Why Monograph failed - they didn't work on UX



  • https://medium.com/@moeamaya/why-we-shut-down-the-monograph-service-f12ff0149d2d#.8y0yxaluk

    As design technologists, we love building beautiful things and writing clean code. For months, we were heads down coding away and refining the Monograph Editor to be super simple, but we never ever did user testing.

    After six months of product building, a friend came over and asked if she could upload one of her projects. Once she signed up and hit “CREATE”, she had literally no idea what to do. There was no on boarding, tutorials, faq’s or even a basic support email! Six months in and 300 users, and our “super simple” product was essentially useless.

    Over time we corrected these things, but we were nearing the end of our funds. UX is a mentality and less something you can just implement, so ultimately Monograph never was able to fully gain that new found understanding.



  • And they're launching v2 now? So it didn't fail completely..



  • Looks like they main reason they failed isn't poor UX, but because they didn't know how to monetize their thing. You can have the most beautiful, intuitive and responsive UI in the world, but you ain't gonna earn anything if you don't charge for anything.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Gaska said:

    Looks like they main reason they failed isn't poor UX, but because they didn't know how to monetize their thing. You can have the most beautiful, intuitive and responsive UI in the world, but you ain't gonna earn anything if you don't charge for anything.

    If you produce something, but never sell itmake money from it, you don't have a business you have a hobby.


  • sockdevs

    @Polygeekery said:

    If you produce something, but never sell it, you don't have a business you have a hobby.

    TIL Linux is a hobby :wink:

    After all, Linus doesn't actually sell Linux


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @RaceProUK said:

    TIL Linux is a hobby :wink:

    For lots of people, it is. ;)

    @RaceProUK said:

    After all, Linus doesn't actually sell Linux

    Fair enough. I woke up with a huge knot in my neck and shoulders and a migraine. I clarified what I meant to say, but phrased poorly because...pain.


  • sockdevs

    @RaceProUK said:

    After all, Linus doesn't actually sell Linux

    no, but he does get paid for continuing to work on it.

    which i s a really weird gig to have.... i'm rather jelly actually.



  • @accalia said:

    which i s a really weird gig to have.... i'm rather jelly actually.

    He tells a good story about his employment contract. Point being it only focuses on what isn't his job. I can't find the damn post /video now..



  • @accalia said:

    which i s a really weird gig to have.... i'm rather jelly actually.

    Spending your life working on an operating system kernel and Git is my definition of hell.

    It's like spending a lifetime pouring foundations for houses, but never once being able to design a living room-- you kind of made a carport once, but it was a really shitty carport.


  • sockdevs

    @blakeyrat said:

    Spending your life working on an operating system kernel and Git is my definition of hell.

    one man's hell is another vixen's heaven.

    also get off my lawn! :belt_onion:





  • How about get out of my thread with all the Linux bullshit?

    I'm trying to get across how important UX is, and you morons are sitting here drooling over an ugly guy who could not possibly know LESS about UX. Linus is not some hero, he's an incompetent idiot. It's a good thing he does extremely boring kernel work, because if he's even within a mile of writing software actual human beings are expected to use, he'll create even more crap like Git.



  • He had a lot more of my respect before he inflicted Git on me. Then, at least, I had no idea how shitty of a developer he was.



  • i look forward to the outcome when he is not the kernel maintainer.


  • sockdevs

    @blakeyrat said:

    How about get out of my thread with all the Linux bullshit?

    where's the fun in that?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    It's like spending a lifetime pouring foundations for houses, but never once being able to design a living room

    Except that pouring foundations is completely solved problem with only one possible implementation that's trivial for everyone - unlike kernel programming.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I'm trying to get across how important UX is

    Well, you failed, because UX wasn't even half as important problem for Monograph as money.



  • @Gaska said:

    Except that pouring foundations is completely solved problem with only one possible implementation that's trivial for everyone - unlike kernel programming.

    Ok; so it's a challenging problem. Who cares?

    You're never writing software people actually use, you'll never do anything to drastically differentiate yourself (even if Linus were capable, which he clearly is not considering that the WinNT kernel beats his in pretty much every way). I can't think of a less fulfilling job.

    If tomorrow you ported X11, Android, GNOME, KDE, etc to WinNT, would a single person even notice? Well, yeah, they'd notice that their OS could suddenly recover from driver crashes when it couldn't before.

    The best thing you can say for Linus is that he found a hole in the market and he filled it.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    respect should be earned

    I hate that saying. There is a grain of truth to it, but it's mostly used as an excuse to insult people.


  • sockdevs

    @antiquarian said:

    I hate that saying. There is a grain of truth to it, but it's mostly used as an excuse to insult people.

    if you are using that phrase to mean anything other than "in order to get respect I must earn it" you are :doing_it_wrong:


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Gaska said:

    Except that pouring foundations is completely solved problem with only one possible implementation that's trivial for everyone

    -Ahem-

    There are shitloads of implementations depending on climate, ground conditions, load bearing weight, etc.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @blakeyrat said:

    the WinNT kernel beats his in pretty much every way

    You're fucking high.



  • @Polygeekery said:

    You're fucking high.

    Fine, I'm high, whatever.

    Look, you assholes (and by that I mean collectively the entire forum) are more than welcome to make your OWN topics and talk about whatever you want. There's no quota on topics. If you don't like the ones I post, maybe fuck off and go elsewhere.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Ok; so it's a challenging problem. Who cares?

    Some people simply enjoy solving challenging problems.

    @blakeyrat said:

    even if Linus were capable, which he clearly is not considering that the WinNT kernel beats his in pretty much every way

    Obviously you have deep knowledge of both WinNT and Linux codebases.

    @blakeyrat said:

    I can't think of a less fulfilling job.

    Professor at university. You don't just write things nobody will ever actually use - people actively hate you for this.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Look, you assholes (and by that I mean collectively the entire forum) are more than welcome to make your OWN topics and talk about whatever you want.

    Well, we already have this topic - wouldn't creating another one be spamming?



  • @Gaska said:

    Professor at university. You don't just write things nobody will ever actually use - people actively hate you for this.

    Are you sure it's not just you personally that people actively hate?

    @Gaska said:

    Well, we already have this topic - wouldn't creating another one be spamming?

    Not my fucking problem.


    Look, there's precious few people on this forum who actually hit the goddamned "new topic" button and start trying to discuss new subjects. Precious few. And whenever I do it, it feels like there were about 57 people waiting in the wings so they could just instantly tell me how wrong I am about everything.

    If your role on this forum is you just WAIT FOR OTHER PEOPLE TO START CONVERSATIONS, THEN TELL THEM HOW WRONG THEY ARE, please KILL YOURSELF IMMEDIATELY. If you did that in a real life social situation, like a cocktail party, you would leave the venue in an ambulance. It's intolerably awful behavior.

    Because I swear to God right now, that paragraph above? Describes like 75-80% of the people who hang out here, and it's pissing me off.

    If accalia wants to give Linus Torvalds 20 blow-jobs, she can make her own fucking thread for that. Maybe people will call HER an idiot for once. Wouldn't that be nice.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @blakeyrat said:

    Not my fucking problem.

    Apparently right now it is.


  • sockdevs

    @blakeyrat said:

    If accalia wants to give Linus Torvalds 20 blow-jobs,

    pass.

    also YUCK!



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Are you sure it's not just you personally that people actively hate?

    No, I'm pretty sure none of my professors, past and present, who are hated by 97% of my year, have my personality type. Neither do thousands of other professors who teach millions of other students every year, who are hated by about the same fraction of their pupils. I'm pretty sure it's a general rule that if you are a professor, students hate you.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Look, there's precious few people on this forum who actually hit the goddamned "new topic" button and start trying to discuss new subjects.

    Yeah, I don't do that either. Sue me.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    And whenever I do it, it feels like there were about 57 people waiting in the wings so they could just instantly tell me how wrong I am about everything.

    I think it's not that those people want to tell you how wrong you are for the sake of saying you're wrong. I think it's more like you're actually wrong about everything.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    If your role on this forum is you just WAIT FOR OTHER PEOPLE TO START CONVERSATIONS, THEN TELL THEM HOW WRONG THEY ARE, please KILL YOURSELF IMMEDIATELY. If you did that in a real life social situation, like a cocktail party, you would leave the venue in an ambulance. It's intolerably awful behavior.

    IRL, I'm also the guy who always argues with everybody about everything, trying to "correct" them because I think they're "wrong". The worst that happened so far is that people know me as the one who always argue with everybody about everything. Hasn't affected my relations with anybody.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Because I swear to God right now, that paragraph above? Describes like 75-80% of the people who hang out here, and it's pissing me off.

    It's pissing you off that you tell people to kill themselves and they're still alive? Yeah, I can see how that might be kinda irritating.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    If accalia wants to give Linus Torvalds 20 blow-jobs, she can make her own fucking thread for that.

    ...or use yours. Because replies, just like topics, are virtually free.



  • I'm pretty sure you don't OWN this topic. I'm pretty sure Alex Papadimapolipoulimolis does.


  • sockdevs

    Pretty sure Blakey owns the copyright in his words and allows Alex the right to host his content, just like the rest of us.



  • Pretty sure ToS say that everything written on this forum is CC-0 or some other shit like that, and that he cannot call copyright violation on mods editing his posts - even if it would be a rewrite that has nothing to do with the original.

    No, wait, screw that. You don't actually agree to any terms or conditions on signing up. If there is a page like that at all, it's hidden enough to not stand in court.


  • sockdevs

    @Gaska said:

    No, wait, screw that. You don't actually agree to any terms or conditions on signing up. If there is a page like that at all, it's hidden enough to not stand in court.

    it does exist CC-NA-SA 3.0 too.

    and even if was a requirement to agree to it to post good luck getting that to stand up in court....


  • sockdevs

    That can't be the right link: it's a Discourse page that loads in under a second


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Gaska said:

    I'm pretty sure it's a general rule that if you are a professor, students hate you.

    When I was a student, I only hated the professors who couldn't teach…



  • Me too. :trolleybus:


  • mod

    @RaceProUK said:

    it's a Discourse page that loads in under a second

    CNR



  • @blakeyrat said:

    For months, we were heads down coding away and refining the Monograph Editor to be super simple, but we never ever did user testing.
    After six months of product building, a friend came over and asked if she could upload one of her projects. Once she signed up and hit “CREATE”, she had literally no idea what to do.

    I don't think it's entirely because no UX. They just don't get the idea about how you make a product as opposed to making a piece of software.

    Their approach might work if they could sustain themselves. Once you get external funding, you have a debt. You better make sure you make a thing that sells. You better make it early enough so you get traction. You better be ready to accept that your users' ideas of usability is sometimes exactly not like your own.

    But the key is, teams that do glitzy shit (which is total shit on the inside, cobbled together with nasal mucus and whatnot) which is good enough to convey that idea they want to sell, win. What they work on might be a coding horror, a security nightmare and shit, but they deliver. Then they get more money and hire someone with more clue to clean shit.


  • sockdevs

    I know a company that operated exactly like that.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    The best thing you can say for Linus is that he found a hole in the market and he filled it.

    Well, that's the whole point of doing anything professionally. And it's the single most important thing that went wrong for the people whose article you linked in the OP.



  • @wft said:

    What they work on might be a coding horror, a security nightmare and shit, but they deliver. Then they get more money and hire someone with more clue to clean shit.

    What if they hire more people but there's still a coding horror there? [spoiler]Discourse![/spoiler]



  • @boomzilla said:

    What if they hire more people but there's still a coding horror there?

    This

    @boomzilla said:

    someone with more clue

    was the important bit.


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