and the single line feed Patreon uses makes it difficult for users to find content. Despite tagging my works, people still have a hard time tracking down what they want to see because they have to scroll down my feed to find all the stuff I’ve posted over the years. Something like Pinterest’s layout might work better, at least in my case.

Also, there isn’t really any good way to post comic pages. I’d love to have the ability to create “booklets”, or “collections”, similar to the setup Google Books uses. It would be great to have an option where I can put multiple files in a single post where patrons can view them all in one place.

Preview images would be great. Some of my content can be NSFW, and I’ve had complaints about people scrolling through the feed and seeing NSFW stuff show up even without clicking on the post. I know I could post the art as an attachment, but I don’t want to invite people to download and save my art locally in order to view it.

17 Likes

Mine was resolved, I’m just mentioning it to safeguard against ever seeing it again. During the ‘charging credit cards vs. aggregating them’ kerfluffle, there was a period where I was telling people they’d be charged one amount, and they’d actually be charged an additional fee.

This clashed REAL bad with my branding and way of doing business, and I had to set up lots of tiers specifying to people that they should pledge X amount, and would be charged X+Y, and I worked out how to make the latter add up to key amounts like $50 or $100 a year in line with how I made stuff. I’ve still got people on tiers like that even though they’re not relevant, as I’m scared to just cancel tiers for fear all the pledges will either go away, or the people will freak out and leave.

So the pain point is: always let me tell people exactly, exactly how much they are going to be billed. If there are fees take 'em out of my hide. At all costs I need to be telling my customers the truth, I work in an industry that’s deeply dishonest about billing and I set myself apart by doing the opposite. Always bill people exactly as much as I said they were going to be billed, and we’ll hash out how much ya give me out of that, whatever works. I just have to be able to tell people how much ‘I’ am going to charge them and NEVER be caught lying to them. Built my whole branding on that :slight_smile:

4 Likes

I am a podcaster and I am CONSTANTLY hit with this when I try to make an audio post:

“Something went wrong with your request. Please try again.”

I save as a draft and it’s “Something went wrong with your request. Please try again.”

Something went wrong with your request. Please try again.
Something went wrong with your request. Please try again.
Something went wrong with your request. Please try again.
Something went wrong with your request. Please try again.
Something went wrong with your request. Please try again.

It takes HOURS to make a post. I am trying to do one right now.

I can’t even troubleshoot it because it’s so vague. Give me more technical info on the post error so I can change my post to fix it!

1 Like

@rppr going to send you a DM as this sounds like a bug!
@sesow also sending you a DM to help you with this.
@emily and @FutilityCloset this makes me so sad to hear, I will reach out to you both too to try and learn more about these situations.

Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts on Patreon pain points, I’m seeing a lot of themes for the product side of things, which is what we’re trying to understand for Q4.

@lisavollrath I work on the team that will be working on #3 in the future - we agree!

The broader, inclusive problem we’re solving is to add more platforms in a secure way that maintains trust for patrons and creators. I’m excited about this.

2 Likes

Hi there @michaelprescott,

I work at Patreon and have been thinking a lot about how locked posts can be improved. I definitely hear your concerns and I would love to learn more about how you’re using locked posts today and the problems you’re having with them. Would all your issues be resolved if posts could be seen only by specific tiers, or is there more? What is it about these “talk to the hand” posts that doesn’t work for you? Happy to discuss here or over DM if you’d like. :slight_smile:

Amy

5 Likes

Hey @amyyy. I don’t use locked posts at all. I view my ‘posts’ list a shop window, showing off my illustrations to encourage people to pledge. Having a blurry shop window where you can’t see the products seems self-defeating to me. (I don’t think my post titles are nearly as compelling as my illustrations.)

You’re in a better position to know this with actual numbers, but my belief is that my posts feed is primarily there to entice new potential patrons. Existing patrons all get notifications; they don’t need to scan the post list. As a result, every blurry post a potential patron sees feels like a dilution of an actual, patron-generating feed full of cool illustrations.

So yeah, all I need is to be able to restrict posts to be seen/notified by specific tiers (or higher, obvi). That would allow me to post freely without fear that I’m mucking up the ‘should I pledge?’ experience.

2 Likes