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Devlog #2 - Alpha timeline, new emails, creator dashboard, bot attack!

Posted by ty on Aug 03, 2021

Hey there,

What do you think about the new email design? It's not completely done, but is cleaner and works on more devices.

We’re in August now, and I have some new development updates to share. I’m going to talk a little bit about the creator backend along with some other fixes and updates that are going live. A lot of the changes aren’t ones you will see yourself for a few more weeks, but they are very important as we approach our Alpha milestone.

Finally, a deadline for Alpha!

We’ve set our tech deadline for Alpha for August 14th, where we will pivot to setting up the first wave of creators to launch in alpha in the days following that. Alpha will start with few features, and then have features added (such as tiers, locked posts, better emails, and more) enabled in the following weeks with testing from some early adopter Creators. We’ll be sharing on twitter and on our Creator Email List when we announce the first Creators who are launching on the site, so keep an eye out!

Attack of the bots

A botnet got us in their sights recently and bypassed some anti-spam measures. When thinking about fixing this problem, avoiding using Captchas is a high priority if at all possible, because none of the mainstream captcha systems that are available function correctly with screen readers or other accessibility aids. After 4000 bots registered accounts in one day, we were able to set up a honeypot in the signup forum that has prevented any more signups from completing successfully that were not made by humans.

Hero Assets

Part of the essential experience of sites like Patreon is that posts can be centered around a specific type of media as a ‘hero asset’ instead of just blog posts. The blog posting feature is good to go, you saw it in the last update, this time around we’re completing the different kinds of post types. You will be able to make a text post, upload an image, post a YouTube video (we will automatically pull the thumbnail and insert it into emails), link to an audio file on a platform like SoundCloud, or link to a podcast player from your chosen podcast host, and you can upload your own album art for placement in emails and on the site.

 

A design mockup of a video email, showing a title, author byline, video preview with thumnail, rich text post underneath, and footer.

Creator Dashboard

You’ll need a place to choose what media type to post, and so we’ve started working on a project dashboard for each of your Projects. For now, this is a place to see basic information and create new posts, save drafts, and publish drafts, but in the future it will be the hub of settings, posts, tiers and more for your project administration.

Design for creator dashboard, including the project banner image, different post types (Text, Image, Youtube, Audio, Podcast, Livestream)

More accessibility fixes

Numerous menus were not “tabbable” and couldn’t be read in the correct order by screen readers, this has been fixed. We still need to complete a full accessibility audit and fix areas that are missing ARIA tags, and other important accessibility features.

That's all for this post, we're going to be working hard on the remaining deliverables for alpha, so keep an eye on our Twitter and Email List for some exciting announcements soon

-Ty

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