Patrick Loonstra is designer at patrickloonstra.nl and has several pages on ZEEF such as adobe.ZEEF.com, sketch.ZEEF.com and groningen.ZEEF.com. Frido van Driem contacted him and asked him to share his experience about the platform.
How did you find out about ZEEF.com?
Via Fast Moving Targets where your colleague Rick Boerebach was talking about ZEEF.
What was your initial reaction?
It looked a lot like Delicious. I use Delicious from the start, but it is mainly for my own link collection. So after I heard about ZEEF I was very interested in trying the product. Now if I find an interested link, that fits in one of the pages I made, I will place it there.
What are the benefits of using ZEEF for you?
When I put a link on ZEEF it feels more important than providing the link to Delicious. I hope that the system eventually will show the best content. Other people can help me curate my content. Delicious is just a long list of links. Authority is not yet an issue. I am very curious when more people are writing about one of the subject I publish on Groningen.ZEEF.com, Sketch.ZEEF.com, Adobe.ZEEF.com and a few more to come. Then the real power of collaborated curating for subject will be shown.
I really enjoy using ZEEF as a bookmarking tool for myself and others. It is one of the parts of helping other people.
How was the process of creating a ZEEF page?
This was sometimes quite difficult. I mean where do you start? For example what is your first link block going to be about? When I was creating the page about Sketch I had resources, learning, plugins and official links. But between blocks there is a lot over overlap in subjects. It was difficult to decide what kind of link blocks I have to use. I am wondering how my interaction of ZEEF will develop after using it more often.
What improvements would you like to see?
There are still a lot of glitches in the system. Of course, as a designer, I see them directly. And I know that the whole platform is quite new, it involves a lot of different disciplines to build something like ZEEF.
Stuff like microcopy. Messages as “Cannot add link.” is not sufficient in a case I saw, because it does not say what the issue exactly is, and how I can fix it.
Further, the layout, the typography and the colours need to be designed from a more global perspective. The whole platform should feel and react the same and, ideally, how a user expects it to work. This is a whole lot of work. The cohesion between logo, blocks, interface. Colour and typography should be adjusted. The font is not optimal for reading.
Furthermore in terms of design, there is no difference between frontend and backend. As a user you don’t know when you are working on the back end or when you are working on the front end. I really hope it will become easier to add an image but I know you are working on this. This should be done easier. I still need to do some html to show a picture (note: this feature has been introduced in version 2014.6).
There could be some improvements about the widget customization. I would love to have the same colors in the widget that I use on my website (note: this feature has been introduced in version 2014.4). Can I have a link block that contains the best links about one subject? I want to have more room for visuals on my page. A big header image representing one page can make it more clear what the subject is. Nowadays everybody does this because the internet is getting more visual. People don’t want to read anymore.
I found the link description and block description but I did not use this yet. Maybe you should make it more clear that these two functionalities exists.
Enough work to do, and I would love to help with that.
“Thanks for your great suggestions and comments. We are working hard to solve them all and provide you the best UI Experience” – Frido van Driem
Was it clear what all the products of ZEEF were?
Yes, no doubt for me what it is, and what the value eventually will be. For me, but also for the rest of the users, the world, the universe.
Is it clear that you can earn money with ZEEF?
It is, but I question of that must be a big drive for people to participate in the platform.
Do you have any questions?
For now, no. I will keep playing with the platform and looking for improvements. I will keep you posted on my journey with ZEEF.com.