Demo for promoting codecademy w/out sign up


#1

I don't have a problem with getting people interested in coding. I do have a problem with getting people to sign up to a site that requires their information, when they aren't even invested yet. By having a demo that doesn't require a sign up process, we would be allowing potential members to see how exciting it is to code, how easy is to learn, without a step that allows them to question whether they're interested enough or not. This demo would remove the intimidation factor of learning.
Call it "Try this:" followed with some very simple. effective, and dazzling directions in CSS(not to wordy). Conclude with "Look how easy this is!" and you'll have new members signing up without the fear of commitment... because they'll know that they're committing to something easy.
This site is really quiet and I feel like this demo will bring codecademy the attention it deserves.


#2

Hey Robert,

If you scroll down the page to the footer or go to /learn, you can go to any of the courses without signing up :)
Newer courses do require signing up to actually do them, though, and I'm not sure why - @alexcommunitymgr maybe you know?

I don't think your progress gets saved if you go through a course part way, then sign up, which is might be part of why Codecademy pushes signing up :)


#3

I fail to see the big deal with filling a few blanks. The sign up is not time consuming, nor does it truly mandate that you enter your real info.


#4

The point is that codecademy needs a hook. I've had a dozen people look at this site and go "meh" upon seeing the sign up page. Could you imagine if they didn't "meh" and they too got 12 people who also didn't "meh"? They shouldn't have to find a course, they SHOULD be given a presentable and rewarding toy. The badges really work but they fade off in frequency and that's another issue.. but the point here is to have a feature that, if you are a new user, then here! play! (or skip if you already know this stuff) It's easy and not scary and it's fun! Imagine all the things you could create! confetti everywhere..
Badges: There needs to be a leaderboard with a point system grouping me up with others who have signed up in the same month as myself. Maybe you could use badges instead? I might be wrong but I think I remember a "win streak" reward of a sort for making it through a couple course sections when I first started. I thought cool!.. maybe I'll get another at 25 or 30.. 50? and then I thought... "what's this good for?.. maybe there's a community of people comparing badges? All I found was a wall of profile avatars "earned 38 minutes ago" and I don't think that serves a purpose at all. I can't talk to them.. ask them what they thought of whatever they did to earn the badge. We're not in the same chat group... A leaderboard would rank everyone, allowing members to set personal goals to pass someone who has.. 3 points more than yourself. Give the badges a purpose and create a motivated community.
Finally I have 2 points...this is a coding site...my first point is why doesnt < title> < /title> work in your preview window? The main product has flaws but this is a coding site.. teaching us how to code and I'd been coding for a month before I found the bug in the coding of this coding site.. Takes away from the credibility so why would someone purchase pro? Either don't ask us to use < title> in the exercises or disable the preview window and give us a work around until it is fixed. There shouldn't be coding related flaws in the thing that you use to teach coding... in my opinion of course. My second point is, why does codecademy feel so unorganized. I get that we're all programmers but is there a person with knowledge about user friendliness, accessibility, organization... fluidity? This is a coding site.. run by people who understand and support teaching others how to code. Why isn't the codecademy website a gorgeous example of the creators capabilities?

These are all feature requests to a degree. I love the tool offered here but I see some irony in learning from a teacher who maybe missed a few steps.. We're learning how to make websites here, and apps and other programming things and the requests/errors i've mentioned are completely program related.


#5

That's not a bug or flaw in Codecademy; that's default browser behavior, and it would be pretty hard to override.

Yes, Codecademy has UX and UI experts on their team. What parts of the site feel unorganized? It seems pretty good to me.


#6

I use Chrome. I thought chrome was the best? Does this mean the learning tool is just broken and unfixable?

Every page has threads with unrelated posts under them. I went to create a post in an effort to recruit people for a collaborative group. I saw below the description of the thread posts about errors and course questions. I'm confused because I didn't click on a link expecting to be lead into a miscellaneous section... but thats what it looked like. I can't find where to change my avatar, the little color squares next to each topic make absolutely no sense.. How does a brown square relate to "Feature and Course Requests"?
Right now, I'm typing in a box. Why do I see 2 replys, 2 flags, 2 bookmarks, 2 shares... with the upper reply and other things being to your post. My point is why am I seeing them? it's excess. I've already started a reply why do I need to see 2 more options of it? They should be hidden, with only the box that I am replying to highlighted. Then theres the "hide preview" all the way on the other side of the screen(bottom right)....with an arrow pointing to the left? And the "hide or show composer panel" downward arrow on the top right?.. no idea what that was until I hovered over it. Then the three little bars in the top center are to scale. Love that there are so many options for hiding specific things. Thats great but why is it sooooo scattered?. I feel like they should all be top center so I dont have to look for them.. with similar styling, color, size etc.. just like this text editor has a bar of options on the top. As a new person coming in, these are the things that I see. It's a bit overwhelming and confusing.
These are all just from this page, without scrolling lol


#7

Depends what you want, but they normally have more support for browser features than most other browsers.

...in all browsers, Chrome included.

We try to keep that from happening by using the Off-topic flag and asking people to create a new topic, but it happens, and there's only so much that can be done about it.

You can resize the writing area to take up the whole window, if you want a more "minimalistic" writing interface. I like seeing the rest of the posts, since I'll often need to check what the other person said, or grab quotes from them, like I'm doing right now.

I get that, but I think that having them separated indicates that they're for different stuff. If you put them all side by side, it's harder to know which one does what. I don't mind their locations. But the more you use something, the less you like change, and I use the forums a lot, so maybe my opinion doesn't count :)

Now, it's important to note that while the forums are part of Codecademy, they're actually third-party software that Codecademy has customized. So while they should definitely give a good experience too, I was actually asking more about unorganization on the main site :)

If I missed anything in your post, please let me know :)


#8

You are correct @zystvan only some of our courses allow people to view them completely anonymous right now. We have feedback from users for a "try before you buy" feature.

Thanks for the feedback! I'll pass it along to the rest of the team. Please feel free to keep sending us your feedback on the Codecademy product. It's what makes us better every iteration.

Thank you, and Happy Learning!
@AlexCommunityMgr
-Codecademy Community Manager


#9

I like this idea! We are always trying to improve our engagement and gamification.

Thank you, and Happy Learning!
@AlexCommunityMgr
-Codecademy Community Manager


#11

I don't. If you add a leaderboard, then everyone will just be trying to get the most points to be the best, and cause problems, for example people might could rush courses and so will not learn as much. There could also be nasty topics created about it and how x is better than y and so on.


#12

We can all make our own choices. AND any conversation created about this site is beneficial.. Just look at Google. They have a level system with an achievement system that allows users to progress. Google, as simple of a name as it is, is also no longer just a search engine, and people of all origins, education levels, and classes discuss the innovations that google is doing, thus promoting the company. my point is that if x being better than y fuels conversation... so what? it could be unfortunate that codecademy benefits from this leaderboard idea and I fail to see how the site would lose traffic from it.

Finally, I'm an intervention specialist/behavioral therapist. "Make it a game" is a tool we use to get clients through uncomfortable situations. We do this by making something like a chore, fun with a point system and little pats on the backs and rewards. Learning can be difficult, hard, and uphill sometimes.. why not make it fun? it really works and this can be applied to similar things in other aspects of life. Also, there a game called codecombat. :wink:


#13

It's actually not a bad idea to make a point system, though I do agree with @jibblyj that people may rush through the lessons.

It would be good that if this happens, you can change your settings to log you into something called GameBoard or something like that, and then you will be able to verse each other and be able to logout and not verse each other when you want.

I guess this is like what @helloworld1988 said... but hey, listen to me too! :smiley:

Also, I will ask that if there is a chatbox in the point system to have like a moderator in each, just in case something bad happens, like let's say bad language to others. Maybe a "Block" and "Report" button in it, too? You can also do that. :smiley: You can do one or the other, but now to think of it, the "Block" and "Report" part would be better. But if you actually add this button, can you put it somewhere that's hard to click so you will not be able to click it by accident? :smiley:

That might happen for people who use iPads and other things...

And maybe you can also make points with if you login in into the point system, you will have to do a quiz. That might be a solution to not rushing. :smile:

Like, let's say JavaScript:

There can be problems like this weekly:

1. Out of these, what are not bitwise operators?
- |
- ||
- &
- ^

If they get it right, they will achieve.. let's say... 5-10 pts? Depending on difficulty. :smiley:

Which since I brought up a quiz with JavaScript, this leads me to my next thing to talk about.

If the point system actually comes out, can you put like, types? Like:

JS System
HTML & CSS System
Python System
Ruby System

And others. That's a suggestion of mine, because not all of us always start with the same lessons, and it won't help people who have never tried the Ruby course (moi), but still get this question from something in Ruby. That wouldn't help.

Thank you for reading my suggestions. :smile:

If this really happens, I'll be waiting, people who joined around September 26. :sunglasses:


#14

Pretty much all of it? I'm glad they made a nicer looking forums, but it looks just as chaotic as the last one. This one also seems more confusing, likely in an attempt to stand out from the standard forum look. I like the little colored squares by threads, because all the gray/white/light colors gets a little boring, but there seems like so many. And maybe it's just personal preference, but I'd prefer not to have social icons in the top bar where all the important stuff should be. Also, when opening the same page I'm commenting on in another tab, it'd be great if my in progress response didn't show up in the new tab. It feels like if I make a change there it will affect my current progress here.

Then there's the main site; it's been a while since there last update, but a lot of parts feel separate from each other. Projects/Codebits have their own page, instead of being apart of the profile page as a collapsible section. Or better, a collapsible section that shows 3-6 of your most recent projects. That way it still has its own page, that will show/house all of your projects, but you still see a bit of it on your profile page. Then there's the In-Progress and Completed skills tabs. This one has always confused me, it's only recently that I realized the stuff below the tabs never changed. Maybe it be better to do something similar to how they have making is comment is here. With in progress on the left and completed on the right but, to keep the minimalist theme, a line down the the middle that doesn't touch either end; if that makes any sense at all. That being said, it's frustrating when a website keeps making visual changes. But I feel with the new stuff lessons they've added and this new forum, an update is needed to make them visually feel like they belong together.

But more on topic, I agree with helloworld, having something on the front page for people to dabble in would be nice. They used to have something similar to that, if I remember correctly. But I'm not sure why it was changed. Coincidentally, there's nothing on the front page that implies you can try any of it without signing up. In that case, it'd probably be better to have the video before the sign up feature. My screen is probably average sized, so I'm just barely seeing the video. I can see the title, but the full title isn't showing, so it's a little hard to know what it may be talking about without scrolling down.

Ugh, my comment is really long, but I also agree with at least making the badges more prominent. I know I have some, but it seems like they may have been removed? I don't know about a leaderboard per say, but having something present that makes it feel like your not just coding/learning by yourself would be great. Since the points/badges mean nothing, the only negative effect it should have is on those rushing instead of actually learning. And "nasty" topics could be deleted/removed by moderators. At least, I hope they can.