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Akita

Akita Project Feedback Report

Sharon
software dev. climber of walls and silks. short films are neat.
Updated on ・8 min read

Introduction

As part of the Akita Project, @elliot and I created 'A Web Monetization Story' and the Akita browser extension. We've asked users of both 'A Web Monetization Story' and the Akita extension to fill out surveys. The goal of the surveys is to try to understand:

  • what parts of Web Monetization people are struggling with,
  • how the projects we've created are helping people understand and engage with Web Monetization, and
  • what parts of our projects we could improve. Below are the user feedback reports from the surveys.

'A Web Monetization Story' Feedback Report

‘A Web Monetization Story’ is an interactive, story-based Web Monetization tutorial that seeks to help creators understand how simple it is to enable Web Monetization on their own sites.

We’ve asked for feedback by linking to a survey on the Grant for the Web Forum, DEV Community and Twitter. We also received feedback during the development of 'A Web Monetization Story' for Betahack in August 2020.

We originally created the survey using Typeform (but migrated to Google Forms since Typeform started limiting number of responses) and included the link on the last page of ‘A Web Monetization Story’, as well as on the platforms mentioned above. If you’d like to share your thoughts on ‘A Web Monetization Story’, we welcome you to fill out the survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdUzTD8Z4Tz_KO_DSZUJ0-6H_0_-vgWpi9qnFrwSAjPRnJvQg/viewform! So far, we’ve received 9 responses which we’ve summarized below, grouped by question.

Were you using Web Monetization before you came across 'A Web Monetization Story'?

Respondents could choose one option from "Yes", "No", "No, but I was already interested in it", and "Other".

  • 5 people chose "No, but I was already interested in it"
  • 3 people chose "Yes"
  • 1 person chose "No"

Which categories would you place yourself in?

Respondents could choose to identify as one or more of the categories: "Developer (I write code!)", " Online creator (blogger, artist, photographer, game developer, podcaster, etc.)", "Influencer (I'm active on platforms, like Twitter, DEV.to, etc.)", "Web gremlin (I just crawl around the internet", and/or "Other" (a custom written response).

  • 6 people identified as Developers
  • 5 people identified as Online Creators
  • 1 person identified as an Influencer
  • 1 person wrote something else (not included here to protect their privacy)

What was your overall impression of 'A Web Monetization Story'?

Respondents could choose a score from 1 (labelled 'Ugh...terrible :(') to 5 (labelled 'Yay...fantastic :)').

Average response: 4.78 / 5

How would you rate your Web Monetization understanding before/after visiting 'A Web Monetization Story'?

Respondents could choose a score from 1 (labelled 'None') to 10 (labelled 'Expert').

Before visiting 'A Web Monetization Story':

  • Average response: 6.89 / 10

After visiting 'A Web Monetization Story':

  • Average response: 8.56 / 10

Which parts of Web Monetization did 'A Web Monetization Story' help you understand?

Respondents could choose from multiple predefined answers (listed below) and/or write a custom response.

  • 5 people selected "The Monetization Meta Tag"
  • 4 people selected "The Web Monetization Javascript API"
  • 3 people selected "How Web Monetization works"
  • 1 person selected "How you can leverage Web Monetization"
  • 1 person selected "Payment Pointers/Digital Wallets"
  • 1 person selected "Web Monetization Providers/Senders (like Coil)"
  • 1 person selected "Other" and wrote "I didn't learn anything new, but enjoyed your presentation!"
  • 0 people selected "Why Web Monetization matters"
  • 0 people selected "The Web Monetization Community"

Was there anything in 'A Web Monetization Story' that was not explained in a way that helped you understand? Do you have any questions remaining after visiting 'A Web Monetization Story'?

  • 1 person said they knew about Coil, but were wondering about other providers.
  • 1 person suggested expanding 'A Web Monetization Story' into a choose-your-own-adventure demo.
  • 1 person asked how a static site or blog can use Web Monetization. They wondered if the meta tag was enough or if JavaScript was necessary.
  • 1 person said that although we say where to go to get a payment pointer, an explanation of how to actually get the payment pointer is missing.
  • 5 people said nothing or expressed that the explanation was sufficient.

Were you able to navigate through 'A Web Monetization Story' easily? Did you get lost at any point?

Everyone expressed that it was easy to navigate and that they did not get lost.

Do you have any other questions or feedback for us?

  • 1 person said that 'A Web Monetization Story' should let people know that Web Monetization is not at a point where you can make substantial money from it, since there are not enough Coil subscribers. This person said their Web Monetized site gets many visitors per day, but the Web Monetization income they get is mostly from when they visit their own site. They also said that the time and effort required to get involved in Web Monetization is totally worth it, and that we don't want to scare people off. They concluded by asking how we can make people aware that Web Monetization is in the early (low money making potential) stages while still communicating that it is worth it.
  • A couple responses with words of encouragement.

Other Feedback (not from survey)

We developed ‘A Web Monetization Story’ as part of Betahack ‘Fix The Internet’ Hackathon. Some of the helpful feedback we got during the hackathon:

  • Interactive storytelling interface is awesome
  • Interaction could be easily transitioned for other use cases: training employees for a certain workflow, introducing a new app feature, service focused on providing businesses to build this for their platforms
  • Value proposition of ‘A Web Monetization Story’ interface: intuitive way to introduce consumers on how to use the new platform/workflow
  • Possible prototype: provide an adopter of the interactive tutorial interface with a form/markdown file to upload and tag images/captions, interface would convert/animate the form/images into components of the story Story could highlight and interact with DOM elements of the webpage during the onboarding/training process
  • Could use this format to enable onboarding and education through incentive

Akita Extension Feedback Report

Akita is a browser extension that presents your top visited monetized sites, how much time you’re spending on them, and how much you're contributing (or could contribute) to them.

We asked for feedback by linking to two surveys on the Web Monetization community, which we also shared on Twitter. One survey was for people who use Coil, and the other was for people who do not use Coil.

We created the surveys in Google Forms. If you’d like to share your thoughts on the Akita extension, we welcome you to fill out one of the surveys:

So far, we've received two responses from Coil users, and no responses from non-Coil users. Since there is very little data, we give some broad interpretations from the responses below.

Both people responded positively (gave at least a 4 out of 5) to the following questions:

  • Would you say that it's difficult for you to find Web Monetized sites related to your interests?
  • Would you say that Akita helps you understand how your Web Monetization Provider (e.g. Coil) distributes micropayments to the websites you visit?
    • If you answered no, can you tell us why not? If you answered yes, can you share how Akita helps?
  • Would you say that Akita gives you a better understanding of which websites you support through Web Monetization?
  • Would you say Akita encourages you to spend more time on Web Monetized sites?
  • Does the Akita tutorial provide an effective overview of Web Monetization?
  • Does the Akita tutorial provide an effective introduction to the Akita extension?

Both people responded negatively (gave at most a 2 out of 5) to the following question:

  • Do you feel like the recommendations in "These monetized sites could use ❤️" are useful to you?

Conclusion

Summary of Feedback

We saw that 'A Web Monetization Story' helped improve people's understanding of Web Monetization overall, and particularly helped people understand the meta tag, the Javascript API, and how Web Monetization works. Although 'A Web Monetization Story' was easy to navigate, people were left wondering about providers, whether or not it was necessary to use the Javascript API, and how to get a payment pointer. A few people expressed that the 'A Web Monetization Story' format could be expanded upon, and another person expressed that the reality that Web Monetization is new and still hard to make money off of was left out.

We received overall positive feedback on the Akita extension, but learned that the "Sites that could use ❤️" section was not very useful. We used this information in our decision to prioritize hosting the recent Grantee Hangout event over developing more site discoverability features in the extension. We may also remove the "Sites that could use ❤️" section in the future if we find another use for that space in the UI.

Learnings

A major takeaway from our surveying experience so far is that we’re not promoting our surveys enough. As a result, we have not gotten a significant number of responses. From ‘A Web Monetization Story’ surveying, it seems that it’s effective to include the survey link as part of the project. In ‘A Web Monetization Story’, we include the survey link in the last page of the site, so users are prompted to share their thoughts immediately after using it.

We have not received many responses to the Akita browser extension survey (only 2 responses from Coil users and no responses from non-Coil users). We intend to address this lack of responses by adding the survey link into our extension, so that users will be able to head to our survey from the extension itself. This should help us get to the non-Coil users of the Akita extension, who likely aren’t hanging around the Web Monetization Community Forem or Twitter communities (where we’ve been asking for feedback). We’ve implemented adding the survey link to Akita and will be pushing this change in our next release to the Chrome, Edge and Firefox add-on/extension stores.

The Akita extension's new prompt asking users to fill out a feedback survey with a button that links to the survey webpage.

Going forward, we plan to:

  • seek out more avenues to request feedback (i.e. other forums and Slack/Discord communities)
  • directly integrate/link our feedback collection into our projects.

Final Thoughts

Our grant period is coming to an end this month, so we’re wrapping up development and will be putting together our final grant report soon. Thank you to everyone for sending us your feedback—we really appreciate it!

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