Medium — an easily distracted writer’s worst enemy

I find it fascinating that Medium — a platform dedicated to enabling writers to share content, and that logically should be doing everything in its power to enable writers to get to the drafts page, has made some fundamental design flaws that make it a lot harder for intentful amateur writers to put pen to paper (finger to keyboard?)

Everytime I log into the Medium website to make a post, I get hopelessly distracted by the compelling, but simultaneously clickbaity content on the front page. The content on this page wouldn’t be out of place on a Buzzfeed and is just so deliciously clickbaity.

What are the 13 ways in which you completely changed your life in a year?

I wake up in the morning and am thinking about making a post today about something, anything to get back on my off-track writing habit.

I sit down at my desk and am still undecided on what I write.

I open up and POW!, smacked in the face by all this well-disguised clickbait. I’ve probably clicked on this content atleast 50% of the time I’ve sat down to write on Medium.

It’s not hard to imagine why this decision as taken — writers probably make up a relatively small % of Medium’s audience and it’s pretty clear that Medium is far more focused on promoting large publications and not independent hobby-ist writers (probably because people like me write so infrequently (sorry), but it’s still disappointing when platforms make decisions that not just ignore the needs of the small independents, but actively put them at a disadvantage

2 extra clicks requires that much more user intent

This must be a unique problem for digital writers, and one that in some part is down to the fact that Medium has assumed the responsibility of promoting content to it’s users, compared to platforms like Blogger (which surprisingly, is still around) — Blogger is really a writers-first platform that passes on the responsibility of distribution to authors themselves (maybe that’s why they failed?)’s login UI

Scrollstack also seems to be a more writer-focused platform (like Blogger) and has a much cleaner, less distracting entrypoint

It’s so pretty — (side note: Scrollstack would do well to offer the allow writers to import previous content from Medium)

Of course, if you’re a loyal Medium user, there are workarounds. The most simple one being bookmarking and navigating there directly rather than going through Medium’s front page. But is this really that intuitive for writers? Methinks not.

Maybe a simpler solution, taking into consideration Medium’s incentive to promote content and the need to balance it against creating a more writer-friendly experience, would be to just have a stable entry point for writers, thereby halving the number of clicks that you need to go through. And of course, creating more real estate for this entry point.

Simple fixes, but ones that would make all the difference in the world. Well, for me at any rate.

Thanks for reading !




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