Fresh User Flow

Fresh User Flow

Various things about Spring that do not fit in any of the other forums listed below, including forum rules.

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AF
AI Developer
Posts: 20686
Joined: 14 Sep 2004, 11:32

Fresh User Flow

Post by AF »

Right now our front page tells users to download and play.

If they do this though, they get a copy of the engine with no content ( a good opportunity for demo content? min size map and a demo game with a single unit? ), and start menu items to test spring and find out there's no content. There's no way to download games or contents from this without CLI knowledge of prdownloader

We also have a SpringLobby installer that then downloads another copy of the engine, complains it can't write to a folder ( but never says which one ), then insists it can't find spring.exe ( yet it finds it in the settings page when configuring the paths just fine )

This is very unfriendly, so instead what should the new user flow be? How do we direct them to games first, and developers to the barebones engine?

Immediate suggestions:

- Reword the Download and play link on the homepage
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Silentwings
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Joined: 25 Oct 2008, 00:23

Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by Silentwings »

New users should be directed to SpringLobby, now that lobby is no longer packaged with engine. Afaics too the wiki/etc needs to be updated to do this.

And, the issues with SpringLobby not finding the engine it just downloaded ought to have been fixed long ago, if they do still exist (for me, it works).
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AF
AI Developer
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Joined: 14 Sep 2004, 11:32

Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by AF »

It exists if you download the latest linked version on a fresh machine running Windows 10

How would you structure the wiki page?
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smoth
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Joined: 13 Jan 2005, 00:46

Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by smoth »

non-sequitur, you are alive have you come for your top poster slot!??!
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AF
AI Developer
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Joined: 14 Sep 2004, 11:32

Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by AF »

I give you some breathing space and you've only gone 2k above me? I used to post that in a week
Google_Frog
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Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by Google_Frog »

Players that find Spring and want to play a game should be redirected to game sites.
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AF
AI Developer
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Joined: 14 Sep 2004, 11:32

Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by AF »

Perhaps renaming Download and Play and the Download Page to something more developer oriented would help then, such as "Get Started" with a little code icon, where step 1 can be downloading the engine or building from source?

Google Frog, how easy would it be to change the games page template so that it had the image on the left and the text/title on the right, all arranged in rows rather than columns of 2?
abma
Spring Developer
Posts: 3721
Joined: 01 Jun 2009, 00:08

Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by abma »

Perhaps renaming Download and Play and the Download Page to something more developer oriented would help then, such as "Get Started" with a little code icon, where step 1 can be downloading the engine or building from source?
for now this would be better, but generally adding chobby to the engine should be the goal.
AF wrote:how easy would it be to change the games page template so that it had the image on the left and the text/title on the right, all arranged in rows rather than columns of 2?
There is no template for this atm. Define "easy". I guess it would take two hours.
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Silentwings
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Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by Silentwings »

Redirecting to game sites is not a solution on its own; new games sometimes generate interest/players well before they have websites of their own, plus some games don't want the hassle of making websites of their own are happy to remain inside "the Spring community". The only way we currently have of presenting a new user with a "here is some battlerooms, click on them to dl + play" setting that is open to all games is to give them SpringLobby.

New users who click download and play from the home page are taken to https://springrts.com/wiki/Download. From that point, afaics they will be completely confused. They will:
(1) ignore small green box at top and end up dl'ing multiple flavours of engine with no lobby & no games & no maps -> fubar.
(2) possibly realize that what they are now expected to do it click on a small green button and be taken to a second "downloads" page (wtf)
(3) assuming they reach https://springrts.com/wiki/GamesDownloads they might reasonably assume that they want something from the section marked "Game installers (for players)" -> they end up with one game and a non-zero but small chance of a functioning lobby
(4) if they avoided traps (1)-(3) correctly and then actually read some stuff to figure out they wanted a "universal downloader", they will probably end up with a functional install.

So imo the sane solution here is to point people who click "download and play" directly to https://springrts.com/wiki/GamesDownloads and then, on that page, make it clearer that unless they care only for a specific game, they want SL.

Obviously when we have a functioning lua lobby this should be re-thought.
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MasterBel2
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Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by MasterBel2 »

Silentwings wrote: So imo the sane solution here is to point people who click "download and play" directly to https://springrts.com/wiki/GamesDownloads and then, on that page, make it clearer that unless they care only for a specific game, they want SL.
This would make the process so much easier. The other thing that I had an issue with when I was first downloading spring was finding the Mac builds. In a big red box there seems to be a Windows link, a Linux link, and a Mac link, which appropriately (I think) redirects to the Spring download page, which shows download for both Windows and Linux and not Mac, no matter which link you click on.

It would definitely be clearer if a) it was one single link, to avoid confusion (mainly aesthetics) and also if there was actually an explanation about where to find a mac build. I'm not sure that a mac user will always be clever enough to go searching around the forums for a mac download.

Also, for those redirected to the SL website, there is instructions for windows and linux, but again not mac. If there could be at least a link to the forum with the download link, it might open up the process to more people.
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FLOZi
MC: Legacy & Spring 1944 Developer
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Joined: 29 Apr 2005, 01:14

Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by FLOZi »

Is there any support for rapid links yet? rapid://s44.stable sort of thing? I'm sure that was touted at one point.

Now that lobbies support auto-downloading of engine, maps and games there should only be a single installer and content is delivered via the lobby, surely this is elementary. The only exception would be pre-packed games delivered via steam or other such software.
raaar
Metal Factions Developer
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Joined: 20 Feb 2010, 12:17

Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by raaar »

"Download and play" link on the front page leads to a page that leads to downloading only the engine which is no longer bundled with springlobby.

That's now useless to most users. Even if they manually download games from springfiles, the required engine version may not be the one they got.

The engine page should emphasize the latest engine version, but list all engine versions .

It already links to a page where it mentions lobbies, but maybe it should highlight it more, and have a paragraph or two explaining how the spring community is organized (engine, lobbies, servers, games, maps). The springlobby user guide is outdated, with broken image links. Maybe it should mention other lobby clients as well, such as weblobby, even if springlobby is the recommended one.


For my game, i'm currently linking to the 100.0 engine download which still comes with springlobby, but I'm going to change to 103 on the next release. After that i'll probably suggest just downloading springlobby, going to "tools" > "download archives", and pasting a set of entries to download:
game:metalfactions:stable
engine:xxxx
map:m1...
map:m2...
map:m3...
(unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be working properly -_-)

or logging into the official server and joining the MF game room.
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Forboding Angel
Evolution RTS Developer
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Joined: 17 Nov 2005, 02:43

Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by Forboding Angel »

You should use a custom SWL setup. It's pretty easy to do and you can use the evo one as a template to do your own.
abma
Spring Developer
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Joined: 01 Jun 2009, 00:08

Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by abma »

how easy would it be to change the games page template so that it had the image on the left and the text/title on the right, all arranged in rows rather than columns of 2?


There is no template for this atm. Define "easy". I guess it would take two hours.
i changed it, but not exactly as you suggested: now it should be VERY easy to do further adjustments as its close to WYSIWYG. :)

the tables were the ugliest and most difficult thing in the wiki i ever saw :-|
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Silentwings
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Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by Silentwings »

Can the link "Download and play" on the homepage of springrts.com please also be redirected to https://springrts.com/wiki/GamesDownloads. I will then update that page to be less confusing.
abma
Spring Developer
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Joined: 01 Jun 2009, 00:08

Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by abma »

Silentwings wrote:Can the link "Download and play" on the homepage of springrts.com please also be redirected to https://springrts.com/wiki/GamesDownloads. I will then update that page to be less confusing.
done
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Silentwings
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Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by Silentwings »

Ah, also the "Download" link in the navigation bar, can that be changed too in the same way?
abma
Spring Developer
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Joined: 01 Jun 2009, 00:08

Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by abma »

for me it sounds like it would be much easier to move the wiki page GamesDownloads and Download to EngineDownload, right?

there are a lot of hard-coded references to the Download page.
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Silentwings
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Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by Silentwings »

Are there that many hard coded references? I don't know of any others.
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PicassoCT
Journeywar Developer & Mapper
Posts: 10382
Joined: 24 Jan 2006, 21:12

Re: Fresh User Flow

Post by PicassoCT »

Maybe should employ a click farm to simulate games and traffic, and get some click-farmers into RTS gaming.
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