A platform designed for creators and readers of online serialized fiction.
With the advent of the internet, serialized fiction has experienced a resurgence. However, the current landscape of online serialized fiction platforms is not working for readers or creators. There are countless online platforms that creators use to share their fiction, but many require a creator to be approved or invited or to sign an exclusivity agreement to receive compensation, while others, such as self-publishing, have high barriers to entry.
serialRSS is an open platform which addresses many of the shortfalls of existing platforms through the implementation of an RSS-based system that allows creators to maintain control over their work and their monetization options while connecting them to an audience.
Secondary Research, Medium & High Fidelity Prototyping, Storyboarding
The serialRSS creator portal offers creators a web-based experience where they can choose to either publish directly through serialRSS or connect their existing RSS feed, Patreon, or other third-party posting location.
From the main dashboard, creators cam see statistics and notifications about their work, and click into one of their works, which are organized by whether or not they are completed.
Clicking into a work allows a creator to see and edit the basic information about the work, see work specific statistics, and see information about the sections of the book. If the creator is monetizing through serialRSS, they can also change the monetization tier for a specific section.
When a creator wants to add a new section, they will be able to enter the section title and text direction into serialRSS or choose another content source, such as a monetization platform, to pull from.
Creators may also choose to connect their work to an external monetization platform, such as Patreon. This can be done for an entire work (shown) or on a section-by-section basis, using the “Content Source” drop down menu on the Add Section Page
Reader Desktop Application
In the reader desktop application, readers can add an RSS feed themself, the same way they might in a standard RSS reader, to collect serialized online fiction from various creators into one place
The home page will be the “Bookshelf,” where users will be able to see all of the books and authors they are following and see lists showing recent updates, unread updates, and work sections that they have favourited.
If the section of a work is monetized, clicking on the section will bring the user to the webpage where they can access that section by logging in.
Once a user successfully logs in, they will be able to see the author’s update as it appears on the webpage. From here, they can read the update in this format, or choose “Reader View” for a simplified experience.
Readers can select “Reader View” for a simplified viewing experience. The reader view allows readers to customize the font, spacing, layout, and the colour palette used for the text. The white-on-black and sepia colour palettes are shown below
Users can also browse for new works through serialRSS. Clicking “Browse” will bring them to the main browse page, which shows promoted and recently updated/new works. From here, users can look through different genres, look for a specific work or creator, or see what the platform recommends.
Clicking through to a work shows basic information about it, a brief description, and the tags used to describe it. Users can see the sections of the work and related works. They can view a specific section to start reading or they could follow the work or creator, which would add the work or author to their bookshelf.
In the online fiction industry, writers face challenges with gatekeeping, lack of control over monetization options, and high barriers to entry, while readers may struggle to find new material to read or feel chained to a specific platform if they do not want to miss their favourite creator’s updates.
Designing a platform which incorporates both an open standard like RSS and monetization options proved to be challenging when considering the the feasibility of the platform.