Quora is a great resource but certainly not the most well presented. I do not have much information on how Quora tailors the feed for her users, and all I know is mostly from my personal experiences while using Quora. Feed is one of the important assets (after content) to user experience here, and a great discovery tool. My scope of answer would remain about how might Quora design its feed in the future and not about any other revolving features.
Like most of Quora users, I’m also curious about many topics beyond my area of work and want to read the answers (more often than to write one). It was not much before when I simply used to follow almost every topic that Quora fits in between the questions in the feed.
My feed went lustrous day by day! It had content from countless topics and most importantly, I was learning something new almost every time I opened Quora. I used to keep scrolling and stop by the question that fascinates me. This spree continued till last year when I started realizing that either the quality of questions is diminishing or my feed is filled with utter nonsense (or let’s call them as things that does not interest me much) because of the 400+ topics that I followed since using Quora. I was required to scroll more and stop less because I was not finding the content interesting enough to hold me on. This started bothering me, and I started finding why I was fed the kind of content, which I did not intend in the first place itself.
I had this topic subscribed called Psychology of Everyday life and it has some great questions and answers by some of the prolific writers on Quora. But not much later, I started seeing questions marked with this topic which did not interest me.
I wondered if I actually subscribed a topic to get questions like this. This looks more like to be dumped into some other topic (may be Life advice) but cannot at the same time that it should not fall into Psychology of Everyday life either.
Like every other topic on Quora, it has its share of some great and some not-so-great content. But I’m not hinting about the quality of content foremost, but the facts that the content within topics also has a hierarchical structure, they also fall into sub-topics and I might want to see only some of the sub-topics of the parent topic that I had followed and not the rest. I checked Quora if it lets me personalize the feed other than following topics/writer. I found I can not do anything other than reporting/down-voting answers which I certainly don’t want to do because I don’t want to rate the content which I don’t have an interest in and for the sake alone to personalize my feed. This is the precise problem – Quora feed shows content from topics that I followed but does not let my personalize at a sub-topic level.
Quora may offer a “Show less of questions like this..” or unfollow a certain sub-topic within parent topic. Quora anyways offer to associate content with multiple topics and a context topic. I have not yet thought about how best we can solve this or may be, this is already on the to-do list of Quora product designers.