This week on CodePen Radio, we're talking about responsibility. We're all responsible for keeping the site up, but we are going get into the details of what our different roles require, and what it means to take responsibility for your product.

Our Responsibilities at CodePen

2:00 Tim keeps the site running and our servers fast. He also handles backups and the backend.

4:00 Alex does a lot customer service (as do all of us) and cross browser reliability - because CodePen runs in web browsers, he makes sure the experience is consistent and reliable in all of our supported browsers.

Don't Break the URLs

6:34 We feel pretty strongly about URLs. We try to think about things like this on a micro level: even little changes can have big effects on the web.

7:31 We just recently changed a URL for Pen's you've loved before, and we made sure to set up a redirect from the old URL to the new URL. It's a responsible practice. We don't want to break URLs and mess up someone's experience.

8:32 We use a routes file - which doubles as a living record of what the URL's were, and what they are in version control.

Protecting the User

10:31 Mike Monteiro did a talk (How Designers Destroyed The World), where he told a story about a girl on Facebook that got outed by Facebook after joining a queer choir group. This is just one example of the responsibility that we have as designers of the web to pay attention to what we're designing and to take the user's experience seriously.

13:03 Even though most users don't put a lot of sensitive information on CodePen, we still strive to be really responsible with their Pens, and protect their personal information and usage info as much as possible.

Giving control to the User

14:37 We always try to give control to the account holder. For example, if you create a Pen, we give you control over the comments section. You control what gets shown on the page.


15:14 We've always had advertising on the app, but we choose our advertising partners carefully. We also maintain control on the code that goes on our pages - so there is nothing shady happening there. We don't do advertising for (what we consider to be) bad companies or that are trying to advertise something we don't align with.

Making changes

16:55 Any time we make any changes to CodePen (features or otherwise), we discuss it as a group. Sometimes it takes multiple eyeballs on something to really understand the implications of a change.

We are all responsible for the end product

19:26 We want everyone who uses CodePen to feel happy. We want the experience to be good for everyone. We built a spam filter to help alleviate the annoying spam from getting to our users.

Being responsible with money

23:03 By now, many of you have heard of the new social network, Ello. They are trying to create a social network that isn't based on advertising. But what they haven't disclosed is that they have already taken a VC round ($435,000). We don't want to put them down, but we feel like (for CodePen) it would be the responsible thing to do to inform our users of our plans related to money and the future of the site as it relates to finances.

27:14 The big question is, how will you make money? We try to be open about how we make money on CodePen. CodePen supports itself. It's incredibly important to our user base to be able to know that we are going to be around for awhile.

28:40 In the beginning, we had a few users ask us, "How long are you going to be around?" We had to prove to our users that CodePen would be around for awhile.

We need your feedback!

30:32 We'd love to hear your thoughts if you think there is anything we could be doing better. Feel free to call us out on anything!

Have any questions? Leave us a comment! If you enjoy the show, please leave us a review in iTunes! Thank you!

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