We wanted to update you on changes to the product over the past quarter, and a slight change of our direction.
We talked to a lot of you, and noticed that the answer to the question — "What do you like most about Commonlounge?" was our Playlists. An overwhelming majority of our users found our playlists on Competitive Programming and Algorithms and Data Structures extremely useful. Given this, we have decided to double down on this aspect of the product: we renamed Playlists to Lists, made them a lot more powerful (see next section) and we have been busy at work working on a wide variety of new topics. To start off, we are releasing the following 10 new lists that we hope a lot of you will find interesting:
- Learn Machine Learning, from novice to expert
- Deep Learning, from novice to expert
- Web Development List
- UX Design List
- UI Design List
- Product Management List
- How to Grow Your Startup
- How Bitcoin Works
- How the Blockchain Works
- Getting Into Your Dream College: A Master Guide
Two of these lists — Deep Learning and Web Development — have been rewritten from scratch with all new content.
Here's everything else we have been working on:
As mentioned above, the List interface has been redesigned to make it a lot more useful. First of all, Lists now have sections to better organize the 25-30 articles that comprise it. These section headings appear as a Table of Contents on the left sidebar. In addition, contributions to the list are calculated and displayed prominently on the bottom right.
In addition, you can now Bookmark any item to save it for later right from the list, and you can access your bookmarks on your profile. We also added the expected reading time for each item right there:
As for the individual articles in a list, we decided to let anyone edit and improve them. These wikis come complete with Edit History that you can access by clicking the Last Updated label, and be able to quick Revert to a previous version if need be. We believe that this is going to be one of the most powerful features of Commonlounge as we move forward, for it enables everyone to improve and update the articles as time passes and things go out-of-date.
In addition, we believe in assigning credit where it's due. As soon as you edit any wiki, our algorithms calculate your contributions relative to others, and automatically update the Contributors section on the right both on the wiki as well as the lists it is a part of. Magic ✨
Another aspect that lets the content creators get feedback and improve their lists is to know how they are doing. As soon as you mark any item as completed in a list, we prompt you to leave a rating out of 5, as well as answer some quick questions on how we did. It really is very helpful, and we have been looking at every single review to improve the content.
Other major improvements include the site speed (you may have noticed that the first page loads a lot faster: this is enabled by Server-side Rendering) and a redesign of the home page, community pages (to allow us to put the lists right up on top) and new landing pages to better reflect what Commonlounge is about.
We can go on listing down all the improvements we have made — but we will let you discover some of them for yourself (Hint: there may be some hidden easter eggs.)
Hope you like this updated, faster, more fabulous version of Commonlounge. Please let us know how we can do better. And as always, leave your feedback and comments below.