Speak Like A Brazilian started as a weekend project submitted to Hacker News and Reddit. There was an amazing feedback and thus we decided to dedicate some time to a new version of SLBR. It is a web site to share Brazilian Portuguese expressions with other users. Anybody can submit expressions, like or dislike expressions and share the expressions with friends via e-mail or social networks.
TL;DR We added the feature to have an expression with many definitions, simplified the design of the landing page and removed the need to register to submit expressions. Part of the work was based on user feedback, and another part was based on the way that Urban Dictionary works.
What was done?
We started by the database model. Initially, expressions were thought as a single entity. An expression had a text and its description. However, some users pointed that they could have more than one definition for the same expression. We had to break the table into two, expressions and definitions.
Time to rethink the landing page design. There are several articles that talk about the landing pages (, , ). Here are some basic guidelines that we followed when redesigning SLBR.
- Limit action
- Buttons and call actions standing out
- Enable sharing
The old version had too much text, a video and a box with tweets. As well as the letters menu. We removed this content, leaving only the letters menu, minus the Home and Login menu items. Now the user is presented with the search box, the letters menu and the top ten expressions.
Buttons and call actions standing out
With less actions on the screen, the user experience will be better in SLBR. When the users sees the landing page now, there is the search button standing out, with a bigger font size. There is also a menu with letters with simple navigation, and some expressions that give the users the picture of how the web site works.
This was a recommendation in one of the web sites mentioned earlier but UD already did that too. A very simple idea, and very easy to be put into practice too. We added a form that lets users share an expression via e-mail or via social networks. Hopefully it will increase the number of expressions in SLBR.
We have also made several changes to the layout of items, and some CSS and JS enhancements, like using hover in some elements, modal windows to share and code to prevent a form being submitted twice.
But one of the greatest enhancements was allow users to submit expressions without having to log in. Before this, users were required to register in the web site in order to submit expression. That is just boring. After playing with UD, we decided to give it a try.
We will monitor the web site stats to check the results of this redesign, but so far we are very happy with this new version. The next step now is, probably, use jQuery Mobile to create a simple version of the web site for mobile users and promote the web site at local hostels.
What do you think?