So....what are you folks thinking of the new look for Thingiverse.com? I'm totally bummed because I had been going through and viewing all of the old stuff on there (back when everyone was friends!) and now things have changed entirely. Yes, there are a bunch of other really interesting repositories -- but as someone who has been participating in Thingiverse since 2009 and seeing a lot of great innovation there, the makeover is ... NOT what I would have expected.
3 plus ones
Shared publicly•View activity
View 28 previous comments
- Looks pretty cool, but this bit in the TOS is kind of a bummer:
"Use the Thingiverse API for any application that replicates or attempts to replace the essential user experience of Thingiverse.com or that competes with the services of Thingiverse"
Kinda reminiscent of Twitters "no twitter clients" position, is that the intent?Jan 8, 2013
- ThantiKOwner+1I'm very close to stealth-trawling thingiverse, downloading everything, and mirroring it in a better format.Jan 9, 2013
- It looks like they've tweaked the layout a bit, I'm liking it much better today than yesterday. Seems a bit cleaner too.Jan 10, 2013
- I thought this comment on the Thingiverse Google Group was interesting. Too harsh?
Joe Kerman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
10:30 AM (10 minutes ago)
You dont get to play the "we are a small team of people" card for
sympathy anymore. You are a closed-source hardware company with 150+employees, a booth at CES, retail space in Manhattan, a factory in Brooklyn, and are (partially) owned by billionaires. You need to send complaints about staff to HR, not to the public mailing list.
The site doesn't suck because the team is too small, it sucks because the goal of the design sucks. Whatever team decided that what people really want is a dashboard, and that browsing items by upload date isnt important, sorting by tool used isnt important, and that nobody has a monitor more than 10" wide, cant be saved by more time or coders.
Sorry to be so harsh. But you are no longer the little open source
hardware company that deserves all the patience in the world for
taking a financial hit to support the open source 3d printing
movement. You are a giant company that has no need to placate people like me anymore, and its painful to watch things you love be taken in a direction away from you.Jan 10, 2013
- After reflection, I find Joe's message too harsh.
While he's right that the management of expectations bit is certainly complicated by Makerbot's role as a business, I'd say it doesn't really work to make claims to understand precisely the goals behind their design changes. Better to describe how you use the site and how the changes effect you as an individual.
I don't say this in defense of the thingiverse web dev team, but more that I get a sense that these changes are to do with how they suspect that people use thingiverse (complicated by marketing goals of Makerbot, but probably not that much: the tverse web team are real "believers" in the mission of thingiverse).
I think sharing clearly how one uses the site might be helpful to them or to another team looking to propose a different model or a new repository. I'm more like Joe in how i used Thingiverse -- I suspect that most of the hardcore users of Thingiverse "read" it chronologically to find the real stuff, rather than waiting for the small Makerbot team that features stuff to determine what you learn about. But having spent a lot of time with casual users, they don't use thingiverse like I do and don't want to put that kind of time in.
I still haven't found the way to use the new version for my favorite way to use thingiverse, but I'm going to give the new approach another week and see whether my attitude changes. Certain elements like the publishing tools are really helpful and I'm already preferring those. Maybe I'll sort out how to escape the curatorial direction of the site to get a clear sense of what the actual community is doing there. Probably that's going to work out or another repository appear to solve this, so I'm less frustrated than I was when I first shared a note about this change.
They are a small team, but they are a very capable one. I have high expectations. And certainly the arrival of Tony's tools to thingiverse like the iPhone creator should be celebrated. There is so much that might be done with tools like those!
MattJan 12, 2013
- As I think about it more I think the reaction is a mixture of genuine bugs/usability changes and a "too clean" design refresh. The site is now a clear extension of the brand and look of Makerbot.com instead an identity of its own. I thought the big Thingiverse logo with "a makerbot industries website" had more character personally. But I also think it's a perception that the dynamic nature of it is more controlled now. It's amazing to have press releases and then about Ford putting 3d printers in their engineers desk and then see a featured engine from, new member, Ford, but it feels like a tacky marketing ploy. Don't get me wrong, I still downloaded the engine and plan to use it as an example of what can be done on my printers. What is missing are the google ad banners that used to be at the top and sides. I don't have an opinion either way about ads, just noticing and element that was there. My guess is it will cost but $$ to put ads on that site. It is a more professional looking site but some of the white areas (negative space) clearly indicate future features down the road. The only thing I do think should happen is more money and staff should be thrown at it, if the community didn't care about it they would just close their accounts and be done. It will great to see it continue to adapt.Jan 13, 2013