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RokuNB
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Developer portal pain points?

Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:10 pm

I'd like to do an informal survey with the developer community (as exemplified by forum attendees), to solicit some feedback - what are your issues and concerns regarding our dev.portal - https://developer.roku.com/developer - the place where we create, manage and publish channels?

Is it colors, fonts, arrangement, a particular functionality or lack thereof? Pet peeves, what needs fixing, what should be added?
One post per person, please - but enumerate if multiple gripes or even order wishlist as you see fit. If somebody has mentioned something, please mention it again if it is on your hotlist too.
 
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marcelo.cabral
Posts: 326
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:53 am

Re: Developer portal pain points?

Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:33 pm

I just submitted a channel so it's fresh, let me list my suggestions:

  • At "Channel Store Info": should have some mechanism to save the draft version, I spent long minutes writing a description and the session expired and I lost all of it, also the web description should allow basic formatting like bold and bullet list.
  • Still in "Channel Store Info" is very rare you would classify your channel differently per country, so we choose USA and have a checkbox to say "use the same for all the other countries"
  • At "Screenshot": one very annoying, my Roku devices only give me 1280x720 screenshots and I have to increase the size of all images, as it's now required to be 1920x1080
Now related to Manage My Channels:
  • The sort order of the channels is random 
  • When you choose to see the analytics or crash log, there is no easy way to switch to other channel
  • Analytics: The averages shown on top are based on streaming and not suitable for Apps or Games, the ideal would be visitors and active time 
  • Analytics: If the page could remember the configuration (metrics, day/week/month, etc) by Channel would be great
Other areas
  • The author of a channel should be added automatically to the "test users", I payed for my first public channel :) (it was refunded but you get the point)
  • When I'm testing "in-channel-purchase" I don't need to receive an email with the $0 purchase every time I buy it (there is the transaction log for testers)
  • Would be good the have stats on the website about the "in-channel-products"
  • Please fix the balance on the activities reports, mine are wrong for years now!
 
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destruk
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Re: Developer portal pain points?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:35 am

There is no visible way to change the payment account routing/account number, or paypal address if you use paypal.  If an account is closed and it needs to be changed there isn't any way to edit that.
When setting up items to purchase, it would save a lot of time if the system created the available choices by default instead of requiring us to manually make each one.  Also, rather than selecting which channels to include the item, by default it should add all of them to all channels - and then it would be up to the channel itself to request it.  If it's not requested, it's not used, but having it available for use makes more sense than us needing to specify every channel to allow the product individually.
The billing system portal (add in channel products) is extremely slow - it times out after trying to add more than 3 items in a session requiring logging in again.  We got around this by opening each screen in a separate tab and then ignoring the timeout error messages after submitting each tab.
Ideally - I don't know if the firmware allows it or not - it would be preferable to allow for dynamically creating payment requests like Stripe and paypal do - where you send your key, the description you want, the price and terms, at the time of purchase from the app, instead of requiring all this background work to generically charge a sale.

Then there is the PIN code issue - where if your app uses it's own pin code, and the roku user has their roku pin enabled for their roku account, they will get two PIN requests - that's stupid.
We still need a way to know at least if the roku pin is enabled - I don't think you want to actually trust your developers with more customer information than you can get away with but this is a partnership - between the developer and roku, so you ought to be slightly more open IMO.
 
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destruk
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Re: Developer portal pain points?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:15 pm

On my list too --
  • Still in "Channel Store Info" is very rare you would classify your channel differently per country, so we choose USA and have a checkbox to say "use the same for all the other countries" 
  • At "Screenshot": one very annoying, my Roku devices only give me 1280x720 screenshots and I have to increase the size of all images, as it's now required to be 1920x1080
  • Now related to Manage My Channels:
  • The sort order of the channels is random -- to elaborate - I'd prefer to have the sourt order be able to be set on a per-developer account basis instead of global.  Each developer account should have their own customizable default sort.  Some devs will want the public published channels at the top, or all private channels at the top, by number of installed accounts, alphabetical, last updated date, etc etc.  For a start having all the channels listed alphabetically would be an improvement.
  • When you choose to see the analytics or crash log, there is no easy way to switch to other channel
The test users thing doesn't bother me, but then I do agree with the request to have the developer account automatically added.
 
renojim
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Re: Developer portal pain points?

Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:23 am

I just spent some time in the portal, so let me start my ran... I mean list my suggestions.  :-)
  • First (and maybe foremost), the background.  It literally gives me a headache.  Does it really need to be #FFF?  It can't be toned down a little bit?  It might not be so bad if there wasn't so much of it (read on).  By the way, as I was using the portal and writing this, I had to get up to take some Excedrin.  No lie.
  • The "My Channels" layout is terrible.  One long vertical list?  I'd like to see a grid of all my channel icons (similar to the Roku home screen).  When I click on one, I'm taken to all of that channels options, reports, settings, etc.  I don't see the reason for the current links - "Preview and Update", "View Analytics", and then there's "Options" with more choices.  Put all of that stuff together on the next page when I select a channel.  A grid would tremendously cut down on all that blinding white on at least one page (there would still be way too much on subsequent pages).
  • The Capcha nonsense.  There has to be something better than a "one size fits all" approach.  Certainly established developers shouldn't have to be lumped in with the scammers and content pirates.  There's nothing worse than working late into the night to fix/create something and then have to battle Capcha to submit an update.
  • The landing page once you select a channel appears no different than what was shown under the main "Manage My Channels" page.  Just another opportunity to blind me for no reason.  Oh wait, there's some new drop-down menu.  Now I've used this site multiple times and it took me a while to remember what the purpose of this page was.  Imagine a new developer.  In general, I'm no fan of drop-down menus, but when you've got a huge blank page, if you've got something to show me, just show it to me.  Take everything off of those menus and cover up some of that annoying white (are you sensing a theme here).  Honestly, if I were teaching a course in web page design or UI design, I'd use this site as the prime example of what not to do.  There's far too much searching through menus to find what you want.
  • Forward/Back page navigation is horribly broken.  It could be my browser (an old version of Firefox), but I never know where the back or forward button is going to take me.  Here's an example:  After selecting a channel and then clicking on "View Analytics" and then "Crash Logs", the first click of Back did nothing, the second click gave me "Sorry, page not found", the third click took me back to where I started before I selected "View Analytics".  Here's what the right-click back button menu looks like:Image
    I have never found a way to return to the list of my channels at any place other than at the top of the list.
  • This isn't really a pain, but for some reason today only about 15% of my channel icons are being displayed.  Maybe ones that haven't been updated to 4k.  Can't that be done on Roku's end since all I'm going to do is scale them up?
  • The "Sales activity" page is slow and I often get "a script on this page is not responding" message (not sure of the actual wording).
  • The activity for IAPs only shows the product name, not the identifier.  I have several products named "Ad-free".  I believe they're listed under their respective channel, but showing the identifier would leave no doubt.
  • The information required for private channels is excessive.  I'm pretty sure most of it is never seen by anyone.  It's annoying to update a channel I created years ago and have to enter information that wasn't required when I created the channel and probably isn't necessary.
  • Transaction Details - the page is very slow and the filters are woefully lacking.  I'd like to see filters by individual channel and individual IAP.

Already mentioned:
  • Having to select the category for every region. - I think the Price Tier is the same, but I'm not sure.  It's probably not likely that you'd select a different tier for each region.
  • Screenshot size. - Just take whatever I give you and scale it.
  • Would be good to have stats on the website about the "in-channel-products" - Yes!
  • When you choose to see the analytics or crash log, there is no easy way to switch to other channel - just goes with the poor navigation problem in general.
  • The author of a channel should be added automatically to the "test users". - I'd probably agree with this.
  • When I'm testing "in-channel-purchase" I don't need to receive an email with the $0 purchase every time I buy it. - I'm not sure I agree with this.  It's nice to see what happens to "normal" users, but if test users didn't receive emails, I don't think I'd mind.
  • Sort order of channels - anything (A-Z) is better than nothing.  Ideally, give options as destruk mentioned or, and I hesitate to suggest this, allow me to drag and drop them in any order I see fit.
  • Please fix the balance on the activities reports, mine are wrong for years now! - I'd like to say, "Yes!", but I don't know what this means?  Is this the "Sales activity" reports?

Enough of my ran... suggestions for now.

-JT
 
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squirreltown
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Re: Developer portal pain points?

Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:51 pm

I completely agree with most of what has been posted and the general feeling that the site is badly designed. RokuCo seems to have a philosophy of doing the absolute minimum required for a particular task and the web site is a great example - here's the public face of the company and a year after the latest re-fresh this site is still awful and looks like it was designed by amateurs. I'm lucky, about all I do is update packages and it still can't even do that right - I get "there was an error uploading your package, please contact someone blah blah..." about 1/2 the time. When you go to the old site update page, the pkg is sitting there fine, ready for you to hit "submit". 
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necrotek
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Re: Developer portal pain points?

Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:24 pm

I agree with most of the points stated here.  If they could be addressed, that would take a lot of headache out of submitting a channel.

Most notably. It is not often that a channel will be classified differently in other regions. If it is the case have a option to add different classifications but default is the same for all regions.

Sort order in manage my channels needs to be addressed.  There should be different sections for public/Publishing/Published/unpublished/Private 

https://developer.roku.com/reports  is painful slow. and why does it default to EUR?  most of my sales are in the USA and that is what I would like to see.  Everytime I check this page I have to reselect USA... Wait forever for it to update... uncheck Display 0.00 Items and Display Non-transaction Dates  then scroll all the way to the bottom of the page just to see the tally. Having a way to set your own default view would be nice. also a summary at the top of the page for balances paid and due.

I see https://owner.roku.com/Developer/Apps/Details/ has disappeared recently I know this was the legacy developer portal page but at least is showed me my active installs.  The current analytics page shows Cumulative Installs which is nice. But if 100% of my users uninstall the channel then that is a useless number.  I need to know how many devices actively have my channel installed to judge how my channel is performing and that is a number I can not track with other analytics. 

An option to keep me logged in indefinitely I know it is not great from a security standpoint but I dislike sites that time out while I am entering data. 
 
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squirreltown
Posts: 732
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Re: Developer portal pain points?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:45 am

necrotek wrote:
I see https://owner.roku.com/Developer/Apps/Details/ has disappeared recently I know this was the legacy developer portal page but at least is showed me my active installs.  The current analytics page shows Cumulative Installs which is nice. But if 100% of my users uninstall the channel then that is a useless number.  I need to know how many devices actively have my channel installed to judge how my channel is performing and that is a number I can not track with other analytics. 

This one is really annoying. It's the one thing I want to keep track of. Thank you Roku for taking the old site down before making the new one work. Brilliant.
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joetesta
Posts: 541
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:48 am

Re: Developer portal pain points?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:12 pm

Sometimes when your session lapses and you log in under a different Email, the cookie (or whatever the F it is) thinks you are still logged in under the first account.  This is not just developer but account in general.  Causes problems, confusion, bugs, and infuriation.  Please fix it.
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ioan
Posts: 171
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Developer portal pain points?

Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:39 pm

necrotek wrote:
https://developer.roku.com/reports  is painful slow. and why does it default to EUR?  most of my sales are in the USA and that is what I would like to see.  Everytime I check this page I have to reselect USA... Wait forever for it to update... uncheck Display 0.00 Items and Display Non-transaction Dates  then scroll all the way to the bottom of the page just to see the tally. Having a way to set your own default view would be nice. also a summary at the top of the page for balances paid and due.


100% agree
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rovidx_media
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Re: Developer portal pain points?

Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:16 pm

#1) The entire backend portal was designed by Satan.   90% of my visits are to check sales and analytics but they are buried under multiple clicks.   Once I finally get to where I'm going, its a list with a huge font and I have to keep scrolling just to get basic information like the number of subscribers or VOD rentals.   Then I have to back up to the main page, and dig over into the channel analytics area.

#2) The Analytics Area - I'm not asking for much information or fancy graphs.   I just want to see numbers, and basic information on the graph without having to navigate through multiple areas.   And why isn't the sales data included in the system?   Seems if I could use Roku's system to break down my Income per Visitor, etc, it would make my life easier.   As it stands now, I have to export everything to a CSV, combine with the sales data and then do the formulas in Excel.  

#3)  Lack of any Roku Ads information.    I already get the email reports, but they only tell me the impressions, no dollar amount.   This leaves me guessing for an entire quarter on what my revenues will be. 

#4) The backend design.... ugh.   Please, for the love of all things web, higher a proper UX designer.   Every time I login to the Dashboard, it feels like I just stepped on Star Trek Enterprise.. and I mean the 1960's one, not the new one.    It hurts my head and it's not at all functional.   

Other than that, I do appreciate how Roku has been working on making the developer relations better.   The fact they are asking us our opinion is a huge step forward.  

Now where is the "Direct Publisher pain points" thread....  that's going to be an entire novel.
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