I wanna brainstorm this: What information would you show instantly to a new person on Mastodon, in a tutorial screen?

Here is one thing I am certain about: Showing them their full handle (with the domain part).

Screen 1: Welcome, username@domain (elephant waving a greeting)

Screen 2: Home (elephants cuddling together), arrow to Local (planet with elephant on it), arrow to Federated (galaxy)

Screen 3: Reply (elephants exchanging a speech bubble), Boost (one elephant holding a painting in front of a crowd), Favourite (elephant hugging a box)

Screen 4: Hashtag column with mouse hovering over the settings icon, then with the settings expanded mouse hovering over "pin column", then the UI with new column

Please give me feedback on these before I commission the illustrations


Showing them that they can follow specific tags in different "boxes" (or whatever they are called)

@Gargron @selea Columns. And yes, the columns should be explained, many people who have never used TweetDeck.

@trwnh @Gargron

Columns is the name! I always forget basic words when I am tired

@Gargron maybe something about timelines, it is confusing when arriving from the birb site

really it still confusing me sometimes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

@mdkcore @Gargron Seconded. I think the concept of timelines and instances confuses first-timers.

In general, I would Not show the local timeline without an explanation. It can be a firehose.

@Gargron I feel like instances need a better, more concise description. That's the most common point of confusion I see. I use the metaphor of them being like towns, each with its own rules.

@amydentata @Gargron I feel like comparing them to email addresses is a much better idea, since most people using masto will be familiar with email addresses at the least

@camellirite @Gargron However, email addresses don't have moderators and community rules

@gargron How to find and choose an instance. It's the only thing that scares away people I know

@Gargron Tutorial must show the way to interact with an other users using our dialect. Words like Joseo, Discrepo, Aloe Vera... its an idea

Handle and then that they can follow people from any instance; Maybe show some accounts from different instances or generally list the biggest instances?

@Gargron a quick summary of instances and local/federated timelines (probably with pictures)

@Gargron Show them alternative frontends.I mean other webclients like Halcyon and Pinafore as well as the mobile apps.Mastodons default frontend is very confusing if you come from the birdsite (I still don't understand it lol)

@Gargron as someone who has never used twitter I didn't understand what boost / fave did, and how they were different. Everybody just explained it to me with twitter analogies.


My impulse whenever a website tries to give me a tutorial is to immediately dismiss it, so being able to re-show the tutorial would be nice.

@Gargron gotta have a dabbing elephant somewhere

@Mainebot But is it complete or still missing something. The last screen feels oddly specific.

@Gargron @Mainebot Maybe have the last screen as something like a "tips and tricks" page rather than just oddly specifying hashtags?

@alicerunsonfedora @Mainebot It's not specifying hashtags. Maybe the headline could be "Customize your interface" and a blurb of text to say you can pin almost any column and there are various settings for each one. But still. Is there more that needs to be said, in more screens?

@Gargron @Mainebot Maybe (not really necessary, though) have a screen for the mobile/desktop apps available? One thing I usually look for with a network is if there are apps for it, but I don't know if a lot of people are the same with that

@gargron yeah I was gonna say: it's leaning into pinning hashtags kind of a lot.

Is there an FAQ/Answers/help that can be referenced? Then you can have a cute mastodon reading a book with question marks for like... Additional information.

It almost makes sense to have one in overalls and with tools signposting to settings for people to get set-up properly.

@Gargron my feedback: the words should stay, illustrations optional. the great opportunity of the onboarding widget is that it's a place where you can use words and they EXPECT words

the rest of the UI tries to be symbolic, this is your chance to use words for ppl who understand that way. i know you're trying to reduce translation load but idk

@cosine Drawings are more memorable than just words. They're also like rewards for reading rather than skipping. I feel like that's a good strategy.

@Gargron totally legit! keep the drawings then! but id opt to still have at least some words

@cosine The flat lines below are placeholders for words!

@Gargron ohhhh okay, then cool!!

then all id say is, i never even used Twitter and reply / boost / fav made total sense to me without explanation

@Gargron What happened to the federation concept from Screen #2 on. That's probably the hardest concept for people to wrap their brains around in the Fediverse. I think most people understand the direct interactions because of their use of other social media systems. Will the animations show the interaction with the rest of galaxy? Following an elephant on another planet? etc.

@Gargron What about working in a mention or example of how hashtags work? You want them used more, and I agree.

They’re also a good, flexible way of finding people to follow, which I regularly see as a complaint from new folks here.

@chartier @Gargron I find that so many times when I try to view a hashtag I'm seeing results that are really really old, even when I know I've added to it recently

@Gargron I love this! I feel like a CW should be featured on screen 3 though.

@chrisWhite @chartier I think that once you click on "reply" you can figure out hashtags and mentions quite quickly (i.e. a mention is pre-filled when you reply), so it's not really worth including in the tutorial. I feel like the attention is a finite resource there, so wanna stick to the most foundational concepts.

@Gargron @chartier that's fair, I just found content warnings a bit confusing given that they aren't something I'd run into on other networks.

@Gargron @chrisWhite But if people aren’t using hashtags much, none will be pre-filled in the reply, right?

Feels like a sort of reverse chicken-and-egg situation.

@chartier @Gargron @chrisWhite what I would like to see its a community where everyone is equal and the followers are hidden ... the only thing interesting would be the number of boosts and favourites then people will see ok that toot had a lot of boosts maybe that person is worth following

@Gargron And one more about following people: it might be worth mentioning #Trunk somewhere, although the mass follow buttons seem to be bugged at the moment.

It’s still a handy resource, though it could use some design polish.

@chartier There are many 3rd party things I'd wanna include, from specific apps, to tools, to, but I think I cannot do that. The version of Mastodon might still be live years after any of those things stop being maintained.

@Gargron @chartier you could have that information consumed from some api, or publicly visible repository. Like the awesome lists you often see on GitHub.

@Gargron I really like the idea of screen 3, but to be frank, I think most people are probably familiar with those controls (thanks to twitter exposure)
I wouldn't devote too much of the commission-funding pool there

@Gargron might be a bit confusing with globe being the icon for federated timeline in the interface

@Gargron @SneakyMission castle or town, maybe? Federation would then be a map with towns (or castles) on it. Which isn't quite right but is a good direction at least.

@tewha @SneakyMission Steve the new tutorial has been released in 2.7.0 a few weeks ago. This discussion is no longer relevant. I'm just re-sharing my sketches because they look silly

@Gargron @SneakyMission Oh, sorry! :) I wonder if there's a way to see it.

As sketches, though, that's totally the right approach: rough and silly.

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