On Writing Feedback for Scenarios

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Based on a tweet made by John Compton that discussed/encouraged writing reviews for products, I took the liberty of examining the user experience in submitting a review.

My reason for this is because, as a regular user of the website, I've noted some... well, I can only call it odd behavior. It seemed to me that this user experience might directly impact a persons desire to submit a review. If it's easy and painless, people will generally feel okay to submit reviews. But if it's even a little bit off-putting I would expect that someone would just not bother.

My conclusion? I found the process clunky. Here's the step by step on my process:

Step 1) Navigate to paizo.com. No problem :)

Step 2) Search for a scenario using the top search bar. Since I'd recently run The Lion's Justice, I searched for it.

Step 3) I get search results. Sort of. The first thing I see are all the filters I can apply to the results, and they take up a significant amount of screen real estate (my screen resolution is 1920x1080, so I know it's not that). This is odd because I very rarely even need these filters. A better approach would be to have them on the left-hand side of the screen, or have them collapsed/hidden. This way the search results show near the top of the screen, where a user expects to look. I had to actually scroll down to see the link for the scenario. Anyhow, I then click the link for The Lion's Justice.

Step 4) The product page for the scenario loads, but I am again given a strange starting place. Instead of the page loading at the top, showing the scenario name and synopsis, it loads mid-way down the page at the Product Discussion section. This is probably one of the least pertinent places for a user to start at. Not only that, but I don't actually see anything at this point that tells me I'm at the right page. I need to scroll up first. Once I verify that I am at the right page though, I click on the Product Reviews tab.

Step 5) Ok, time to write a review. I go looking a button. None at the top of the reviews. None at the bottom of the reviews. Maybe I need to be logged in? I login to my account and navigate back. Still no "Write a Review" button. I'm about to give up, because this shouldn't be hard but I don't. I ask a buddy of mine, and he tells me there's a "Write a Review" hyperlink embedded in a sentence. I'm at first embarrassed because I missed it, but... why isn't this a more prominent button? If you want to encourage people to submit reviews, you want this to stand out. Embedding it as a hyperlink in text is subtle. In my mind there ought to be a big button at the bottom of the page as well, especially because if someone takes the time to look at the reviews, it's possible that they'd be willing to submit one too. In any case, I click on the hyperlink.

Step 6) The page for writing a review appears. This is simple and straightforward, which is nice. I quickly write up a review and give it a rating.

This was my first product review, and I want to reiterate that the process to do this was just difficult enough that I felt disinclined to write it. You might feel that this is a harsh assessment. If so, I'm sorry. But I do feel that if you want to increase the number of reviews (a metric people look at when buying products) that it's incredibly important to make that process as simple as possible. The user experience for me did not reflect that.

TL;DR - Search results show huge list of often unnecessary filters. Product page loads mid-way down unhelpfully. Write a Review hyperlink on product page is hard to spot. These three things make writing reviews clunky for a first time reviewer.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32

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To add on a bit. There is also a problem with READING reviews. Any product that has more than 1 page of reviews won't allow you read any further than the first page. So why even bother writing reviews, when no one can access them if the product already has a few written.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It is a little frustrating to write a review when we can't really read reviews right now (certainly not past the first page, anyway) and most of the time when I submit a review I get a backtracking error. I'll try to write some more anyway, but the difficulty in contributing reviews is a bit of a disincentive.

I second the idea, though, that it'd be nice if Paizo could coordinate priorities between staff and tech team. If reviews are something that's important to Paizo, it would be great if reviews worked!

Paizo Employee Software Test Engineer

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We just rolled some new code to resolve the issue with the Product Review tabs being locked on page one. You should now be able to navigate to any page of a products review section again.

Due to this update pages will currently default to the product review tab, we should be doing another small follow up code release to implement the previous behavior, which is ensuring the product page defaults to the product discussion tab.

Thanks for your patience folks!

- Erik K

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I had bad timing, I guess. Thank you so much!

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thanks tech team, and happy holidays!

Paizo Employee Official Tech Team Response

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You're quite welcome. Happy holidays to all!

Closing this thread out now that it's resolved; any additional issues should create a new thread.

Note that we do know that the process for writing a review is clunky. It's something on our list to take a look at, but we do not have an ETA for that at this time.

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