New on Booklet: Easier sign-up, brand new homepage, custom colors, a new domain (again), and more!

Posted 3 months ago.
In this post, I'm going to share four new updates I've just published that will make your Booklet communities calmer, more customizable, and easier to use!

I'm building Booklet, which is a platform for calm communities. I started this project to make communication calmer, and I'm constantly working to make the platform even better. Constant chatting, incessant push notifications, and real-time back-and-forths made it hard to keep up with the communities I'm in. By building Booklet with asynchronous, threaded conversations - communication becomes calmer. Booklet summaries all community activity  in one email per day -  so everybody can keep up with what's happening. Booklet is the alternative to chat that I've always wanted!

Here's what's new:

1. Easier sign-up ✉️

Booklet originally required a phone number to sign up. I always find it hard to remember which email I used for which website, and I love how simple iOS's auto-filling of passcodes makes it to sign in via phone. 

I thought that everybody else would prefer phone-based sign-in, too. But, I was wrong! The number one piece of feedback I received from people was that they didn't want to share their phone number with a new app and that they preferred email sign-in.

Thanks for the feedback! Now, I've updated Booklet to no longer require a phone number to sign up or sign in. People can get started with just an email 👍

2. New homepage 🖼

A simple homepage was the first thing that I built for Booklet. Over time, as the app got more sophisticated, the old homepage remained. With a bad homepage, people assumed it was a bad product. So, I had to fix that!

I spent the last couple of weeks rebuilding the Booklet homepage. This involved rethinking Booklet's value proposition, brand positioning, and future features. I found the whole process fun and creatively fulfilling. Much of the copy was written on an airplane (in a physical, booklet) while reading Make It Clear. And, I think it turned out pretty well!

Introducing the new Booklet homepage: Check it out! (If you're logged in, you may have to log out to see it.)
Preview of the new Booklet homepage

3. Custom colors 🌈

Part of building a new homepage involved refreshing the Booklet design - including adding a calming purple accent color.

If you look around this post - you'll see I now updated the buttons and other parts of the Booklet HQ community to use this accent color, too. But, I want each community to have a unique look and feel. So, now each community can set its brand color - which gets applied throughout buttons and links in their community!

Some technical notes: I took time to make brand colors work well on booklet. When a new group gets created, Booklet analyzes the group logo to guess the brand's primary color. I also did some math to make sure that the text on buttons has enough contrast to be readable - so if you have a dark brand color, the button text will be light, and vice-versa. Also, mid-scale brand colors may have different text labels depending on whether your computer uses a dark or light appearance.

If need help updating the brand color for an existing community - email booklet@contraption.co!

4. New domain 🏠

Last big change!

At the beginning, Booklet lived on the domain bookl.et. But, it turned out that Google was blocking all .et domains. So, I had to change the domain!

Next, I moved Booklet to the domain booklet.group, which Google preferred and finally indexed.

With the new branding, I've decided to use the word "Community" instead if "Group" throughout Booklet. I even went as far as to change the code to use this new nomenclature.

The final step has been moving Booklet to its new domain: booklet.community 👏 

Other thoughts 🧠

  • I enjoyed reading The Presence Shortage by Daniel Gross. This quote caught my attention: "If Clubhouse is for the people that go to bars, what’s Clubhouse for nerds at the library? Something more textual, more information-dense, more introverted."  Perhaps that's Booklet 😅
  • I built Booklet in the open on the Booklet Updates Substack. Today I'm retiring that blog - because all future updates will be posted here, in Booklet HQ 🚀 The old blog will stay online for anybody that wants to revisit the early days. 

Thanks! 🙏

Today's changes make Booklet more engaging and productive. If you haven't yet - create a free community and try out the product!

Please continue to share your feedback here on the Booklet HQ community, or email me directly.

Now, what would you like to see me build next on Booklet? 

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