Polywork Product Critique
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October 18th, 2022

Today, we’re going to be looking at Polywork, a new collaborative network. Let’s glance at what’s working, and what could be improved, using Julie Zhou’s Guide to Product Critiques. Julie was a Product Design VP at Facebook before starting her own venture.

Polywork Home Page
Polywork Home Page

Polywork promises to be the portal to professional collaboration, enticing users to work together based on mutual interest. The product is currently gaining a vast amount of traction as the September ‘22 Product of the Month on ProductHunt. We can assume, since this social network is free to use, that the company makes money by selling user data.

Let’s Make a Profile

I like to make music as a hobby, but I’ve always wanted to expand the media where that music is released. Polywork should allow me to make anything from video game music to website sounds, let’s try to accomplish a simple collaboration.

I’ll make a new account called K_Nihl, my music moniker. However, after trying to login with google, I found out I already made an account!

Whoops, Looks Like I Already Made An Account A While Ago!
Whoops, Looks Like I Already Made An Account A While Ago!

I can recall a few different reasons that I stopped using the network:

  • I have a lot of interests and skills that I wanted to present on my profile, but that lead to not being able to find any connections in a particular niche

  • When trying to remove the skills, I had to do it individually, which would have taken a long time

With that in mind, I decided to delete my account and start a new, more focused one! The process required emailing support, but took less than an hour to complete!

One Account Deletion, Coming Right Up!
One Account Deletion, Coming Right Up!

Ok… Now Let’s Make a Profile!

From here, creating a profile went super smoothly. After logging in, I was prompted to enter my work details and some of my interests. Unlike last time, I only picked a few interests to not get overwhelmed. There should really be a warning for users at this stage of the onboarding process.

Here's a look at the basic account page, without many details.
Here's a look at the basic account page, without many details.

I was given 4 choices after filling out some basic information:

  • Fill Out More Info on My Profile

  • Find Collaborators to Contact

  • Find Projects to Collaborate On

  • Invite Friends

Unfortunately, after a bit of exploring, I couldn’t really find much to collaborate on. This is a common problem with two way marketplaces, which needs a constant stream of UGC(User Generated Content) and a user-base to utilize said content. Current content includes mostly product demos and user surveys, which don’t bode well for the network that will help people collaborate with each other.

I filtered for all my musical interests, but no projects :(
I filtered for all my musical interests, but no projects :(

Note on the Illustrations

These illustrations are in the same style as the artist Alzea Arafat, who sells several illustration packs. While having generic art isn’t a dealbreaker for any product, a more customized set could be used to personalize the Polywork brand.

Mobile Browser Experience
Mobile Browser Experience

Note on Mobile Experience

While it’s not expected, it’s a pleasant surprise that the mobile interface is clean. Even so, creating a native mobile app would allow Polywork to engage users with push notifications and keep their users in the network.

Conclusions

The platform has a fantastic idea, but lacks the proper level of content to engage users. That, coupled with a confusing onboarding process, will make the product difficult to reach market-scale. Polywork product designers should find the most profitable niche their users are currently in, based on user broker data rates, and create workflows that bolster this audience. By targeting one market segment at a time, Polywork can perfect the art of collaboration in different mediums while remaining profitable.

I’m on twitter @nikhildesigns_ and my website can be found here! Let me know what you thought of my first Product Critique.

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