Improving Lesson Discovery
Here at ChinesePod we have recently begun A/B testing on the site to improve certain key functions. We hope specifically to make it easier and more efficient for you to find the lessons you’re looking for. Right now we are experimenting with changes to two things in particular: the list lessons by channel page and the search lessons functionality.
Lesson Channel Page
First up we have the Lesson Channel page. This page groups lessons by level. When you click on a level, you can see a list of all lessons within that level (all Elementary lessons, all Upper-Intermediate lessons, etc.). Below you’ll see the original version, and below that you’ll see a version we’re testing with the aim of improving how users find lessons.
The proposed update adopts a more traditional list style, which we believe will help you cut down on the amount of time it takes to browse lessons. Each lesson is expandable within that list, and features lesson tags to the right of the lesson title. Making the tags visible from this page will also help you find out immediately what a lesson is about.
We’re also looking to improve the search feature on ChinesePod. We’re testing some changes to how search results are presented. Below you’ll see the original search results page, and below that the updated page we’re currently testing.
The new version of the search results page, like the new version of the lessons (by channel) page, features an expandable list of lessons with level and tag information readily available. Again, the goal is to cut the amount of time it takes you to find the lessons you’re looking for, and to make sure that the lessons you click through to are the ones you want.
We are in the planning phases of these projects, and expect to continue to iterate upon these changes to ensure the best possible solution for helping you find the lessons you want to study. You might be wondering how this will affect you in the short term. Some people can already see these changes (as a part of our A/B testing). Others see no change at all. We will keep you updated on the progress of this testing, and plan to share with you the results of our tests once they’re in.
If you have suggestions, ideas, or feedback you’d like to share with us, please post a comment below or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
darkstar94August 27, 2010, 03:32 AM
This is a good idea I think, I would suggest making more tags for each lesson as I have sometimes struggled to find lessons that should be easy to find. For example, if I type in "and" in the ChinesePod search and it doesn't come up with the QingWen on "and". I have to find it in a really round a bout kind of way. I think this only happens with the lessons that have quotation marks in them though.
well with that example I just used I type in 和 and 而且 and nothing came up, I have to either go through all the QingWen's or I have to search through my Studied list, just takes a bit longer this way.
matthiaskAugust 27, 2010, 07:47 AM
lesson list: from a click count point of view. I dont' see benefits yet.
A: browse through list, click lesson - listen
B: browse through list, click on plus to unfold, click to download the lesson (or to play, in case you decide to embed the player as well) = 100% more clicking compared to A
In case you don't embed the player, please don't forget to include a direct link to the lesson page, best in the header.
lesson search: everything that improves the search will help.
both: great to keep the results consistent. Thumbs up.
pretzellogicAugust 27, 2010, 02:36 PM
I actually don't really like the new search. One function that cpod appears to have gotten rid of is the "expanded (or was it extended) search". It was extremely helpful to find a lesson that had the term you were looking for actually in it. For example, if you wanted to know how to say "posture" and you wanted to search on posture, you'd get two lessons. only one has the word posture in it. you'd have to look through both lessons to get through to the one that had posture in the lesson dialogue itself. Now imagine doing this with more popular topics, like food, and then you'd have to search through 100s of lessons for the one you really wanted.
darkstar94August 31, 2010, 12:07 PM
I actually really like this new search, I get way more with every search which brings up lessons that I would have never thought of looking for. It'd be cool if there were more per page or you could choose to have more showing per page.
pretzellogicSeptember 01, 2010, 10:45 AM
Maybe if you can have a browse lesson button next to the search button, so that people can be aware that if they want to casually look through lessons, the browse button is for that. And also, if they want to search through a huge number of food lessons for a specific term, they can do that using the search function. But cpod needs to make it clear which button does what, and that the functions are separate.
pretzellogicSeptember 02, 2010, 02:38 PM
It would really be helpful when Cpod conducts beta testing to provide users with start and end dates for the beta. Right now, the switching back and forth between the old and new search functionality is manageble (for me at least, speaking as a user). But the unannounced switching gives the appearance that this is a beta for Cpod to test features live on the front and back end, without a lot of user input. This is ok, as long as that's what cpod was planning.
I was about to provide more comments on the previous search capability, but as of the time i'm now posting, you've gone to the new search functions. This was a change from yesterday (or as I recall, a few hours ago, with the old search capability, including expanded search). What was changed? Is search supposed to be faster now? more comprehensive? Has anything been improved that we should know about, so that we can provide feedback about the user experience?
Maybe a more succinct way for me to state my concern is that "Cpod isn't announcing that as a result of feedback, we have made changes to the search capability. Call this Search Version 2.1. please now comment on this version". Is that what has been done? If so, what user feedback, if any, was incorporated, so that we can evaluate whether the change met our collective needs. Thanks.