I realize this is opening a can of worms, but… pretty much every time I end up on the home page it’s a mistake and I wanted my dashboard instead. I’m pretty sure this is true for anyone who actually uses Beeminder. Also, the bee and BEEMINDER in the upper left is a nice large click target, but doesn’t go somewhere I ever have a reason to go.
A nice large link to the dashboard on the homepage would help, but what I really want is for the homepage to just show the dashboard itself. Maybe followed by a divider and then the normal homepage content, on the off chance I wanted to see that stuff (it would admittedly be confusing if you had to log out to see it).
Agreed. I actually keep on forgetting that my name is the link to the dashboard and for some reason (can’t explain) click the “Premium” link in the nav instead. Making the dashboard the homepage would be rad.
The craziness of “log out to see the normal home page” is why we’ve
resisted for so long. But I suppose we can only buck industry standards for
so long. Or maybe that should be a matter of pride? Eg, http://blog.beeminder.com/autocancel (point being that industry standards
can be downright sociopathic – but admittedly “front page redirects to
dashboard” isn’t. it’s just urlpathic ).
Oh, one baby step in the right direction that should be wholly
noncontroversial: replace the “start a goal” button on the front page with
a “dashboard” button.
Trello has their logo in the middle and “Boards” in the left corner. Admittedly they both go to your list of boards, but it would make sense for the logo to go to a normal home page. If Beeminder did this (made the link in the upper left corner, whatever it says, go to the dashboard) it would solve the problem for me. It’s not like I’m literally typing www.beeminder.com into the URL bar, but clicking your own username to go to the dashboard is actually pretty non-obvious.
I just voted for the status quo (got here from today’s beemail). I have a mild preference for the status quo because that’s how I look at what automated integrations Beeminder has and to start the process of creating a new auto goal.
I guess to be fair I should point out that you can always do that (see the gallery of integrations) by going to beeminder.com/new or clicking “New Goal”.
Also let me repeat my arguments for the status quo from the daily beemail:
A URL is a URL and “beeminder.com” is the URL for the front page and “beeminder.com/[username]” is the URL for your gallery. If we redirect “beeminder.com” then it’s like the front page content just doesn’t exist if you’re logged in and you have to log out to see it. I realize you give zero rats’ butts about the front page but it still feels all… inelegant. We could do something more elaborate like redirecting “beeminder.com” to “beeminder.com/home” so the front page has a consistent URL, logged in or not, but we’re ruling that out for other reasons.
Also, if it’s your browser’s autocomplete that makes this annoying, here’s a pro tip:
In Chrome and Firefox at least, you can delete “beeminder.com” from the autocomplete suggestions and then it should start autocompleting to “beeminder.com/[username]”. The trick is to start typing the URL till the one you want to get rid of shows up, arrow down to it, and then do something like shift-function-delete (that’s what works on Chrome for Mac) or shift-delete (should work for Chrome for Windows or Linux) or alt-shift-backspace (Chromebooks).
I’m curious what the “other reasons” are, because moving the front page to “beeminder.com/home” is my first thought. I mean, I think it’s important to the logic of your argument to understand why beeminder.com deserves to be the front page instead of a redirect-only address.
Just that we’d have to work out seo implications and think about how/whether the new /home URL is linked to and stuff. Also it seems ugly for non-logged-in users to get redirected like that. I’d rather minimize unknown-unknowns by just following the example of a website we trust. Stripe.com does it like we do it now and Github.com does it where you just don’t get to see the front page when not logged in. So I’m inclined to follow one of those examples. If you know of a website (one that we trust to be as savvy as Stripe or GitHub) that does the /home redirect, that might change my mind.
I doubt anybody notices redirects these days (I mean do normal people look at the address bar ever?), but I definitely didn’t think about the SEO type things. I live a sheltered life as an infrastructure engineer. This doesn’t really seem like the feature worth rocking the Google boat for.
In any case, here’s a few random websites which redirect away from $DOMAIN.com:
My argument about this is less about “dashboard on /” but rather:
Imagine Beeminder made the perfect onboarding website that attracts
randoms-with-money and converts them into paying users.
Imagine Beeminder had the best page for logged in users to learn about new
features, new integrations, bug fixes, and ideas for helper goals and
things to beemind.
Where would they put the first one? Where would they put the second one?
Why would anyone who is already a customer want to see the first one?
Would they ever want a non-customer to see the second one before the first
If you don’t think Beeminder should have a “logged-in-user homepage” with
details only really important to existing users, you can think about the
dashboard as being that part.
Right now, at least half of the front page is not aimed at an existing
customer–the “what is beeminder” text, the video, and the testimonials.
Hmm, what about if when logged in, beeminder.com/ 300-redirects to /[user] when a user is logged in, but if they’re already on their dashboard, the beeminder logo-link becomes /?noredir=1 (so the logged-in user can still access the homepage, if they choose)
I feel like that would keep the modern website expectation of “when logged in, visiting the home page takes you to your dashboard”, while not (entirely) breaking url sanctity.
From all other pages (goal pages, for example) clicking the logo-link could bounce you through / => /[user] (to meet @kenoubi’s very good point about large click targets leading to undesired locations)
Personally, I’m for status quo not because the home URL is the home URL, but because my URL is my URL. I can copy my dashboard link and send it to people and say this is my stuff. Honestly, that’s not a thing I do, and I’m sure this could be accomplished fairly easily even if the change were made. But something about going to the dashboard page and having my name up there in the url makes it feel more mine.
Ah, yes, that wouldn’t change no matter what. If we deviate from the status quo it would be only to automatically redirect to beeminder.com/n54843 so you’d still see that in the address bar! Thanks for asking about this!
That would still be the case with the proposed change. Your dashboard url would still be yours and you could still send it to people. The change is just that if you go to beeminder.com when you’re logged in, it will redirect you to your dashboard.
I’m now thinking some convex combination of @minstrelofc and @apolyton’s proposals is correct (thanks everyone!). Like we can have the front page content at both root and /home, set one (I’m thinking root) as the canonical version, then make the logo link to root or /home…
not logged in: logo always links to root which shows front page
logged in and on dashboard: logo links to /home
logged in and anywhere else including /home: logo links to root which redirects to dashboard
That’s starting to sound like the best of all worlds. There’s a permalink for the front page that works no matter what (/home), beeminder.com either shows the front page with no ugly redirect or redirects to your dashboard if you’re logged in, like people expect, and the logo is a link to wherever you probably want to go (to your dashboard whenever that makes sense and otherwise to the front page).
But in any case we’re just going to try deploying the redirect first since The People Have Spoken (70% favoring redirect as I type this).