UX and Discoverability

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In another thread, some users mentioned a workflow containing the steps

The discoverability for these features is really low - before I learned about it in that thread, I did not even know that a status called “stopped” existed :exploding_head:

What would have been places where I’d expect to find it?

a) in the status popup → but it’s not in there. Instead I need to go to “additional options” and then set my status. Why is this so unbalanced? What makes “stopped” so different from the other statuses that it doesn’t get a spot in the popup straight away?

b) in the status filters list → but it’s not in there as long as I don’t have any books in that status → chicken-and-egg problem :blush: Why not show all possible statuses in that filters list in “My books”?

Now I also learned there that I can “block gradings” - but I have no idea where to find that option? I searched hi and lo but this is somehow beyond me…

(Generally speaking, I feel there are a lot of quirks in the way Natively works, and I can highly recommend working with a good UX designer going forward…)

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This is good feedback! I am very much not a newbie so these things are hard for me to imagine.

Unfortunately, that’s not really in the cards as good UX designers are not cheap :slightly_frowning_face:

We’ll just have to deal with my best attempts for the foreseeable future…

There’s already a lot in that little popup. And now we’re considering adding more with ‘on hold’…

Generally, I error on the side of hidden configurability, rather than a ton of configurable options in your face, which I find to be overwhelming. Now, indicating that hidden configurability exists in a sensible way definitely could be improved…

For your particular examples, I do think it’s a little bit of a difference of opinion. On the library filter, why show a bunch of statuses if nothing is in them? I actually think that’s more confusing. Maybe if they’re empty, I could show them disabled and collapsed, that’d be a reasonable compromise.

However, I must say that I’m surprised that you haven’t ever wandered into the ‘additional options’ popup if you were wanting a ‘stopped’ status. Have you been wanting that for a while? Perhaps this is a larger issue than I imagined.

This one I also think you’re coming at it out of context. The way to ‘block’ items is when you’re grading. There’s a gear icon right next to the ‘skip’ options with the blocking as an option.

That does also appear in your grading admin, even when blank, so it’s a bit discoverable that way too.

I suspect that you went searching for it on the book page, which isn’t unreasonable. But i’m not sure it actually makes sense to put it there :thinking:.


I was also going to report that the “stopped” status seemed to have got missed out of both the search filter and the drop-down to set book status. I assumed this was an oversight, because it seems very unintuitive to me that places in the UI that operate on book status don’t show all status values. This is a closed small set of possibilities, so I think consistency and discoverability favour consistently showing every item in the set in UI elements that let you pick a status.


Alright! :rofl:

braces herself…

I figured as much, hence this thread :wink: The problem with hidden configurability combined with no documentation or hints or the like, is that the features are not discovered by many people, which diminishes the effect of the time you put into them…

So that I know that these statuses exist, I’d think. And that there is no book in my library in that status currently.

What I would much rather prefer is to show the number of books in each of the statuses, like many other pages do, e.g. Bookmeter:


or a German online shop (this is the colors view while I’m searching for clothes, I can click on a given color to activate that filter):

This way, it’s perfectly understandable when there is a “0” for that status.

It’s the other way around: I would have used it if I knew it existed, but I was not actively searching for it as this usually just leads to disappointment (i.e. me wanting features that haven’t been implemented and won’t be for extended periods of time) especially with “young” websites like Natively. That’s why I depend so much on discoverability.
For this particular feature, I just learned to live with my 38 books in “Reading” :rofl:
(and to latch onto that other discussion, I would put a lot of them in “on hold” but only very very few in “stopped”, fwiw)

Hmmm, so you mean when I’m stopping a book that I actually just want to put on hold, in order to block it from grading I first must go into the “grading” process to then express that, no, I did not want to grade it, I just want to prevent it from being graded? To me this feels a bit backwards… in terms of UX.

I was on that book’s page already when I stopped it, so why not let me keep it from grading while I’m on that page? For me the book page is the one place that is actually in context for this feature.

What exactly do you mean with “grading admin”? :thinking:
I must confess that after a lot of searching, I found the gradings page (next to “My books”) which lets me actually look at my stopped books (even when there are no stopped books, by the way, which does not match your above argument that empty pages should not be shown as filter results :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:) and this page - when empty - tells me that there are no stopped books, but it doesn’t tell me how I can get any stopped books into that page :sob:

Yes, exactly that. :+1:


I don’t know what the grading admin is, either. I was thinking the Gradings tab on your profile since you can edit/delete completed and skipped gradings from there… but do you mean that you can block items from the grading admin? Because I only know how to see and remove blocked items on the Gradings tab, not add them from there, which would mean it’s something else…

I don’t remember how I found out about blocking items from grading, but there’s a 99% chance it was from seeing someone talk about it on the forums. I don’t think I’d have thought to click that tiny gear icon (or possibly even noticed it) had I not already known it had that function


I find this thread very interesting. Personally, if I see a button I am curious what is behind it and so I found both the grading blocker and the stopped option easily. Someone had to point out the pencil on the book pages though, because I simply didn’t see it. I think Brandon expects more users like me who click on everything they can find. :sweat_smile:


Not sure if I’m good but I would be willing to help :laughing: But it’s so much more difficult as a UX Designer to randomly chime in, you can’t really just commit some code and be done. It also depends a lot on if/what kind of tracking you have set up, so I don’t really know how I could help anyway. But I think many of the UX issues can be solved by just following common UX patterns. Since your site resembles e-commerce, you can follow a lot of what https://baymard.com/ or https://goodui.org/ report from other companies. But I’m not sure how much you want to get into UX. But maybe this can help you out a bit. Problem is that in many of the reports that I linked the ultimate metric always is conversion which in your case would either mean people signing up or clicking affiliate links – which I think is part of your goals but not your only goal like in e-commerce since you don’t have a board of investors behind you forcing you to grow your income :laughing:

What if you only show the stopped when stopped isn’t empty for that particular user? Then it wouldn’t randomly appear for a new user to confuse them and rather only for people who already actively stopped something once. I wouldn’t go the disabled route as those states often are more confusing than just keeping them enabled and having a “nothing here, stop some books and they will appear here” message.

But tbh lots of sites having lots of filters and users seem to be doing just fine. What many sites with lots of filters do is showing the most important filters and having the rest in a popup. But again, I am not sure if that is done for the sake of good UX but rather to drive conversion. For example etsy moved all their filters into a popup instead of having them on the side.

IKEA changed their filters in a way that they only show the most important ones and hide the others again in a popup. This is a pretty recent development to hide the filters in that way.

The problem is, that even in companies with extremely good designers, designers on their own don’t really know what users want in any case. Most is implemented via A/B tests or constantly evaluated by other means (CSAT, CES, NPS, …). I think even if you had a Designer, setting all of this up around it is very difficult :thinking: They can make good guesses, but in the end you often do things wrong, no matter how good you are as a designer.