JumpInChat Update — Un-stupiding some interaction

This week’s update has several updates, improving features and adding a few more. Like I said in last week’s update, the focus is on enticing new users. I’ve improved this by fixing some UI irritations and confusing interactions. Notable among this is the addition of a settings menu in the interface, which finally allows the changing of basic settings within the app.

Additionally, I’ve created an admin section of the website. This will give me visibility on the goings on, such as active rooms, registered users and so forth. I’ll add more functionality to this soon to give more control and make things easier to manage.

Settings menu

One issue that’s been problematic for quite some time is not being able to alter basic settings without having to use roundabout methods like chat commands. Chief among these is changing chat colour, which you could previously only change via a command. This would cycle through colours, which was tedious and frustrating, particularly when you clashed with other users’ colours.

The solution to this was to add a colour picker to select a colour. However, there needed to be an appropriate place to do this. Thus, I created the settings menu.

It does a lot more than that, though. It also fixes an issue with opening the banlist, which you could only do before if there was another user in the room. This was because you could only access it via the user dropdown menu. It is now located in the settings menu because that makes a lot more sense.

Furthermore, you can set whether YouTube videos will play via the same menu. This will change the setting locally, and if you’re registered and logged in it will also change your user setting.

Admin section

As there is more potential of users these days, I decided it would be useful to add an admin section of the site to control the goings on. There’s been several attempts at this, creating a separate app and hosting it separately using various technologies and so forth. In the end I made a restricted section of the website, which had the advantage of being rather simple and cheap. It also makes a lot more sense over all.

Currently the functionality is to display information, such as active rooms and registered users and the details of each. I’ve also integrated a form to send global site messages, which could be handy if I’m messing about with stuff or I’m just goofing around.

In the long run, I’ll add a way to manage rooms and moderate the site more efficiently. It can also allow for easier user interaction, such as sending messages/emails to users for whatever reason, as well as things such as reporting. An important feature in the back of my mind, a reporting dashboard will be necessary when there are more active users to clean up any creepy goings on or nefarious behaviour.

Market research

I’ve been poking around the internet looking for places that might benefit from a site such as mine. Facebook groups, Reddit communities and message boards are all potential places that might like a place to group together and stare at each other’s faces. This will be an ongoing process, and won’t be quick to provide results. Mostly this is due to this being a new domain for me, as I am far from a marketer of any sort. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting process.

I’ve also trailed Google AdWords a bit, which gave me a few hits. This was initially quite interesting, as I figured it might have been easier to get users than I thought. However upon closer inspection I found that it was mostly people looking for adult chat sites and porn. Sadly, not my target audience.

Possibly I could improve the keywords, make the targeting more specific and some other marketing words, but I’ll put this on hold. Mostly because it costs money and I want to avoid that if at all possible.

What’s next?

I’ll be continuing on the market research work. If there are any necessary improvements that come up, those will be a focus. Otherwise, feedback from the people/groups I get in touch with will be what I spend most attention on, assuming it’s what I think would be worthwhile on a high level.

As always, go to https://jumpin.chat and make a chat room, invite people and have fun and stuff.
The only way I can make this thing better is having you break it! Or even better getting even more people using it who then also break it!

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