To Medium Usability Design…
I like the new “design” functionality for the profile page, as limited as it is, but I propose the site goes a little further, adding more useful functionality instead of appearance-based frills?
Could we consider the possibility of treating the profile page as a publication site — you already have the template functionality for this, after all, and it would enable writers to allow their followers to see older works easily, instead of the step-by-step tedious scrolling that they have to do now (a rather diabolical means of deliberately curtailing any chance of new readers discovering older works).
Design might incorporate simple, CCL templates — Scientific or Journalistic, Illustrator, Literature, Natural History and so on — to help writers create standout profiles that reflect their main interests? Helping writers and illustrators, photographers and journalists create more presentable and functional “web sites” within the Medium aegis could add a professional patina to the site’s members and the publications. Writers might even be able to utilise a blog page on their profile — another slot-in template possibility — and an easier way to facilitate communication than private notes but without the overheads of forums or chat rooms or messenger services.
Quite a lot of the more successful writers on the site — those who provide the content which is, after all, bringing readers day by day and members year by year — write many different types of stories: articles & op ed, poetry and personal essays, fiction and memoir-related pieces. Being able to sort one’s work into the relevant categories and show case those pieces that were outstanding or popular or both, may actually encourage more writers to think of being more professional. Enabling true serialisation of works, both nonfiction and fiction, and allowing easy access for readers brings more readers back time after time? And empowering your writers to bring other facets (such as dedicated blogs, galleries, teasers and free work) to Medium and to advertise those facets through an array of social media sites can only encourage more users to Medium, wouldn’t you say?
Think on it? It’s work, of course, when is building a better product ever not? But with much of the componentry already present and available, restructuring can allow for improvement in speed as well as usability?