Techstars Business

I've recently signed up for a Pro account and while I love the features available to both plus and pro account holders, I find the workflow exhausting, confusing, and often doesn't quite accomplish what you want.

I'm going to outline some of my issues, then suggest a solution or two.

Groups and channels and albums and porfolios, OH MY! Waaay too many options. It's not evident what the difference is, and it feels like you could easily make this one thing, with more robust options associated with it.

For instance, I like portfolios, but I can't embed them. Like the whole point of it is just a private website? Why can't I make any album or channel into a private website? I also love how you can bulk add videos to a portfolio, but when using albums or channels, you have to add videos one at a time. This is extremely burdensome!

Albums are great b/c I can password protect them. But the videos inside them can be public, which completely defeats the purpose of password protecting an album when you can reach the individual videos without a password.

Channels could be cool, but no password protection features. The only real advantage I see to channels is you can have a moderator. I'm not sure I see the point of why this has to be it's own unique thing.

I don't see a way to have a typical TV-type organization system, like a 'channel' with multiple 'series' on it.

Also, as a pro user, we have multiple people that should be uploading videos, but right now I have no way of giving them collaborative access to something (album, channel, portfolio, whatever). I should be able to give certain people the ability to upload and administer a set of videos.

SO - here is my suggestion:
Create only ONE type of video set, call it a channel or playlist or whatever. Within that set, give people more control.
- embed? Great! here's the embed code. Don't make me search on 3 pages to find it. Should be right in the settings area.
- Password protect it? Great! All videos underneath it inherit that password (read: WITHOUT backdoor access unless specifically overridden) instead of me clicking each and every video and adding a password.
- Want to create a custom website around it? Great! Pick one of these themes or use your own CSS.
- Collaborate? Great! Let the following people do the following things to this set of videos (upload, download, change order, admin whole set, whatever).
- add videos to a set? EASY! Once in the set, just select the videos you want to add. Just like you do in the portfolio set, instead of adding each and every video like you do now for albums, channels, etc.

You guys keep adding features, which is wonderful, but you did it piecemeal instead of considering the entire user experience, which is extremely cumbersome if you're a pro user (or any user really). If you're uploading onsey twosey type stuff, fine. But not if you have tons of videos.

My 2 cents, love the product, would love to see the workflow improve.


Soxiam Staff

You have some excellent points here and we agree with you so first thank you for your suggestions.

We think there's room for improvements particularly in unifying the collection creation tools (settings) and guiding our users through how these tools should be used differently. Much of these improvements are on the way in our current redesign effort which we are actively working on.

FWIW, these are the main differences in how we suggest these collections are used.

Albums are for personal organization of videos and for sharing. This tool is not meant as a bulk privacy editing. Rather it's for adding multiple videos to one bundle and easy sharing via password protection regardless of individual videos' privacy settings.

Channels are meant for showcasing a set of videos in a customizable environment.

Groups are meant for starting a mini-community around a common theme. Aside from videos, it offers additional tools to interact with other members and maintaining a conversation around your theme or interest.

Portfolios are specifically made for PRO users who wants to showcase their videos in a customizable and unbranded environment. This was our first attempt and we are aggregating feedback from users which will be reflected as we iterate.

As for merging all these into a single set of collections, I think there's pro's and con's to that. For one thing these collections offer enough feature variances and trying to combine them into a single code base would introduce a lot of overhead and some maintenance issues.

Quick question... can you elaborate on this? "embed? Great! here's the embed code. Don't make me search on 3 pages to find it. Should be right in the settings area."


Techstars Business

The weird thing about what you just said is that they're all basically the same thing. Grouping videos. Ultimately that's what you're trying to do, group videos together for some purpose. What you do with that video group (share, embed, publish, keep private, create a community, whatever) are all just features of that grouping.

The problem is that there are too many options and one spends waaay to long figuring out which 'collection' would work best for them, and I'm finding that I need a set of features that span across multiple collections, but no single collection has all the features. I understand that you created the different collections to accommodate different uses, but by doing that, you made it bulky, clunky, and difficult to navigate. By streamlining into one collection, then adding all the feature sets there, you could accomplish the same thing. I would add that you could embed a collection within a collection, and the parent collection would drive the features of the child collection (unless specifically overwritten). This would accomplish literally 100% of what you guys do now, in a much cleaner, easier to use interface.

I'm surprised that managing the code set of one collection would be more cumbersome than managing the code set of multiple collections and I don't think I believe that. But what I do believe is that it would require an entire rewrite of your code, which may or may not be possible. But I would argue, if you don't do it, someone will...

Embed code elaboration: If trying to embed an album, you have to do so via a widget. Which requires a few click throughs. Just give me the embed code! See wistia for a great simple way to do this.

On a video's page. where's the embed code? Oh wait, I see it, it's in an icon inside the video, which isn't obvious. There should be a share area on the right side, with all my options for sharing. Link is: email to: embed code is:...

It just isn't in an obvious place.

Annex Pro

Annex Pro

+1 pro user, we have multiple people that should be uploading videos, but right now I have no way of giving them collaborative access to something

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