Users Tell Us What’s Wrong

You can always count on loyal website visitors to tell you what you really need to hear. I emailed a survey to the registered members of this morning and already have some great responses. Here’s a sample of the answers to “What do you NOT like about”

  • collections
  • No Comment
  • Not sure I totally understand how it works.
  • I do not understand how I am supposed to use SW, and the web pages don’t make it manifest. What is “collect” and what does “subscribe” imply? Unclear. Yes, I can spend a lot of time clicking “help” to “FAQ” to “Advanced: Collection” but I still feel that I’m using a Swiss Army Knife as a club. Awkward and unfamiliar.
  • – the search is annoying; I wish it would search both feeds and episodes, without having to go to a separate page. – the look is quite cluttered and visually messy – it’s not good for discovery; I don’t find the homepage content useful — it’s rarely something that I want to listen to, and doesn’t change frequently enough. I haven’t looked at other’s collections much, maybe that would be helpful.
  • Jason Ponten
  • Too early to tell
  • Too much data entry required to add a single program. The feed reader should be more forgiving. I’ve tried to add several feeds that failed, but I assume they work find with iTunes or other feed readers.
  • Removing individual programs from collection (that was added trough feed) was not working, but now that seems to be fixed.
  • Removing individual programs from collection (that was added trough feed) was not working, but now that seems to be fixed.
  • Nothing
  • I’m not so sure about the Stack Overflow-type badges and such, though I’m always a late adopter in the social media thing.
  • I used to get these emails from ITC, and I just manually downloaded each one and put it in a directory. Now, I don’t know where to find that stuff. there seems so much, it’s confusing to a simpleton like myself.
  • Same as above
  • not friendly for new users. not clear what should you do there..
  • I am not sure how to use it.
  • – No audio podcasts of video talks available – The time lag in updating my feed after making changes to my collection. – The strictness in parsing RSS feeds has not allowed me to move all of my podcasts over to Spoken Word.
  • to much mumbo jumbo and does not seem smooth
  • It was difficult to figure out at first.
  • Wasn’t obvious how to subscribe to a feed, although I just went back and found it.
  • Not live. New feeds sometimes take days to add programs to my collections. When a new feed is added you should give the ability to add a small number of older programs immediately to test the feed.
  • I just didn’t find a lot of podcasts that I hadn’t already found. It’s been a while since I checked. I’ll look again and maybe this opinion will change.
  • Cluttered UI.
  • Some of the feed parsing is pickier than I thought was necessary. If I make a collection on SpokenWord and subscribe to its feed on my PC its not always easy to differentiate which original feed an episode is from. So I don’t use this feature. it’s not really your fault but there isn’t an easy way to contribute to SpokenWord other than adding feeds. I download podcasts with gpodder on my PC and I don’t tag or rate podcasts because it’s a lot of extra effort.
  • can’t get to it ALL!
  • Off the top of my head? Nothing.
  • Too hard to find things. I am pretty new at this. I also visited TED. I felt it was easier to find interesting stuff there.
  • Can’t think of anything… Tue, 5/12/09 9:14 AM
  • Well, for one thing, the feedback link to tell you what didn’t work didn’t work. And here’s an obvious but unappreciated idea: I signed up to hear a progran that wasn’t there. Can you build some kind of machine that’ll delete busted or cancelled links? Also, I had a little too much difficulty finding the actual link to the program. In fact, more than a little too much.
  • Search is so broken! I search for my own podcast and it doesn’t show up in search results – even though I’ve submitted it. I have to type the exact url. Related keywords are useless. Also, I would really, really encourage you to create multiple lists of podcasts broken down by various categories, topics, niches, sub-sub niches, brand-new podcasts, etc. Even if these lists are in a separate section of the site (not taking up valuable home page real estate) these would be invaluable to finding/discovering podcasts I haven’t heard about previously.
  • there is an empty yellow popup area on the home page that just says “close window”
  • The layout and searching for new podcasts. Not much Canadian Content.

What do you think? Maybe we have a UI problem?

One thought on “Users Tell Us What’s Wrong

  1. Very difficult browsing via screen reader.

    Quick fixes:
    – add text labels to images, or use null label if decorative
    – main navigation links not operable without a mouse:
    My SpokenWord

    items from the above list which are operable without a mouse:
    My SpokenWord

    – use html headings to label various sections of the page
    + for instance, if displaying entries each of which describes a program in the database, mark up the title of that entry with a heading and display it first in the item block.


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