Terrible Kickstarter UI

Practical Node.js, 2nd Edition Kickstarter campaign

Recently, I launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund my new book and make it “open source” (basically, write the book in the open on GitHub). The campaign was funded in 2.5 days. You can still support it. We strive for 200% goal to open another book!

While the support and backing of JavaScript and Node community were AWESOME, the Kickstarter UI was terrible. I did two other campaigns before (about React and Mongoose) and the Kickstarter UI didn’t change a bit. It’s a simple web app, so I’m surprised and annoyed that they didn’t care to iterate on the UX and UI in the last 2-3 years. 

The ideas is that creator just fill out campaign information, rewards and post updates to their backers. It’s a CMS with a tipping mechanism and payments (in escrow).

Let’s start with the campaign information. There are two pages: basic info and story. They are not updated as you type. Each time you have to press save. More over, the text editor is buggy. There were many times when I would paste some text and it will be pasted in a wrong place. The formatting is lacking as well. Why can’t they do something similar to a text editor on Medium? No drag&drop file uploads for videos or images. It’s a year 2010 for Kickstarter.

Look at this tiny box! That’s all I have to work with. You can expand it but only vertically, not in all directions.

Tiny text box with very minimal formatting
Tiny text box with very minimal formatting

Editing rewards is even more painful. Nothing is draggable. There’s no rich text support. A good thing is that they have a “duplicate” feature. Otherwise, you cannot refer or group rewards. It would have been nice to be able to have a clear reference: $150 includes everything from a $50 reward and then some more. This is a very common situation on Kickstarter, yet can’t make this feature.

The rewards text doesn't have any formatting
The rewards text doesn’t have any formatting

Lastly, the Kickstarter website is SUPER slow. This slowness and the fact that you have to press “save” for all the change (or risk losing your changes) makes it painful to create and manage campaigns.

Okay, maybe they are keeping things simple and true to their core… but is it an excuse to no innovate and not improve on user experience? No. It’s not.

PS: This post opens a new category Technology Sucks where I will rant about terrible hardware, software and services because as a power user of many apps and various tech, I constantly reminded about flaws. Hope this will help to make the tech (and the world) better.

Author: Azat

Techies, entrepreneur, 20+ years in tech/IT/software/web development expert: NodeJS, JavaScript, MongoDB, Ruby on Rails, PHP, SQL, HTML, CSS. 500 Startups (batch Fall 2011) alumnus. http://azat.co http://github.com/azat-co

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