We are a topic-focused social learning platform for experts, educators, hobbyists, creators, and Students. Providing a paywall-free research and learning experience with accessibility to EVERYONE.
Joticle is a free centralized social learning platform that encourages shared community educational content sorted by topics. The site encourages the community made up of experts, students, and teachers to contribute to educational topics to expand it's library of educational content. Joticle offers a desktop web experience, along with an iOS tablet and mobile experience.
The iOS mobile app experience immediately takes you to a dashboard of seemingly random categories and a search bar. Immediately, the design and experience seemed fairly straightforward, albeit a bit dated looking. The very first topic was a history topic about the Ming Dynasty. Upon clicking on the topic, I'm greeted with a glossary of sorts. The overall experience of the app and navigating content really fails. It's 50/50 if tapping on a topic takes me to another list of sub-topics to choose from or to a content page. And when I do get presented to a content page, 99% of the time it's empty. I'm either presented with a blank page with a "No Data Available" shown, a page with a page title and no content, or a mysterious empty page with a page title and search bar and no instruction on what to do. More on this later...
The lack of content on virtually any of the topics I clicked on and even the lack of consistency of in the UI for empty pages makes the app even feel like it's less than broken... It doesn't even feel like an MVP, but a half-baked prototype. If I wasn't reviewing the app, I would have deleted the app within the first 2 minutes of using it. At this point, I'm actively trying to find content... any content. I navigate back to one of the pages in the Ming Dynasty with the mysterious search bar. There's literally no directly and nothing on the page to hint that the search is even active. It looks like a contentless and dead page. Deciding to give the search a shot, I type "FOOD" into the search, not expecting anything to happen. Lo and behold! I see the page start to populate with results and what do I get? One video result titled: "Food Theory: I SOLVED KFC'S Secret" and a second video result titled: "How Does KFC Protect it's Secret Recipe..."
And in case you think I'm just making this shit up... here's a screenshot.
Now I feel like I'm being trolled... The rest of the search results were random topics about the Ford Mustang and literally everything else that had nothing to do with the Ming Dynasty. I delete the search and type in the letter "C" to see what magical results I get and the top result was an article titled: "Cannabis Big Data." With the dismal first impression with the mobile experience, I decided to give the desktop experience a whirl. Immediately, the desktop version presented me with completely different and unexpected content than the mobile app and I wasn't sure why. It took a moment to realize that the desktop experience defaulted to latest Joticles. Clicking around, I realized that "Latest Joticles" was a bit misleading, as this seemed more like a collection of sponsors or business listings. Filtering back to "Trending Pods" I decided to click on the Ming Dynasty topic pod again and this time was greeted to actual content. Navigating down into the various sub-topics presented additional articles and content that was missing in the iOS mobile experience. Seems like there is an issue with the iOS version, which explains the underwhelming first impression I had using Joticle for the first time on the mobile app.
What Needs to be Fixed
What we don't like
In conclusion, I feel like this review is going to come across as very harsh just due to the failures of the iOS app experience leaving such a bad taste in my mouth that it may have influenced my desktop web experience of the Joticle, as well. With that said, I do stand behind the point that unless the app really ups it's game in it's visual design and branding, upping it's user experience, fixing the critical issue of the iOS app simply not working (seriously, remove the app from the iOS store until you can fix it), and really upping the quality and depth of the educational content, we really don't see how Joticle can really be more than just a hobby site. At best, it'll generate revenue to pay for itself and bring some side income, but needs serious work to make it a scalable enterprise business.