Rebecca joins us as Localist’s Director of Marketing! She’ll lead our marketing efforts and oversee their continued growth and evolution. She joins us after serving as a Director of Marketing at Vocus. Coupled with her additional experience at Laureate, she’s proved that she can grow a marketing strategy and flourish in a positive environment, and we think this new role at Localist represents a great opportunity to do just that.
We often receive requests to add “help text” near a feature to help users understand how a function works, or to clarify submission guidelines for users submitting an event. While these ideas make sense on paper, it’s worth asking a few questions first:
- Have you demonstrably measured where the user is getting stuck, or is it just a hunch?
- Is this suggestion in response to a single user complaint, or many?
- Is there any other way to help the user understand besides adding help text?
In our experience, a text explanation rarely solves the deeper underlying problem: confusing usability. Text should be the last resort. Lots of independent research has shown that most users skim (or don’t) read on the web, especially when it comes to instructions. Nobody should be expected to read instructions to know how something works, either. Whenever we’re testing the usability of a feature, we try to make it as intuitive as possible without using any text whatsoever. We only add text when it’s in an area where we know it will be read by the majority of users, or when text truly is the best way to convey information.
Another way to put it: we design Localist to be easy enough for our grandma to figure out. Telling each user, over and over, how to get around an interface problem isn’t a solution. We instead try to create an experience that’s so easy to use, no explanation is necessary.
The type of feedback that benefits our development team the most is simply telling us where you or your users are getting stuck. We can take it from there.
Consider the following feedback we received: “I clicked “All Events” expecting to see a list of every event in the calendar, but instead it only showed me everything coming up this month. Can we put a paragraph at the top that says ‘You are viewing this month’s events only?’” In reality, this proposed solution doesn’t solve the user’s expectation of what “All Events” means. Instead, changing “All Events” to something more appropriate, like “This Month’s Events,” solves the actual problem, without adding redundant text.
Our overall approach is to think of the top two to three things a person typically does on any one page and make it abundantly clear how to do them without any additional instruction. It’s worked out well as a whole, but can sometimes seem counterintuitive if approached as a thought exercise.
In any experience design, a simple question goes a long way: “Could my grandma figure this out?”
One day a week, we dedicate our product development efforts to “little things”; feature requests, or tweaks to the system, that don’t take long to build, but have a positive impact for Localist administrators and audience members.
Our recent “Little Things” focus on streamlining your audience’s experience. Key word? “Redesigned!”
Redesigned User Messages
Messages in Localist are used to handle friend requests, event invitations, and plain old messages, like asking a friend if they’re going to be attending an upcoming event. Over the years, we’ve seen its usage change, so we’ve adapted the design to reflect this. Friend and group requests and invites have been moved (see below), and the overall design reflects more of a “chat” interface than email. The result: very intuitive and quick messaging, with a much simpler interface.
Redesigned User Dashboard / Unified Activity Feed
A completely redesigned user dashboard now allows users to respond to event invitations, friend requests, group membership requests, and see their latest activity, all in one feed. Users can also instantly see the status of any pending event submissions so they aren’t left wondering.
Redesigned Popup Boxes
Modal (pop up) boxes have been updated for more intuitive usage. Additionally, a sign up link has been added to the login form to increase audience engagement. Localist has tons of login options; all the ones you choose will be available from this single login window.
We’re looking for someone to lead our marketing efforts; someone with a keen interest in B2B software who understands the unique challenges and rewards that come with the space. Localist resonates strongly with our customers when they see what Localist can do, but how do we educate them on the problems we solve before they see us?
We value autonomy at Localist. We’re growing quickly, but have lots of opportunity to grow even faster with the leadership of a fantastic Director of Marketing.
Interested? Check out the job listing.
Localist was listed as a time-saving tech tool in Inc. Magazine!
A major vulnerability, known as “Heartbleed,” has been discovered in the technology that powers encryption across the majority of the Internet.
Luckily, Localist was not running the version of the technology that is vulnerable.
We have no evidence of any breach, and all certificate keys should still be considered valid across all Localist calendars.
We’re sure you’ll be hearing more in the news over the coming days about this exploit, but know that all Localist calendars are safe in this matter.