Do newcomers understand my wall?



I designed a free website and an App for practicing languages in written conversations. You can check out the website at

I listen to the way people where understanding the service to make the decision to change the site. People say that it’s a kind of forum so I did changes to make it more like a forum.

This year, I did another change because people were saying that the App is not mobile friendly so I change the entire navigation and instead of translating the site into the App. I took the decision to only consider the App and reduce the navigation. I currently only focus on the App.

To take feedback I directly contact people on FB and I still seee that people don’t understand how to use the App. I have great difficulty to understand as the App is very simple. I wonder if I use the right codes to present the wall of discussions. I think I certainly need a small adjustment to make it more understandable to new visitors.

Here are the two first steps that a new user see after registering:

It seems quite obvious to understand how it works and what to do? What do you think?

Sometimes I have to re-explain things in the FB chat.



What do your members say they are confused about?


I never had the explanation. I’m still trying to simplify, to make it more understandable.
You can look at this discussion started by a new user

To prevent new users from creating such discussion again and again, I prevented them from posting a discussion and
placed helpful messages until they take part in the first discussion.


Ahhh… I think I see and unfortunately, I don’t know if UX can completely solve it. Keep in mind though, I’m not a UX person, I’m here for the community side of things.

It looks like you may have run smack dab into an issue that “plagues” many online communities. It’s when people join a community, ask their question (often without looking at older discussions for answers) and then leave. I say that even though the question in the discussion you linked doesn’t look exactly like that.

I do note that the OP of the discussion you linked has also started a new discussion, so it looks like Olga may have successfully ‘converted’ Sama into a full fledged, participating member.

From the community management side of things, I can tell you that people like Olga are the lifeblood of your community and I believe you can always expect some of the repetitive questions that you’re seeing.

I’m not saying you should give up on UX! Dollars to donuts, I’ll bet there are some UX solutions that can help you. I just want you to know that you may not be able to completely eliminate the need for these questions.

I’d also like to say that I like the concept of your community and I like the way you have the latest active discussions displayed on the right side of the screen.

I hope that helps a bit.


Thank you Piper.

Here is a kind of message I have:

After reading that I don’t know what to tell her. To me, it’s quite simple. How was she able to do some things and not others?


It may be just the way people learn combined with unfamiliarity with the way discussion communities work. For example, this morning, my boyfriend’s daughter wanted to make pancakes. She got the box out, read the directions and then asked how to make pancakes.

It can be frustrating, but she needed to be shown, she couldn’t comprehend with the recipe alone.

I’m not saying there’s not a UX solution! Please don’t be discouraged by my answers. Remember, I’m not a UX practitioner. Maybe there’s a survey you could design that would help you get to the bottom of the UX issue?


Thank you for your answers. I’m not sure a survey will help. I tried but only collected feedback from people who already understood.When I listen to them, there is no problem.
Perhaps the problem is before joining the App, as you said these people are probably not familiar with “discussion communities” so we should probably try to communicate more on people already aware of the way they work.
I should probably review the page on Google Play.


A couple of suggestions:

User Testing
Create a list of basic tasks to perform on the app and get people who have never used the app before to complete them. Observe how they perform and where they get stuck. If they don’t ever get stuck with completing the tasks then it’s possible that people just don’t understand where to start.

Create some questions to find out some background information on your main user base, why most people decide to download the app and what their goals are. Make sure that your app targets the answers that you get back. ie. If most people download the app because they are struggling to motivate themselves to learn a language and want to have personal goals to meet, then make sure that the landing page has a little callout for their progress - if you can - add additional info like how many goals they’ve achieved and how many conversations they’ve taken part in, etc.


Thank you Andrea2222 for your suggestions. I have to think about that simple list of tasks.
In the current version, to help the user start we only focus on a single task: pick a discussion and reply.

I wonder where to place it. I think about putting it on the profile page and place a red marker on the menu icon to indicate that you still have tasks to do.

I don’t know if I will be able to identify where people are stuck because some people are shy and don’t want to take part in discussions.

About the survey, I’m still wondering how and to whom I should send the survey to have good answers.

About your proposal of creating more statistics, I like the idea and I will think about what could be implemented without creating a complex system.


Even if you only have one task, you can ask users to create account and when they land on the first page ask them what their first impressions are, then after the intro step (first screen above) ask them how they think they get started, etc.

It’s possible that people click to skip the first message so that they can get started right away and then don’t know what to do when they actually reach the feed.

Without testing, some ideas would be:

  • Moving the ‘welcome’ message to the top of the main page so that people can read it while they are looking at the topic titles
  • Sending an email to every new registered user with a couple of steps on how to get started. This way they’d be able to reference them later as well.

For the survey - you could send it out to any of the people using the app with a callout “Want to help make our app better?” or something to that effect.


Thank you andreadyck for your proposal.

I did your proposal to change the welcome message.

About the emails, I need to analyze this way. I know that I have to review all my emailing strategy.