First post and few suggestions for Medium

I have come to the realization that I have become an active reader on Medium and I’m loving it. Medium helps me to connect, learn and grow with new ideas, diverse perspectives, fascinating people and their stories.

Just being a reader also means I’m among the 99% of the people who consume content, rather than produce it. May be its the quality of the eclectic content or the typography, the cleanliness or just the simplicity with which the content is presented, that gets one addicted. But reading on Medium has inspired me to slowly tread or at least peek into the other territory. As the saying goes, being late is better than never.

I love the fact that even though Medium is gaining significant popularity, the content it recommends has less-than-expected noise. Medium’s content recommendation system seems to be delivering neat, unadulterated stream of content. It could also be because I’m being picky on who and what to follow, thus I’m able to keep the noise level low.

Content recommendation engine, if not tamed, can also manifest into an uncontrolled evil. It can bombard the user with monotonous content based on the user’s explicit or incorrectly-perceived implicit interests, thus preventing serendipitous and relevant discovery and obstructing engagement. In the past, I have left using some other services because of this reason.

As I tread, I thought to start with few small suggestions for Medium.

Feedback on the tags

A user should be able to know which tags associated with a story she already follows. A story on Medium shows the associated tag at the bottom but if one already follow some of these tags, one doesn’t get this feedback today. Clicking on the tag leads to the page with associated stories to the tag. But what if the user could distinguish between the tags she already follows and the one she doesn’t? This can help both the users and Medium in multiple ways (1) Enhanced discovery and exploration of tags to follow, thus more engagement (2) Removal of the unnecessary click to know if one follows or not follows a tag (3) Consistency with the “following a user” flow.

Using Medium on-the-go

For the time-constrained, digital life that many of us live in, having an ability to listen to the content would be amazing. At some point, Siri or Cortana or some other assistant will do this automatically for any app or from within the notifications center but for now, having an in-built or 3rd party assistant could come handy.

Auto correction

If one of the goal for Medium is to allow anyone to write and engage with others through their ideas, it has to also help the new voices in their endeavor. One way of doing this could be through auto-correction as a part of editor enhancements. I know this ask would already be present in the list of other editor enhancements to bring it in the league of professional editor but It’s really a pain to copy-paste the content to MS Word to check for grammatical and other errors.

Response-to-a-response workflow

Nested response workflow is less intuitive and the more nested it is, the more pain it causes through multiple forward-and-back clicks, resulting in excess cognitive overload. Additional level of complexity is added by the fact that a response is a story and vice-versa. The response has a response is not easily evident, reducing the engagement with the response to a response. More on it in the next posts.

That’s it for now. Happy Medium-ing!!