A bugfix, an improvement, and an announcement in Site Updates

  • Sept. 25, 2018, 2:56 a.m.
  • |
  • Public

Hey everyone,

Let’s go down the list!

(Edit: Have a feature request? Great. Check out my site update here where I talk about my plans for Prosebox for the next few years)

The bugfix:
I’m happy to report that “All Bookmarks” link is now fixed. Woo! MD worked really hard on optimizing that particular page, and while it’s still a bit slow at times, it now consistently works.

The improvement:
This change is a small one, but I’m pretty excited about it. You may have already noticed, but the icons up top have changed.

Previously, the four icons were Comments, Bookmarks, Settings and Sign Out. As of last night, Settings has gone away (though it still lives in the Misc menu) and I’ve added a shiny New Entry icon. I’ve also increased the font size a bit to make them easier to tap on mobile.

Why did you make this change?
A few weeks ago I put some tracking code on all of the links in the header and menu so I could start to understand how the site is used. Here’s a breakdown of that info over the last week:

Header refers to the icons up top
Navigation refers to the menu and all dropdowns
Notifications are the new bookmark and new comment notifications

To break things down: unsurprisingly, Bookmarks is the clear winner with 49% of clicks overall. Comments is in second with 23%, and New Entry comes up third with 6%. Settings accounted for 0.27% of all clicks.

So, bye bye Settings! And a big hello to New Entry.

The announcement:
I’m so excited about this.

Remember a few entries back when I mentioned that I’ve been calling in favors from all corners to get things accomplished for the site? Well, I had a close friend reach out to me. She’s an instructor at [Prestigious University] and has been teaching classes on User Experience and Strategy. I’ve guest lectured a few times for her class, and her students are incredible. Over the next two semesters she’ll be teaching a more hands-on curriculum, and she wants her students to get real world experience working with clients on complex projects. She asked if I had any suggestions for clientele, and I suggested Prosebox! She loved the idea, and we’ve been brainstorming what that could look like.

So what would that look like?
Well, this is all very TBD still, but I have a couple of things I’d like the students to start researching.

First, I want to rethink the navigation to be more intuitive. To do that, I need to get a better understanding of not just how all of you are using the site, but what your actual needs are and how that ties into the PB roadmap. As we build out new features, new links will be added, and the current structure won’t support that very well. In addition, if I’m making changes, I want to be positive they’re the right changes that don’t cause user panic. That’s a big reason I started tracking things.

Next, I’d love to put together a detailed breakdown of the types of users that use the site as well as the types of users that might use the site but end up leaving before creating an account.

Here’s a demographic breakdown showing user age and gender over the last year:

It’s fascinating to me, but those are just numbers. Numbers don’t tell me who all of you are and what you need, nor does a list of features that you’ve been wanting for years. With solid research, I’ll be able to really understand all of you, and that will help me advocate on your behalf when I’m planning out overall strategy.

If you can’t tell, I’m extremely excited about this opportunity. I’ll post more in the coming months as things start to come together.

More soon!


Last updated September 25, 2018

InHisGrip September 25, 2018

I love that you’re collaborating with students. My husband is a professor at a community college so I can understand the importance and impact that can have. Exciting!

And thanks again for all your hard work!

Pirate79 September 25, 2018

It will still take me months to use the new entry icon instead of navigating through the menu to “new entry”.....

Can’t wait for an easier way to share photos 😉😉

Meginsanity September 25, 2018

I'm surprised at the nearly even split Female/Male! Now I wanna know how that compares/compared to OD. The new entry icon is great, thanks!

crystal butterfly Meginsanity ⋅ September 25, 2018

My chart still shows more men than women!

josh crystal butterfly ⋅ September 25, 2018 (edited September 25, 2018)


It’s 62% women and 38% men

Marg crystal butterfly ⋅ September 26, 2018

I think it may be the little blue boxes above the 'pie' bit which may be causing the problem - I thought that too crystal butterfly because the shades of blue looked the wrong way round to what Josh was saying at first on my pc!

Marg September 25, 2018

Great news! Thanks for keeping us in the loop😊

the inky kitty. September 25, 2018


J🌞DI September 25, 2018

I'm a very observant person and yes, I noticed the icons. :)

GypsyWynd September 25, 2018

Love the idea of having students involved.
I never noticed the icons at the top, I always navigated via the dropboxes. Duh!
I would love to be able to set a default font and size for my diary.
The other thing I would ask for us that you not make things too complicated. Thanks. You're doing a wonderful job.
Smooches to Mochi!!

NorthernSeeker September 25, 2018

Lots of fun for the students and it should be very informative for you.

thesunnyabyss September 25, 2018

thank you again!

gattaca September 25, 2018

I went to [Prestigious University]. Very good school. :-D

Deleted user gattaca ⋅ September 25, 2018

I'm going there now. :p

Tempestuous1 Deleted user ⋅ September 25, 2018


Cat Mommy September 25, 2018

Sounds good, boss!

Park Row Fallout September 25, 2018

Sounds like a lot of very cool stuff happening!

kmh. September 25, 2018

ALL BOOKMARKS IS LIFE!!!! Thank you <3

girl in recession September 25, 2018


Witchy Woman September 25, 2018 (edited September 25, 2018)


I'd love to be able to share photos without being to link back to my private Facebook account or something. I'd find it easier for me to upload an image from my phone.

Just a thought.

Thanks for all you're doing! Holy rock!

josh Witchy Woman ⋅ September 25, 2018

Yep, that one's on the list

DreamCatcherGal josh ⋅ September 27, 2018

Yay! I was hoping for this one too!!!

A Pedestrian Wandering September 25, 2018

Thanks for all your hard work!

my.halo.has.slipped September 25, 2018

Is Mochi in a hoodie? I’m an official mad cat lady but damn, your dog is adorable.
Also thanks for all the work 😊

josh my.halo.has.slipped ⋅ September 25, 2018

Mochi is very fashion-forward

ConnieK September 25, 2018

I'd like to be able to post pictures without using photobucket. I like things not to change too much. Because I'm 65 and not very tech-savvy but I love to write and I love the community here. I'll adapt, though, and do appreciate you. Thanks.

josh ConnieK ⋅ September 25, 2018

Great idea! I talked at length about this here

ConnieK josh ⋅ September 25, 2018

Yes, I remember reading that. I'm looking forward to it.

TX Tornado September 25, 2018

Very exciting things!

simple mind September 25, 2018


Gangleri September 25, 2018

I'd dig a "latest entry" button up top. I feel like I hit that before every single entry I write, ever. ;)

hugadog September 25, 2018

So, basically we've gone from Bruce.01 to NASAProsebox4.5 and soon we'll be launching rocketships through the interwebs?


Nash September 25, 2018

I have always thought that I should be the subject of a highfalutin college course and now you have confirmed my belief. Thank you so much!

Deleted user September 25, 2018

I am liking these changes. Thanks!!! Moochi looks excited too :-)

Teflon Superhero September 25, 2018

So, I don't know how 'needed' this is, but I'll throw it out into the cosmos while I'm here.

I have lots and lots of books I've set private over the course of being here. I generally write for about 6 months in one, set it private and start over on another. Just kind of an organizational thing of mine so I can keep things tidy, I guess.

But, I'm horrible at remembering exactly WHICH book I'm currently in because I always name it something stupid and random.

So when I go to post an entry, it's a pull down menu of all the current books on my prosebox. I don't know how hard it'd be to implement, but it'd definitely be a small QOL improvement for me (or...forgetful people like me lol) if in the pull down it could kind of display the 'status' of that particular book.

So, and hopefully I don't butcher this but HEY COMMENT EDITING IS A THING NOW (YAY!)

Right now if I post an entry and hit pull down it'll show like:
Toggle Fish
Pickle Pirates
Siren Stockings

If it could display something like:
Toggle Fish [Private]
Pickle Pirates [Private]
Siren Stockings [Friends Only]
Music [Public]
Surveys [Members Only]

That'd be....amazing.

Firebabe Teflon Superhero ⋅ September 30, 2018

Oh c'mon Teflon...we all know "Pickle Pirates" WILL NEVER BE PRIVATE. :P

That is a good idea though. :D

hot-lips September 25, 2018

I noticed the new icons and the 'new entry' button the other day, yay! Thank you. :) So much less clunkier than having all these drop down lists and sub lists.

Catleesi September 25, 2018

Love it!

fidget September 26, 2018

I think it would be interesting to look at users from a behavioural and attitudinal basis - how much we write, what kind of subject matter, political leanings, that kind of thing

Buuut I'm a marketeer who's super into consumer behaviour, and maybe people wouldn't be comfortable sharing that kind of info : )

Marg fidget ⋅ September 26, 2018

I would!

Marg September 26, 2018

There's a feature which would make my life much easier but I've never mentioned it before because I felt it was entirely selfish and probably only affecting me plus I had no idea how much work it would be to do. However I'm sticking it out there just in case (a) it's something others in a similar situation would want and (b) it's feasible to do somewhere down the line. It's kind of a disability issue.

I have chronic fatigue and am in bed a lot so I use the time there to catch up on Prosebox. When I'm in bed, it's a lot easier to just hold the phone in my left hand and read entries - especially as I usually have a cat or two draped over my person :) - and I find I can do everything needed EXCEPT check 'Unread Bookmarks'. When I first log in it's no problem because I can hit the 'Unread Bookmarks' icon above the 'Bookmarks Author Books' text but once I've read someone that disappears. I'm sure you're thinking Why isn't she just clicking on the green 'Next' text in Bookmarks? and I could do that but I like to choose whose entry I read myself rather than just the next one on the list for various reasons. If I scroll back up to the top of the page my left thumb just can't quite reach the bookmarks icon especially now that it's moved position and I wondered if it would be possible to shift that icon down a bit to the left - above the 'Bookmarks' text would be ideal? Or, alternatively, if the Green Unread Bookmarks icon could reflect the actual bookmarks unread at any time so that it would stay there until they're all read? Even if the bookmarks icon was placed to the left of the 'new entry' icon that would help a lot.

I hope I don't come across as a selfish, entitled asshole who's too lazy to use her right hand or that what I'm asking doesn't come across as complete gobbledy-gook! Like I say if it's a 'Marg only' problem I'll work round it because I'm honestly fantastically grateful this site is still in existence and so much work is being done to try and improve it and I certainly don't want to add to your workload unnecessarily!

josh Marg ⋅ September 27, 2018

Switching the icons around up top is an easy change, I'll push that out tonight or tomorrow.

As for the other change, I'll think about that a bit. I need to get a deeper understanding of how the unread bookmarks notification works before I can say one way or the other. Will look into it!

Marg josh ⋅ September 27, 2018

Aw that's fantastic Josh thanks so much - that'll make a huge difference to me - really appreciate it!

josh Marg ⋅ September 27, 2018

Sure thing Marg! Just a heads up: MD is on a deadline for his dayjob so it’ll likely be next week before the icons change

Marg josh ⋅ September 27, 2018

No problem at all Josh - thanks for letting me know!

josh Marg ⋅ October 03, 2018

There ya go! How does that feel?

Marg josh ⋅ October 03, 2018

Absolutely fabulous! Thank you so much!

DreamCatcherGal September 27, 2018

I'm sure you already know this, but You ROCK! Thank you for all the work that you do here!!!

Sumido September 27, 2018

I was convinced that the male-female ratio was at least 75% female and 25% male! I'm very surprised to see that there are more males than females using this site!
You're doing a fantastic job, by the way!

josh Sumido ⋅ September 27, 2018

Thanks! It’s flipped actually, more females than males. Might not be super clear from the coloring

Complicated Disaster September 27, 2018

I do like the new icons but as I have sausage fingers it would be great if the ”bookmarks” was a bit further away from the ”logout”!

Katren...In Conclusion September 28, 2018

I thsank you for trying to keep us in the loop, but disappointed the none of my programs for the blind cann interpret what may be imbedded charts . Any suggestions.

Firebabe September 30, 2018


Seriously though, I love it. I'm a huge proponent of user input when designing / re-designing user interfaces and I've worked for WAAAAAY too many shops who seem to think that getting feedback from the people who will be using the system is some sort of waste of time. Boggles my mind. I also love that we're partnering up with students. I can't think of a better practical application opportunity--for the students AND the users. And if they determine that they need more detailed user info, I'd be happy to sign up for info sharing. Mostly because I think I'm HILARIOUS, and that everyone should know it. But also because I just love the whole idea.

Hillbilly Princess October 01, 2018


MageB October 05, 2018

I really appreciate everything you are doing here. I especially love getting here in 2 seconds. :) I'd love to have a header picture...perhaps like the one I have on Blogger:
http://urban-archology.blogspot.com/ Let me know. :)

C. R. C. October 07, 2018

Is it possible to find a way for the site to not log us out all the time? I click the "Stay Signed In" box, but still get logged out once a month or so.

caramelchicken October 11, 2018

Thanks for all the hard work you're continuing to put into Prosebox, you are awesome!!

Caty Shark October 21, 2018

You are terrific. Thank you for taking this on.

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