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I am currently developing a website that's all about used written content. Users write columns that will be available on the website, thus giving them a place to be read.

In the old version of my website a person, without account, would submit their column and it would be verified for mistakes, typing errors and overall quality of content. The current version works with user accounts and a profile and that's where I am starting to doubt what the best user experience would be. I see two options:

I can continue using the old design but implement a verified status. Users that have proven to write well written articles can acquire this status. Ofcourse, well written doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a perfect article, it's a website where feedback is one of the main aspects. Well written means, no weird tabs, spaces, characters etc. This status means I wouldn't have to verify each and every column.

The second option I am seeing is allow everyone to immediately publish their columns with a big exclamation mark to make clear the guidelines/beauty guide of what a column should look like, otherwise removing them. The user would be able to share the column to friends and social media.

An account requires a valid email address to be verified so I would guess the threshold to accepting a ban would be pretty high. I am lost as to what would be the most desirable user experience.

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I see both as possible solutions, though it depends more on your goal. If you're looking to drive better content and currently have people managing all content going in, then you have the opportunity to drive better content. You can do this by offering verification, which is like a status symbol to your users. This helps in three ways:

  1. The verified user is now recognized by other users as a better content provider, making the user feel more valued
  2. The verified user is now recognized by your content managers as someone not to worry about as much, thus saving them additional editing time
  3. Non-verified users now want (or should want) to become verified, both as a status symbol and as a challenge to overcome

How you deal with the verified state is up to you. Just require an email address and basic authentication on the tech side and voila, done. Create some criteria on how to become verified, and maybe give it a better, flashier name than verified (it's not like twitter...you're not verifying anyone's identity).

  • Thanks a lot for your input! The thing is, for now I will be the only one managing the content that comes in, but content quality is very important for the displaying of the site to other users. Users that get verified are already registered users, but giving it a more flashier name and setting specific critera is a really good idea. I think I might actually go with that. – Fabian Pas Oct 30 '14 at 22:50

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