Our 2020 has been packed with updates, developments and new projects. Recently, we finished the V2 P2 (Version 2, Phase 2) release of LeoFinance.io.
This has been our biggest update yet and many of the changes here have laid some necessary groundwork for what's coming in 2021. This post is about a week overdue as we got swamped with other developments and the holidays.
Going into 2021, we've got more projects than ever before. We've got more devs, more team members and more updates on the horizon. There's a lot happening all at once and yesterday, we just teased the release of our biggest project yet which will be accompanied by a massive token airdrop to LEO POWER stakeholders and WLEO LPs.
LEO (LeoFinance) is slowly becoming a sort of "Holding Company" for other projects that we operate and plan to launch in the future. With a new app being released in early 2021, a new exchange UI application (for a blockchain that isn't Hive 😉) and other upcoming apps like LeoFi, you'll see this vision clearly laid out in about a week when we release our full roadmap. The post that accompanies the roadmap release is over 25,000 words (and counting).
At 4200 words, maybe this one can serve as a warmup for that post 🦁
In This Update:
- (1) Improved Get Started Dialog
- (2) LeoInfra V2 Integrations
- New Features
- (3) Current LEO Voting Power Display
- (4) Real-Time Tokenomics Widget
- (5) New Payout Displays: USD, LEO or USD/LEO
- (6) Auto Post to Twitter
- (7) Auto Reblog
- (8) Schedule Posts
- (9) Actions Queue
- (10) Promote Post Functionality
- (11) Share to Social Media
- (12) Author Mute Function and Button
- (13) New Curator's Picks Page
- (14) Updated Navbar
- (15) Smart Tag Suggestions
- (16) Permalink Editor
- Massive Wallet UI Overhaul
- (17) Delegation Info & Manager
- (18) TXID Links to Blockchain TXs
- (19) Memo Data
- (20) Pagination
- (21) WLEO Wallet UI
- Styling Updates
- (22) "Mediumify" Content Displays
- (23) Tag Slider Added to All Feed Pages
- (24) Open External Links in a New Tab
1. Improved Get Started Dialog
Many of our updates pull inspiration from the feedback we see around the community. Whether someone leaves a random comment on a random post or there is a more targeted description of something that's missing which a user drops in our Discord, on one of these official posts or even tags us on Twitter.
Listening to the community is how we've built a great platform and how we will continue to innovate on top of it, providing the best possible user experience on this blockchain.
One of the many concerns that we saw users talking about is that there isn't a clear message when a new user hits the Homepage (https://leofinance.io). We need to quickly describe what LeoFinance is and then offer them easy access to a new account.
This update is categorized here with the onboarding section because the ultimate goal of this new dialog is to encourage non-logged-in users to Get Started.
Prior to this update, a user would land on the homepage and it would look like this:
Now, it looks like the previous screenshot. A quick overview of what LeoFinance is about followed by an easy-access button to Get Started with a new account.
2. LeoInfra V2 Integrations
- New Hive Sign Up Options (Replaced Hiveonboard)
- Sign Up With Twitter (Lite Accounts for Twitter Users)
LeoInfra V2 will get a separate development update post (much like this one). Intentionally, the backend is much more complex than the frontend. The UI is meant to be a clean, seamless and simple experience for new users while the backend handles all of the complex details of creating a new Hive account, encrypting keys, etc.
On the front end, we added a number of changes to integrate the LeoInfra V2 updates. Clicking "Get Started" now shows 2 new sign up options:
- Create a Hive Account
- Sign up With Twitter
When the user clicks "Create a Hive Account" it prompts them to create a Full Hive account. This means that LeoInfra will not encrypt and store their private keys. Instead, the user must download their keys and custody their account on their own. This works much like Hiveonboard.
In fact, we designed it with Hiveonboard in mind. We originally had Hiveonboard integrated directly on our UI but we met a number of challenges when we tried to make modifications to the dialogs and user flow. This prompted us to make a drastic update to the LeoInfra V2 release to create our own Hive onboarding process from scratch.
After a user clicks this option, they see the following dialog which describes the onboarding process:
Clicking Continue takes the user to the Account Creation screen. They can choose their account name and then a Verification Method. The Verification Methods are currently Phone # (SMS) or Twitter. LeoInfra Does Not store any of this user information.
We utilize these methods to verify that the user creating an account is not a robot. In LeoInfra V3, we'll add Facebook and Google account verifications to this list.
If the user clicks "Sign Up With Twitter" they are prompted with a similar creation dialog. The key difference is that there is now "Download Keys" button.
Signing Up with Twitter means that the user is essentially creating a Lite account. On the frontend, the user simply enters a username and then they'll see a "Firebase" popup from Twitter that confirms their ownership of the Twitter account. We made a Twitter Thread to show off this onboarding process. You can see it in action there.
On the backend, the user is getting a "Full Hive Account" (since actual Lite accounts don't really exist). We call these Lite accounts simply because the user doesn't hold their own keys. Instead, LeoInfra encrypts them on the backend and allows the returning user to hit "Sign In", confirm their ownership again with Twitter and then LeoInfra instantaneously signs them back in.
We'll release more nitty gritty details in the release notes for LeoInfra V2, since that will focus on the backend operations of LeoInfra itself. Just know that the "Lite" users can actually do every single thing that a full Hive user can do on LeoFinance.io. They simply allow us to hodl their keys so they don't have to worry about them right when they sign up.
Now we're on to the "New Features" section. These are additions to the site that we made throughout the V2 P2 release. Many of these came at the request of our users and these changes have been vital in many respects.
3. Current LEO Voting Power Display
Showing the current LEO Voting Power that a signed-in user has is an important aspect of the UX. As curators, we need to see our VP to manage it properly.
Before this update was integrated, users had to utilize LeoDex to view this information. We wanted to create a display that was both in your face and simultaneously not taking over the entire experience.
4. Real-Time Tokenomics Widget
The tokenomics widget is a beautiful integration that we came up with. If you remember, we were one of the first communities utilizing Condenser to ingrate LEO / LEOM / LEOMM tokenomics widgets on the Condenser UI way back when "Hive"-Engine first started.
That tokenomics widget is nothing compared to this one. Here, we've integrated data both from Hive-Engine and from Ethereum's Uniswap in order to create this widget.
First, it shows a Pie Chart with the breakdown of different types of LEO:
- Staked LEO (as LEO POWER on the Hive Blockchain)
- Liquid LEO (as LEO tokens on the Hive Blockchain)
- Liquidity Pool WLEO (as Wrapped LEO in the LP on Uniswap)
There's a high % of LEO that is staked and also a lot of WLEO that is pooled in our Uniswap LP. The liquid supply is just 320k LEO tokens.
This widget is simply the first of many to come. The versatility of our new UI means that we can build widgets to display any information we deem worthwhile for our Userbase. If we want to show widgets about important information for Bitcoin, we can show it. If we want to show widgets about our upcoming Dev roadmap, we can show those. If we want to plug directly into Uniswap and add a swap widget, we can do that as well ;)
5. New Payout Displays: USD, LEO or USD/LEO
We updated the payout displays on the entire UI. When you hover over a payout, you'll see the breakdown of the rewards as the LEO being paid out and the USD value of that LEO.
On the "Settings" page, you can actually change the default display that shows the payout. In the above screenshot, I'm displaying only the LEO being paid out. I can easily flip this in the settings page to show the following options:
Our original update wasn't going to give users the option to choose their payout display. Instead, it changed all the payouts to that 3rd option (LEO and USD simultaneously). After getting feedback from our users about this display, we decided to add it as an optional change.
6. Auto Post to Twitter
Staying in the settings page, we also added this "Auto Post to Twitter" function.
Again, the frontend experience is extremely clean while the complex stuff is handled by the backend. Our users can head over to the "Settings" page and flip this option on in order to auto post all of their newly created posts to twitter.
If they want to pick and choose which posts to tweet, then they can also manually select auto post to twitter in the "Advanced" section of the publishing UI.
If you have Auto Post to Twitter selected as "Yes", then you will be prompted with a Twitter dialog immediately after you hit publish on a new post. This dialog will be prefilled with the first sentence of your post, the first 2 tags of your post and the link to your post. You can then just hit "Tweet" if it all checks out or you can make any changes you want to the Tweet before publishing it on Twitter.
7. Auto Reblog
Auto Reblog works very similarly to the Auto Tweet function. On LeoFinance.io, we don't distinguish "Blog" feeds from "Posts" feeds (like how Hive.blog and PeakD handle profile pages).
Personally, I'm not a fan of these two feeds. I find it confusing for the UX and completely unnecessary. We did away with that on LeoFinance.io, but our users still requested an AutoReblog option when publishing content so that it can properly show on both feeds when other Hive users see their posts on Hive.blog or PeakD.
I always leave this option flipped on. It does it all automatically and saves me a step after publishing a post. Hopefully other UIs will consider removing this distinction altogether someday.
8. Schedule Posts
Scheduling posts to be released at a future specified date and time has been one of the most requested features for over a year now (even before we ditched Condenser and built this UI from scratch).
Who knew that building this feature would take so much time to get right. It's a pretty difficult feature to add in terms of the backend.
We're currently working on an update to this feature which will allow users to edit/view scheduled posts (and we're throwing drafts into the update as well).
The current implementation of scheduling posts can occasionally lose your post in the ether. This is likely due to random Hive node issues at the time you scheduled your post, but the upcoming drafts/schedule update will fix these problems.
For now, if you choose to schedule a post, please save a backup of the content. It doesn't get lost often, but I have seen about 5-10 reports of posts getting lost over the past month.
9. Actions Queue
Ahh the good ol' Actions Queue. This is something that isn't exactly a visual update on the front end. In fact, many people didn't even realize that we added it.
On the front end, nothing has changed.
On the back end, when you hit "Comment" or "Upvote", etc. your actions are getting Queued up in the LeoInfra database.
This allows you to click upvote and then immediately click upvote again. Or comment rapidly. Or upvote and comment rapidly, etc.
It allows you to do actions on the front end without waiting for the spinning wheel to finish spinning as the Hive blockchain confirms that action.
If you tried to upvote content rapidly prior to this update, then it would kick back an error. If you try to do it on Hive.blog, for example, then it will also kick back an error.
Now, you can just keep upvoting/commenting as fast as you want and you won't get errors for being too fast. This update is somewhat of a precursor to what's coming with the Leo Lightning DB Layer. This "Lightning Layer" that we're building ramps this "Queue" idea up to the next level by creating an actual layer in between LeoFinance and the Hive blockchain.
This allows our frontend to display data to you that is still being processed to the Hive blockchain on the backend. It's a major update and will solve many of the scotbot/Hive node issues that we've all been experiencing lately. Stay tuned for the release.
10. Burn LEO to Promote Post Functionality
This one may be a bit harder to spot. In fact, a number of users were talking about it in Discord recently as they had discovered it over 3 weeks after we implemented it on the UI.
With this update, you can click the 3 dots next to the "Reblog" button and see the "Promote" button.
Clicking "Promote" will show you this dialog:
All of the information is prefilled for you. All you need to do is add an amount of LEO to utilize for the promotion and hit "Continue" to finish the promotion operation.
Promoting content makes it appear on the "Popular" feed (Trending). The LEO is sent to @null which means that it is burned forever. The amount of LEO you should use to promote depends on the competition. The more LEO you burn relative to other promoters at the time, the higher your post will rank.
In the future, we're going to build this promotion tool out even more. It will eventually get a standalone page that shows you how much other people are promoting with and estimates how long your post will remain at the top of the trending page (or in other positions on the site).
We also have the idea to allow our users to actually buy banner placements on the site by directly burning LEO through the promotion feature. Imagine that you will one day click "Promote" on your post and it will prompt a new page. This page will allow you to choose the location you want to promote your post on and then it will display the Burn cost to do so for x number of days in y number of locations.
This actually decentralizes our Ad placements quite a bit. We can integrate it so that users could upload their own banner ads, etc. and display them in place of our Ad network integrations.
Exciting updates are happening on this front in 2021.
11. Share to Social Media
This update is much more noticeable. At the bottom of all posts, it now allows you to "Quick Share" to the most popular social media sites.
Sharing content is vital to the growth of LeoFinance. If you check out SimpleAnalytics Stats for LeoFinance.io, you'll notice that the majority of our traffic comes from social media sharing.
When you share content, you're actively growing our platform and bringing new eyeballs (and potential onboards) to the site. These buttons will prompt easy popouts that allow you to just click a few buttons and send out any LeoFinance.io content into the world.
12. Author Mute Function and Button
Author Muting allows you to mute other users who you don't want to see on our UI. This Does Not censor the user's content on the blockchain or for other users.
Content is never censored on Hive. It is simply removed from the UI that you're looking at. If you mute another author, you won't see their posts any more. If LeoFinance chooses to mute an author globally, it means that the user's content won't show on the LeoFinance.io UI for anyone.
It's important to understand that while we can globally mute an author from our UI, we can't remove their content at all from the Hive blockchain. You could simply head over to PeakD, Hive.blog or any other Hive UI and see that author's content since it lives immutably on the Hive blockchain.
Author muting is a small add on the UI, but the backend is actually quite complex. We have to add special handling in order to hide muted content from feed pages, comments, etc.
This was fun to add... not :)
13. New Curator's Picks Page
The first 5 posts on the homepage are showing manually curated content. This allows us to choose which content is shown to anyone who lands on the homepage by leveraging the official curator account's upvotes (currently set to my personal account).
I manually curate almost all content that comes through the LeoFinance.io UI. I actually spend quite a bit of time curating and even lurking in the comment sections of posts on LeoFinance.io. I think if you added up the time I spend doing that, people would be astonished.
For this reason and more, I actually don't spend a ton of time in Discord.. but that's a topic for a personal post.
The Curator's Picks page is a major utility in my opinion. I've been wondering how many people actually utilize this page as I believe it's one of the easiest ways to just find and filter for good content that you know doesn't suck.
Sometimes, scrolling through the /created page can be depressing. You get a whole hodgepodge of content. I still recommend checking out the "New" feed sometimes in order to discover under-appreciated/new authors. That's where I spend most of my time.
This /curated page offers our users a quick glance for good content. Read good stuff without sorting through bad stuff could be the tagline of this page.
On the left, you also get the Tokenomics Widget. On the right, you can filter Curated content by topic.
14. Updated Navbar
In the above screenshot, you'll notice a few changes to the Navbar. Small stuff, but this creates a much better experience than the old dropdown styling we had before. We also added the LEO POWER voting bar to the navbar and a few other small styling updates.
15. Smart Tag Suggestions
I am in love with this feature (not unlike many of the others). This one might slide by and seem small, but it personally saves me a bunch of time.
The Smart Tag Suggester scrapes your last 20 posts for the tags that you use most frequently. It shows the top 6 tags that you used most often and allows you to simply click on them to add the tag to your new post in the publishing UI.
This one makes me think back to that story about Steve Jobs and how he described the importance of making the bootup sequence on the Macintosh as fast as possible. If you save just a few seconds on each bootup and millions of Mac users see that quicker bootup time, then you're saving billions upon billions of seconds. It's not hard to extrapolate the math and figure out that you're saving years worth of time.
We don't have millions of users (yet), but I do like to think that saving each of you a few seconds here and there adds up and makes a difference in the world :)
16. Permalink Editor
This one was suggested by @fknmayhem for SEO purposes. It allows you to easily edit the permalink on your post before you hit publish. If you understand SEO a bit, then you'll know to stuff some keywords into the permalink rather than have some version of the content title in there.
Massive Wallet UI Overhaul
We made some major changes to the wallet UI in this update. Some are quickly noticeable and others may take a bit more digging to find.
17. Delegation Info & Manager
The delegation info & manager is a highly requested tool. We made it extremely easy to view incoming/outgoing delegations not only for HIVE POWER but also for LEO POWER.
You can view/manage with the "Magnifying glass" on the corresponding wallet tab (LEO or HIVE).
18. TXID Links to Blockchain TXs
We're likely going to change the color of this text in order to make it more obvious that you can now click on the timestamp of Transaction ops in your wallet in order to go to the specific transaction/Hive block on the Hiveblocks.com block explorer.
These clickable links will take you directly to the explorer. Expect an update soon that will simply turn these into the "Orange" text link style so that it's more obvious.
19. Memo Data
Since we're on the topic of small but important changes, we also added Memo Data for TXs in the wallet UI. Before this update, you couldn't actually see the memo field on TXs. Only the actual TX itself. A small update, but following that narrative of slowly building out the LeoFinance.io UI from scratch. It's a process.
Pagination! We originally had a weird timetable where you could choose what day to see TXs from. We may bring that back some day with an updated version allowing you to go back to a specific day in the entire history of your Hive account but for now, we removed it and added pagination for wallet data.
It's a much better user experience.
21. WLEO Wallet UI
We finally got to bring the WLEO wallet UI into production in this update. We actually built this way back in October but weren't able to release it for obvious reasons.
We ended up making a few changes to this UI and I'm really happy with how it turned out. You can use it to:
- Send WLEO
- Navigate to the WLEO Trade Page on Uniswap
- Wrap LEO into WLEO
- Unwrap WLEO into LEO
- View the WLEO Price Feed From Coingecko
This is just one in a long line of cross-blockchain wallet UIs that we plan to add to the platform. As we develop our vision of being a cross-blockchain social media platform, you'll see other blockchain wallets added to the UI along with a continued expansion of the LEO token economy. We now have HIVE Blockchain Wallets (LEO, HIVE, HIVE ENGINE) and we have an ETH Blockchain Wallet (WLEO). Soon, you'll find many other interesting wallet integrations ;)
Here are a few small but mighty styling updates. Again, enhancing the UX and listening to the user feedback we're getting.
22. "Mediumify" Content Displays
I'm a big fan of Medium and so are many other users in our community. We decided to take a page out of their book and "Mediumify" our text displays. You may notice that text stlying is a bit bigger, bolder and more readable.
23. Tag Slider Added to All Feed Pages
The tag slider was added to all feed pages. Allowing you to easily navigate to particular topics and their corresponding feeds.
24. Open External Links in a New Tab
External links now open in a new tab rather than replacing leofinance.io This was recommended by @ash as a way to help LeoFinance's site metrics and improve the UX.
LeoFinance is a blockchain-based social media community for Crypto & Finance content creators. Our tokenized app allows users and creators to engage and share content on the blockchain while earning cryptocurrency rewards.
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