Today was one of those days when I am returning from yoga and while sitting in the metro, I feel like reading. Since, this morning, I forgot my book, I decide to turn on the medium app, which I installed 2 days ago, and read an article from there. The first one on the home screen is this one, sounds interesting so I start reading. I like it. As I am reading I arrive at the bottom of the page and with happiness in my heart I want to give a much needed clap. But, but, but where is it!? Where’s the clap?
I desperately searched at the top of the page, scrolled back down at then end. I can see the number of claps, but where can I leave my own?! I aggressively click on the number of claps, it takes me to the list of people that clapped, obviously, duh!?
By this time I am very frustrated. It is the 3rd article in 2 days, since I installed the app, that I want to give a clap and just can’t find that bloody button. But I really want to leave my appreciation so in the end I decided to mark a favourite sentence and leave a response. Finally my frustration goes down one notch and as my mind starts to relax and I feel grateful that I finally managed to give this man my appreciation, a miracle happens. I move my finger off the screen and there it is. I see it! I finally see it!
What went wrong?
A short disclaimer, I like the medium app, and I am not writing this with the intention to be rude. I am writing because I too am a product designer, and want to leave my feedback with the hope that it would be helpful.
In my particular use case I am very much used to reading articles on my laptop, and more often than not, I clap from there. In this situation, I, as a user, learned through repetition that I need to look on the left side of the page to perform this task. Here, the clap, even though it is in an obvious location, it is subtle enough that it doesn’t distract me from my reading, but still my brain doesn’t need to think where to find it once I have finished the article. Perfect design!
Going back to the mobile application for Android, for some reason, I expected that the clap would be at the end of the page, because naturally, I would like to clap after I read the entire article and not before. But it wasn’t there!
Even tough Google Material Design manual states that Floating Action Buttons are a great choice when it comes to having a button that stands out and nudges the user to perform a specific action, in my case the opposite was true. It was the worst choice. I didn’t see it! Mainly because my finger was covering the button the entire time, and this happened because on mobile, the action you perform the most is scrolling, and it is well known that the bottom right corner is the worst place for a button particularly in a world where most of us are right handed. I can’t help but wonder how many users were in a situation similar to mine? Perhaps it was just me!