Hi Katie—thanks for taking the time to write the detailed response! Yes, I work in product/ux as well, so more than understand a desire to address problems holistically rather than band-aid’ed-ly. Turds can only be polished so much (not that Publications are exactly a turd, they’re not—but I do love how tidily that analogy cuts to the chase). And I agree, just creating a whole new feature for “Publications” instead of removing functionality from “Collections,” would have been a more user-centric way to roll-out the (rad!) feature-set I look forward to seeing evolve as “Publications.” Collections really are/were different, and I don’t think it would have been at all confusing for the two to exist in parallel.
Rights management for photography has established pretty solid online paradigms for users to cognitively orient expectations around, and I’d recommend a system more tied to relationships between Publication Editors and Authors that speaks to rights management specifically, than what is much more a wheel-reinvented techie/social solution to an editorial problem (how it works today). It’s also an outstanding general-problem, that Creative Commons is really the only universal rights-management system that doesn’t require a lawyer. As a hired writer/photographer, I’ve disliked Creative Commons since it was created—as I feel its emphasis on sharing and democratic-allthings takes value away from the professional goods created by career photographers and writers. It’d be super rad if Medium could create a broader service to add to that evolving set of tools.
Separately: much of Medium’s usability/interaction feels very disjointed from standard ux patterns, and as a user I frequently take issue with functional needs and discovery. Which has frustrated me for most of Medium’s short life… especially, since as a former art director, I adore the commitment to minimalism and clean aesthetics. Reinventing fewer wheels and solving more problems simply/directly, I’d just super-duper appreciate as a user. Not all of us hardcore usability nerds are HCI twits lacking an appreciation for elegant simplicity—but diminishing the cognitive burden for users, would be deeply appreciated as an elevated priority.