Week 5. Discovering what makes a good pattern
This post is part of a series of posts in One experiment a week project.
As I suspected, the audience of r/crochet is a lot more rewarding to work with than that of Ravelry. No offense to Ravelry. Their audience is just probably less technology-adept than Reddit.
There are plenty of problems with written patterns; there are also best practices
First, there was a discussion about written patterns that contained just a motherload of insight! Naturally, I took a ton of notes and organized quotes using Trello. There’s so much in here: requirements, ideas, content for blog posts, etc. Among the most promising learnings:
- Casual Crocheters want to see any explanations related to the step when working on that step. It seems obvious, but many written patterns make you jump up and down the PDF for the sake of saving time.
- There’s a lot of value in counting stitches in the row/including row counts. When importing patterns into the app, I either have to rely on what’s already in the pattern or count stitches myself, but I can automate this once the Designer interface is in place.
- Some Casual Crocheters go as far as rewriting the patterns they purchase — to fix formatting, expand on the instructions, create a printable version, etc.
This comment got me excited because it touches on one of the core features of my app:
Redditors are more open to trying new things
Besides collecting the insight from the discussion linked above, I also contacted some Redditors, asking them about their process and suggesting testing StitchEase on an actual project. There’s been a lot of good feedback from them, and I have one real tester who agreed to work on a project using the app. So excited to share the app with her! I will have to scrap a little bit tonight to bring back the Notes section, but I already have a plan of attack for it.
Continue looking for testers on Reddit.
As I mentioned last week, this specific Reddit has a thread to advertise and promote their shops or projects or anything. Although I didn’t get many responses when I posted about the app, I want to see if I can find more testers there. I want to start pretty simply:
- Offer to buy a pattern for them
- Import the pattern into the app
- Have them work on this pattern submit notes throughout the project
- Once they have finished the project, I’ll send them the PDF of the pattern
- (optional) If I don’t get enough interest this way, offer a $10–20 gift card to a preferred yarn store.
On a more fun, technical side, this week, I figured out how to connect to Ravelry API using Integromat. Super exciting! Considering the low number of patterns I need to handle right now, and I can even get away with free tier!
Also, I added a fun feature: a yarn color indicator on the instructions screen. Since I’m currently doing my own user testing, I ran into the necessity of this feature (my current project needs alternate colors, and something like this is lightweight and invaluable as a visual cue!)