Today marks exactly one year since we announced to the world the first product from our software lab – Hackaday.io. In what has been an incredibly exciting year for all of us, we evolved from a simple idea and a prototype to a truly massive community that’s making its mark on the world. Day after day, carefully listening to the invaluable feedback from our users, we have improved and moved forward, one line of code at the time.
We still have a long way to go, but we’ll pause for a second now and reflect on how far we’ve come. Then get right back to fixing bugs and developing new features.
It all started with a simple idea – building a better project hosting website. Though there are project and content websites galore out there, with new ones popping up every day, it all still felt too bland. We thought we could do better. After all, the medium is the message. The place where something lives sooner or later becomes a key part of its identity. So in order to prevent a dystopian future in which we’re all hosting our projects using the (fictional) Microsoft Maker Suite 2020 and simply don’t care, we started to work on providing an alternative.
We quickly realized that we had a much bigger mission on our hands. Sure, a better project hosting website would be nice, but what we felt we really needed was something [Brian Benchoff] has been talking about for quite some time – a “virtual hackerspace.” Not just a place where you can post your builds once you’re done (and hope someone sees it), but a living, breathing community: a place where you can start with an idea and get feedback as it develops, find collaborators, iterate, and ultimately end up building something way more amazing than you would have accomplished on your own.
This has been the aim of Hackaday for many years, but most of the collaboration was constrained to the limited space of post comment threads and biased by the editorial choice of articles and topics. With the introduction of Hackaday.io, we open up a space for anyone to unleash their creativity and expertise, and together, change the way people build things.
Unfortunately, making bold claims about how we’re out there changing the world is pretty much a commodity these days. As most Web startups can testify, it doesn’t take more than a simple landing page with nice photography and some uplifting message for any arbitrary claims to appear credible.
So instead of trying to convince you with words about how awesome the last year had been, we’ll just stick with the data.
This is what our user and project growth looked like:
Over the course of the last 365 days, Hackaday.io has grown from zero (well, technically a handful of testers/developer accounts) to a total of 51,838 registered users. More importantly, it has grown from zero projects (we didn’t believe in pre-seeding it with content) to 4,365 strong, all created by our amazing community members.
The part that’s the most impressive here is that it did not happen as a result of a blip but rather a sustained growth over time. Although the THP 2014 deadline did cause some acceleration in project submissions, most of the growth has been happening completely organically. While this is to be expected with “social networks” that rely on pulling in all of your friends onboard as soon as you sign up (think Facebook, G+, Linkedin…) in our case is nothing short of a miracle. After all, how many people have you invited to sign up for Hackaday.io? And we still managed to grow to 50k, one user at the time.
Now the number of users and “vanity” metrics are great, but what we’re really all about here is building things. And it’s the vast space of 4K+ created projects that makes us all incredibly excited. On the development team, we have gone from knowing every project on the website by heart, to using it as a source of inspiration and always getting surprised by new projects we discover every day. To show just how mind-bogglingly huge this is, let’s look at the distribution of the number of projects across top categories:
There are 70 different categories with more than 20 projects each. That’s a lot to explore! No matter how specific your interests are, it’s very likely you’ll find something worth checking out.
The project side of things was the main focus of the website from the day one, but we also knew we have to deliver on the whole mission of building a real “community”. Whether we liked it or not, the only way known to was to add some of these dreaded “social” features. So Project/User follows, Global/Personal feed, and most importantly, the infamous “Skull” found its way to the site. We honestly had no idea whether anyone would use these features at all. We tend not to be among the most “social” people on the block, so we were naturally skeptical.
We were so thrilled when we realized we had been proven wrong! At the moment, there are 88,703 user->user and 105,315 user->project follow relationships on the site. Clearly not as “social” as something like Facebook (nor is that the goal), but we can see the real project community taking shape.
In the interest of general geekery, we thought we should celebrate this with a little rendering of user-user graph using Gephi (restricted to top 5,000 users since large-scale graph layout is a nightmare):
The Public Side
Now all of this is just the tip of the iceberg. All of the content on Hackaday.io is completely open, and most of the visitors don’t end up creating accounts at all. In the last 30 days alone, we had 246,270 unique visitors to the site, resulting in a total of 1,224,619 page views. That’s 1.2M impressions of someone’s work, collaboration, feedback and all other creative uses and abuses of our platform.
The natural question is – how is all this attention being distributed? Sure, popular projects are likely to get a lot of attention but what can I expect for my little toy project? Is it just going to sit there, dead markup on the page and never get any attention?
So we look into the distribution of page views and project follow/skulls across all 4,365 projects:
In a nutshell, what these are telling us (for those that don’t like the log scale, summary statistics are given as linear), is that:
- There are more than 400 projects on Hackaday.io which got more than 2,000 pageviews each, have more than 39 followers and more than 22 skulls
- The “elite” group of top 40 projects each got more than 16,000 page views, 230 followers, and 138 skulls!
- Most importantly – the *average* project on Hackaday.io got more than 170 views, 10 followers, and 4 skulls.
So even if you’re just starting, don’t have a groundbreaking idea or amazing execution, your project is still very likely get you some love and start collecting feedback.
15 Minutes of Fame?
Another big question we wanted to look at is the long-term aspect of all this. Sure, we all know how great it feels when the project on our blog gets featured somewhere, and we get that magical spotlight for a day or two. But then it’s gone, and all forgotten. It’s just how the Web works.
In order to get a better sense of this dynamics on Hackaday.io, we analyzed top 400 projects and their evolution of the number of followers/skulls over time:
We were very excited to see this result! It shows that, though big events like getting featured somewhere will definitely result in the short-term boost of interest for the project, most of the projects continue to maintain interest over time and never really die out. Hopefully, this will result in extra motivation for project creators to keep improving their builds for a long time after that initial demo day.
Another interesting thing you might notice on careful examination of the graphs above is the lag between the growth of number of followers and number of skulls. It turns out that a lot of people might “follow” the project if they find it promising, but it will take a while for you to impress them enough to earn that precious skull. It’s a valuable commodity around these lands.
One last thing we wanted to look at was the Feed. Since the introduction of this feature (and especially after its redesign), it became a part of the daily routine for a lot of people who are now using it to enjoy the flood of daily activity on the site.
We thought It would be nice to quantify the level of this activity, so we have analyzed the frequency of Global Feed events (projects created, comments, profile updates etc.) for every hour over the course of last year. Here are the results:
What this tells us is that, even in the darkest hours of the night, on the slowest day possible, there will still be something new popping in the Global Feed every 5-10 minutes. And on a busy day, during work hours, several new items will be streaming through the feed every single minute.
Not as fast as Twitter’s global feed, but still pretty damn cool.
So what’s next?
Now that we have shared all of this data, it’s time to get back to work. As usual, most of the workload schedule will be reactive, based on user feedback or what feature we feel most passionate about at the time, but here is the rough list of priorities:
- Issues/Bugs – as you all know, these will never end. The more features we develop, the more of these will be creeping in. And that’s fine. Our priority is to squash them before they start impacting the user experience.
- Collaboration Features – we feel that we need to do much more in order to facilitate real collaborative project development on the site. We have some things cooking and hopefully will be able to show them off soon.
- Content Hosting – over the last year, we had intentionally stayed away from offering any data hosting. This was primary because we did not want to increase the fragmentation of the existing ecosystem (we love Github and think everyone should use it), but requests have been piling up and we’ll have to do something about it. Ideally in a way that makes sure you can still host all of your code on Github, but use Hackaday.io for storage of binary assets, etc.
- Private Projects / Pages – this is another one we have tried to stay away from. We truly believe that by keeping all the information open, great things will happen. However, a number of people have been complaining that, due to the “all in open” policy, they’re reluctant to start projects from scratch on the .io, fearing they might get premature critique (I am personally guilty of this too). So we’ll be working on a workflow that allows you to start the project as “private” and open it up only when you’re ready to do so. That said, we’ll still be doing everything to encourage people to keep things as open as possible.
- Public API – this one is long overdue. Our original plan was to launch it shortly after the original release, but the post-launch reality kicked in, and this felt through the cracks. We’ll definitely try to get it out in the next couple of months.
- Better BOM/Schematic Management – clean documentation is heart and soul of all things Open Hardware and our existing “Components List” is not doing it justice at all. So we’re getting ready for a big overhaul. It’s going to be good.
- Everything Else – there are so many great things we want to do and so little time. But we’ll juggle. If you have ideas on features or improvements that would be valuable to the community, please send them our way. We’ll figure out a way to make them happen.
Once again, massive thanks to everyone that stayed with us over the course of last year and helped us grow Hackaday.io to where we are today.
Looking forward to the equally exciting Year #02!
57 thoughts on “Show Me The Data: Hackaday.io Year #01”
314 Raspberry Pi projects? :D
Couple of questions about the presentation of the data:
1/ On the coloured categories chart it looks like some categories have been conjoined with others in a fairly random way – any explanation? (see ATTiny + Android, RC + LCD, I2C + Arcade)
2/ The “Hour of the day” might be more interesting to say which timezone you’ve done it for and overlay when the various (major) userbases are in ‘daylight’ hours.
Otherwise, quite impressive with the up-take over the year (has it really only been a year?)
1/ As far as “categories” are concerned – these are really just the most popular tags on the site. The tags are all user-generated (with almost no coordination), which should explain their rather “chaotic” nature.
Thanks for replying Aleksandar.
I was really curious about why your rendering software appears to have added some categories together.
As an example, take the second coloured block in from the left on the bottom row – green region with a count of #95 but it appears to show categories of ‘laser’ and ‘usb’. So is trying to say that the ‘laser’ tag has been used #95 times and the ‘usb’ tag has been used #95 times or is there some other relationship between them that results in a total of #95?
(If it was the former, such that ‘laser’ has been used 95 times and ‘usb’ also 95 times, I was expecting them to be different coloured blocks but with same number in both, as it is, it makes it harder to spot major categories as some have been artificially pushed to the top-right corner by conjoined sets)
Ah, sorry about that. That was R ‘treemap’ package, and it joined together the categories that have the same number of projects. So for example, FPGA and Drone categories both have 53 projects, so they appear “joined” so that the number 53 has to be written only once. Eliminating redundant information definitely makes things less obvious :)
Hosting for binary assets is a great idea. Github is a great repository for development, but repositories are not great for sharing single files or developed solutions.
Its great to have my git linked, but it would also be nice to have my current schematic, layout, and source available as their own downloads, or for quick online viewing.
Picture files are already a binary asset that can be store. Not sure if this would work here, but it is worth mentioning as a hack, but I do hope for a proper way to host small files as well.
There is a hack on 4chan in the old days to get around this same issue. You can append small jpg (or gif too?) with a .rar file in order to fool the system to let you post an archive. The user simply has to rename the file type back to .rar extension to unrar the file. Usually the picture itself shows that instruction.
As some point may be a wiki would be useful for collaboration.
I have no other comments than this: Respect to Hackaday for creating this new hive for our minds. It is truly a source for inspiration and learning.
Agreed. Props to Hackaday–the Projects site has, without question, had a profoundly positive impact on my life. Thank you.
Thanks to you both. It means a lot to hear from you!
Am I the only one who finds the site terribly difficult to use? Do I just not “get it,” or is the layout and structure of the site very confusing? I’m sure I could be getting more out of the site, but it just seems to me that hackaday.io is purposely designed to be as difficult and as frustrating to use as possible.
Agreed! Frustrating, irritating and just plain weird. I gave up.
Give up already? It only took me 15 minutes to figure out the layout and post my first project, and I’m a certified moron.
Give it another shot, it’s really not hard at all if you’re willing to put a slight amount of effort into it.
i like hackaday.io, i seem to have pretty much left my own wordpress blog DITW since i started on it. The private project thing is a good idea, for me mainly because i prefer to start to document a project in small bits and leave placeholders to either remind or allow me to fill it in when i have time. rather than generate a whole bunch of updates that are for small corrections (request again for a minor edit change button) i end up putting off the updates since i don’t want to do that piecemeal update, instead waiting for the time to write it up in its entirety. The problem there is that i’ve started another 3 projects since putting off those updates ( 1800x1600mm laser build , a corexy and an OX cnc in the last week alone) by the time i’ve written this post, i might have started another!
i’m a tad wary of using it though without a way to export the data, or storing anything that’d be critical (binary blobs etc), that is potentially reinventing the wheel, there are so many places to store data for free or cheaply, but there is also the worry that one day either minds will change or directions and it may no longer exist, sure that can be said of any content hoster but they’re using a different premise like git/svn/dropbox/drive etc where you have a 1:1 copy or backup of the database. Granted everyone always has best intentions, but i’d definitely feel a tad more comfortable with a way to offline edit and upload, so i can use a real editor that i like (emacs obv) or be able to backup content.
that is one of the reasons i did decide to use a wordpress blog, since its got local copies and its not going away( no matter how often wordpress gets pwn’d) .
so in conclusion, i’ve just broken out VC to start writing a can bus gui that doesn’t just spit out raw can frames but decodes the most common protocols into something human readable, as i type this, so make that 4..
I tried to use the IO, but found the interface cumbersome and irritating. Different from say instructables for no other reason to be different. Clearly, I’m not smark enough to post on Hackaday.io.
The crazy thing is that I used to be able to add stuff ( e.g. adding links or pictures) in the middle of an article. These days the new items show up at the beginning and gets difficult having to move them around or organize them in order.
May be I am missing something here or not using a mobile platform. The new layout just unusable. We barely tolerate the medium because of the message within.
Here here! That’s exactly how I feel. “am I missing something?” “Why do I need to learn a whole new grizzley interface, tooooo frustrating, fuck it I’d rather build something than waste my time trying to figure this out”
I have half a dozen project and few tens of logs, so not exactly new to editing contents, but progressively the editing becomes more difficult and Opera is very crash prone these days.
I have used wordpress previously and it is so much easier to use. You guys must have gone out of the way to make it painful for both readers and content creators.
It’s different from Instructables because it’s not the same as Instructables. Why would you expect it to be the same thing? One is for sharing complete instructions for something you’ve already figured out how to do, and the other is for sharing and collaborating on projects in development. If the former is what you need, just use Instructables. I don’t see them as competitors at all.
My heart always sinks if I see a project link goes to hackaday.io. The layout is so unclear, it’s always unintuitive to get useful info at a glance.
The first ‘screen’ (on my laptop at least) is always taken up by the massive ‘Does this project spark your interest?’ banner and then the project title, so I have to scroll down to even see anything.
Then the images on the left are totally disjointed from the text, and clicking on them only brings up a larger image, no annotaions, no context of where that image was used.
The ‘project log’ seems to be the most useful section, but it’s right at the bottom with a ‘click for more’ button to see everything. I think it’d be a lot better if this section was the main focus at the top of the page, seeing as it’s where the actual content lives.
I’d agree with some of this, for sure… Not sure “Project Log” is the most useful, but the Project Details. The Read-More link is something that I think often tends to get completely missed by most viewers, and sometimes it seems logical to have some good text followed by pictures, then more text and more pictures. The pictures grab the attention to get the reader interested in the surrounding text, but they wind-up burried behind a read-more tag.
I guess it’s a matter of figuring out how to work with the system… Sometimes that’s a daunting task. (and often results in ten or more “project updated”s in people’s feeds!).
It might be nice if there was a way to *explicitly disable* the read-more option in certain fields.
Also, being as how it’s often laid-out to be phone-friendly… I don’t know how I feel about that. It makes everything so *linear* whereas the whole point of HyperText from early early on was to allow for tree-like arrangements of data. Now with screens that are big enough to handle it, that *tree* structure could be laid-out on a single page! The alternative (if you make the window wide-enough) is that *same* linear arrangement, with a few pictures and links to the left, and otherwise an entirely-empty column… a bit wasteful.
On the whole, though, this is one of the only formats that I’ve found myself actually working with. Whether that’s due to its interface or its connection with HaD, I can’t say. Props for whatever it was.
The most exciting part in my eyes is the growth of projects. When I search for something I get hackaday.io projects more and more. Unfortunately the documentation sometimes is bad or missing, same with the sources (shame on me, some of my projects have the same problem). I would love to see better support for better documentation and source management. Its difficult to find a way between assistance and paternalism.
Another question, how have you calculated the “top” projects? How you weighted views, followers and skulls?
However, congratulations again and keep on going.
“Top” 400 projects for the longitudinal study were simply picked as project with the most followers. Not very inspired ;) we should have definitely done some sort of weighted sum of all metrics (views, follows, skulls). Will do that at some point in the future and post it on the .io. Thanks!
I’m glad to see that Hackaday.io is doing so well. Despite what all of the trolls have to say (I think it’s actually just the same 2 or 3 guys slapping each other on the back for putting down the site that they are choosing to spend their time on), it’s actually quite easy to use and intuitive.
Keep up the good work.
There are a lot of people that complains about the layout. Just because *your* experience is different doesn’t mean everyone else are trolls.
I’ve been over this in a previous post: 50,000+ people like this site enough to sign up for it. 250,000+ like it enough to come by here and hang out.
The HAD staff must be doing SOMETHING right.
If you don’t like it, fine, and to say that it’s bad just because *your* experience is different is also fine, in the right time and place (it’s called courtesy). When it becomes trolling is when one person complains and then a whole other bunch of “me too” posts come out to tell the first poster how awesome they are for complaining.
If you do have a legitimate complaint, the wise thing to do would be to report it privately to the staff rather than posting it publicly in random places across the site. Again, it’s just common courtesy. I can tell you from experience that the staff here don’t ignore it when you email them.
4365 projects *total*. Let’s say a wildly optimistic 10% of those are complete and documented well enough to be understandable.
450 projects out of 50k members? That’s with a the $250k (?) worth of HaD prizes? You’re giving us shit for not glad handing and backslapping?
Nah. I’m giving you crap for glad handing and backslapping similarly unsatisfied souls for dropping unnecessary negative comments for no other reason that the page format doesn’t fit their tastes. I would say that it reeks of Horshack, but he was actually much cooler than that.
By the way, how’s your own web site doing? Are you up to 50k members yet? 4000+ projects listed?
Price of tea, meet China.
I don’t use IO because it’s a pain in the ass. You clearly enjoy pain in your ass. I’m pleased for you, but it ain’t for me.
Good thing HaD IO has a self appointed white knight to maintain it’s honor in the face of my effrontery.
@SuperUnknown: Well, going straight for the “up the bum” insults? Very mature indeed.
White knight? I would consider that a compliment, if it were true. I just don’t like dealing with people who complain for no reason. I’ve had complaints to report here, and I’ve addressed them properly by privately emailing the staff, who promptly and kindly responded to me.
“What website?” That was my point, genius. You should try being grateful instead of spiteful. No one is charging you money to come here, no one is making you come here. Heck, no one is making you respond to my comments. You choose to come here, of your own free will and volition. With that in mind, why not let the people who work hard every day to make this site what it is what you actually LIKE about the site rather than sitting in your dark corner spewing vitriol.
One last thing: this is my last response on the subject.
“Well, going straight for the “up the bum”.” I calls it like I sees it. Funny you find insult where none is intended.
Methinks the lady doth… etc.
You are aware that Hack a Day, the site we are currently on is different from Hack a Day IO?
You seem to think they are one in the same.
FYI: I didn’t complain just because of the layout. There are other editing issues that I have outlined elsewhere in this discussion. The issue I have seen covers both content creators as well as readers. Numbers in spite of the deficiencies not because of it. If not for the numbers, I would have used my own wordpress page as it was far easier to set things up in a sane way without yet another layer of restrictions and unstable stuff on that.
As for private vs public forum, I don’t see why that has to be kept private as others might have something to add. This is as good a forum to talk about it as a feedback.
hackaday.io has a garbage UX. deal with it. I won’t even follow a blog post to that godforsaken mess.
I won’t use it. I won’t suggest improvements. That is how bad it is. There are plenty of projects elsewhere to satisfy my interests and plenty of other platforms that I might use to share. I do find your little barking guard dog schtick to be pretty entertaining however. Please you’ll grace us with more absurdity.
Feel better now?
>Day after day, carefully listening to the invaluable feedback from our users
>listening to the invaluable feedback
>2015 no edit button
I’m going to agree with you in principle. We’re dealing with WordPress, though. It’s a hack on top of a kludge on top of several beavers duck taped into something resembling a horse. Just be glad it works.
If you have a suggestion that would give everyone an edit button without requiring a log-in to leave a comment, go ahead.
Also, I have an edit button… That’s not pertinent to your suggestion. I just like pointing out how cool I am.
So HaD is a Trojan horse? I knew it. Queuing up anti-virus…
Along those lines, why not have an edit button that opens up a reply box (all the while checking the cookies to make sure its the same user), auto copy and paste the text from the comment into the reply box (since that can be directly linked to as already demonstrated on the “Recent comments” portion part of the site), user makes corrections, then the post comment button injects the comment back into the same “slot” because it has already has the comment number loaded instead of requesting a new one?
I know it’s a long question, and I’m definitely not even qualified to even think about doing webpages, but I figured with what little I know, might as well kludge a thought together myself and see what sticks.
We more or less have to “log-in” already (if we want our post to appear without moderation), so still why no edit button in that case?
Honestly, I can’t give you a reason. I brought this up with overlord Ben, and although I don’t remember the reasons he gave, I was satisfied with his explanation of why there’s no edit button for the blog. The best explanation I can give you is, “it’s one of those things that sounds like it’s easy, but it’s really, really not.”
Instead of having to login, ask the user to input a password-like-thing when he has to fill in his details below the post.
If he wants to edit it he’ll have to provide the password-like-thing he wrote there. Otherwise he can leave that form blank and he won’t have any means of edit it in the future
I had a project hosting site in my heads pipeline which was really close to this at a point, but with a couple more ideas which could be a real contribution to this one and which I will happily let be used there if the team is interested,
I was planning to make possible for a project to reference another project, with its defined entry points and outputs mapped to entry points and outputs of the referenced project, and versioning
it would enable projects composed of other projects (example is a raspi with a board which will use other projects for sensors) which would automatically keep their dependencies updates with a tracking of the versions it would comply with (example is that project would use raspi B+ with sensor versions mentioned and be compatible with a subset of versions)
you would also be able to drill up and down through child and parent projects, etc….
that’s still a concept though, and worth what it is…
Just a note to myself to revisit this… It sounds similar in concept to my commonCode thing, but aimed at websites/project-hosting. You have a link or something?
Finishing projects was always my weakness. HaD projects forced me to actually complete a few projects I had in my head for a while.
If nothing else, just this is great for me. Oh yes, and I found a lot of inspiration in here.
Opensource for the win obviously! But this:
> Private Projects / Pages
would make io a lot better. I have quite a few things with their state between ‘idea’ and ‘proof of concept’, some of them just a few notes of what I might try in the future. Being able to create private projects would make a great place to dump all the ideas and documents without trashing io. Fitting the messy ideas/concepts into the io interface would also automatically clear it up a bit. When there are a few bits to show the project can easily made public
That’s what I use the pages feature for. I collect some data on stuff I might do or not and write up something, that everybody including my future self will understand ;) Those pages don’t get much attention either, so it’s almost private, but readable for your followers and you can start the real project later on. But sadly there is no migration from page to project, so you would have to live with that.
Honestly haven’t looked at the “pages” section, myself, for fear of exactly what you say “no migration”. But, that’s not a bad way to go about it.
Otherwise, maybe just a dropdown menu of sorts… Like a project-status that’s way more informative *and sortable* than just “completed” vs “ongoing”… e.g. “initial ponderings” “functional alpha, now thinking about beta” etc…
Personally, I don’t think I’ve a need for a private *page*, I can keep that stuff on documents on my own computer.
I think it’s also about keeping things in one place. I had a blog/website once, but I don’t use it for projects or notes anymore. The more choices for a state you get, the more confusing it can get, so these states would have to be point on. It’s all a grading of ongoing anyway.
+1 for the private projects, in case someone confuses me arguing ;)
So far Hackaday IO has been a great experience for me. I do agree that the organization of the project pages leaves much to be desired. On the other hand, I do like that it’s easy to start a project when you have a quick idea and just fill in what you know at the time with the ability to come back later and flesh it out. The project logs are cool too, I like posting updates whenever I do some work on something, and the only requirement on my part is to take some pics with my phone and write it up later that day/night. I use WordPress, so I find the embedding pictures easy. I have tried it from my laptop, phone, and tablet and they are all simple and user-friendly. Well, the phone sucks, but it works for browsing projects at least. The user feedback is another awesome aspect. i have a personal blog, but no one cares about it, lol. It’s more for prospective employers to see my work than anything else. But here, there’s already a core group of people that are into hardware or software hacking, so the chances are a lot greater that someone stumbling across my work will like/follow it. I like being able to send people to a site and show off what I have done (when arguing in the comment section of the blog, lol). I have received a lot of great feedback on my projects, and it just makes me want to work harder on them and complete things.
As for suggestions to make it better; perhaps a “User of the Year” or some such award to the hacker that gives the best feedback and suggestions and demonstrates the “Hacker ethos.” Maybe like some modest amount of store credit or one of your prizes you guys always seem to have up your sleeve. Dave Darko is who I would nominate currently, he’s all over the project site, constantly putting in specific bug fix requests, answering questions, giving great feedback, as well as making his own projects.
Thanks for bringing this idea to fruition, it really is a great addition to Hackaday. The virtual hackerspace isn’t quite what it is yet, but it is well on it’s way. Keep listening to the users and implementing new features to make things easier and more community friendly. Again, thanks to all who were involved in making this happen and all those that continue to keep it up and running for us!
Arduino 781; the cause of this constant roar I have been hearing? ;)
Raspberry Pi 314
Drone tied with FPGA 53
RC and LCD tied at 58
3D printing 158
several categories related to software
Given the interrelationships no wonder the Arduino and the Raspberry Pi rank where they do, because the projects drive them. They in turn drive rankings for ARM and AVR. A graph of the interrelationships would be far out.
I understand Hackaday not wanting to duplicate and compete the service Github provides. Given that all gravy trains( free to use services) come to the end of the line, hopefully Hackaday has a plan to pick up what would be lost if Github come ever reaches the end of the line. What would happen if Hackaday ever reaches the end of the line? P2P or a reemergence of BBS could take over, but given the nature of comments the cooperation needed for those isn’t there. To wrap this up Hackaday is justified in tooting it’s own horn, but shouldn’t endanger itself with breaking it’s arm trying to pat itself on the back at the same time. A Thank you to the ladies and gentleman of Hackaday is in order.
I am a member of io and I love this site and at the same time I am hearing what others are criticising here and I agree by the most part.
When I became a member I struggled to work out the interface. As others have mentioned, a little time and it is a little more clear. However, the ease of use of the interface is really positioning the pizza cutter for your (HAD’s) slice of pizza. Even the most slightest difficultly will turn people away in droves. This is like ‘rule 101’ of the internet and HAD.io has really broken this rule badly.
Number one rule, if you want to engage users/viewers and not just have the page view and then window close – is clear navigation. This is like 10,000% more important than the other rules and the io site gets this badly wrong. It is the cause of many complaints here like “It’s difficult to use”, “It’s unclear”, “The format is wrong”. A great number of these complaints boil down to navigation.
Freeform navigation (links scattered over the page) is the sort thing you expect to see on ancient sites like tripod where users are just learning to write HTML. Every decent (and successful) site will have a navigation bar so that users always have some re-estate on there screen that they always know they can go to “mine” deeper into the interface.
Clear concise navigation with it’s own little piece of real estate on the screen is an absolute MUST DO!
Your ‘edit links’ on the io site. Can you tell me the rules for where they are positioned (in less than 1000 words)?
Some are at the top of the page. Some are links hidden away on different pages that you have to go looking for like edit log. You may be viewing the first project log on the main project page so there is no edit button for the log. You have to go to the log page to find the edit button.
Another thing that I personally don’t agree with is the management of images, or lack there of.
Developers always have large screens and blisteringly fast internet connections so they never notice that the print (font) is too small on lower res screens and that the page may very slow to load on a slower connection.
The font sizes are good here and that is probably because you have moved towards the mobile user. This is something you have really got right.
Images however are a huge suck on user bandwidth. There is no thumbnail or smaller image option. On many pages you will have the uploaded image dimensions (say 2000 x 1200) loaded into a smaller space by having HTML/CSS scale the image. While the full res image is being sent to the browser really sucking bandwidth and slowing page load.
I still do some development work from time to time so I have a fast internet connection so all is fine for me but when I load pages from my io projects, I cringe because as a developer, I know just how bad that is going to be for other users/viewers.
I have actually started to attempt to fix what I see as problems here within the confines of being a registered user (only) and the limitations as intended by the user interface.
The first thing I am doing to is to place a unordered list of links to project logs with a short description in the ‘details’ area close to the top of the page so that users can go exactly to a project log that interests them with a single click. A project can have many sub parts like design, hardware construction, code development etc. A viewer may only be interested in seeing the code or what programmer was used so why pain them and risk loosing there attention by making them wade through information that is totally irrelevant to them.
The next thing I was intending to do was to make a dummy project simply for the purpose of storing thumbnails and another for full sized images, so that I can just have thumbnails of say 320×240 on project/log pages with links to full res images.
Here’s what I was doing for images.
1) Taking pic with a digital camera (because mobiles are hopeless especially for macro).
2) Transferring the SD to a PC.
3) Selecting the images I want as I usually take several of each to get the lighting right.
4) Loading into a image editor.
5) Cropping and JPEG compressing it for the hi res image to upload.
6) Making another scaled image for your 1:1 aspect ratio.
7) Making another scaled image for your 2:1 aspect ratio.
8) Making another scaled image for your 32:17 aspect ratio.
9) uploading and positioning the images so they come up optimised for the different aspect ratios used in different places on the projects site (where possible).
10) Repeating this process for the other images.
I haven’t updated any of my projects for a while and I think the above is why. It simply turns me off to deal with the image processing.
I also understand what I pain it is try to ‘fix’ things with custom code in a CMS like wordpress only to have everything fall apart on the next update. So that is why I am not expecting these things to be fixed any time soon.
HAD has indeed taken on a difficult task and wordpress has become a very blunt instrument for you.
That said, you are doing well considering the limitations your working within but at the same time HAD is loosing content on the io site due to those very same limitations.
The TL;DR is probably – fix the damn navigation, everyone is complaining about it and it is easy to fix even within a CMS framework and without any custom code. Then worry about the harder stuff.
There is definitely some gold for the developers in here! As far as I know the resized pictures are taken care of soon, after they are done with the cdn servers. I’m spending a lot of time on hackaday.io and I got used to its quirks, maybe like those broker guys staring at 50 monitors using overly complicated software – getting satisfaction from mastering the beast ;) From a web developers view I can only agree to your points. With all the improvements so far from day one I believe that they will conquer those problems, too. And this should be on top of the list, getting someone to look over the UI/UX, since there is always room for improvement.
One thing I miss from .IO is traffic metrics. On my own site, I get a sense of who’s interested in my work, and where there referred from. If I post a project on Hackaday.IO, I lose all that. I’ve made interesting discoveries from log files that I can’t get from Hackaday.IO
hmm thats a good point
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