There is more spit than sweat that goes on building a useful product. Thankfully we did not learn this thing the hard way. When we started working on Forbash, we quickly realized that what matters is not how much functionality you provide but whatever you provide must work and should not irritate the users.
It might sound like common sense but it is really very tough to achieve. We decided to drop a lot of functionality in the first release so that we can give only well tested functions to the users. I think we have built decent enough product if not completely fault free.
Small things matter.
If you login through Forbash you need not provide your details such as address, pin etc. We pick it up from Facebook and hence your profile on Forbash is complete. Not only that we pick your photograph from facebook so you dont have to upload it again on our site. It takes less than 10 seconds to get your profile fully active on forbash if you use facebook to login.
But no matter how hard you try….
In the first round of testing many users simply did not understand the concept of Facebook login and preferred to do a manual sign up. Many of them would only look at the logos and try entering facebook username/password in the login box. Some people would ask, if I login through facebook how to change my forbash password ?
In almost all the signups 30% of our users are filling up the sign-up form to get into the site.
However something that really surprised me was people’s inability to understand the concept of tags. For us the tag is what aggregates related complaints. For example “blackberry” is one such tag. But we realized people use tags like “bb”, “blackberry mobile” and so on to actually tag their problems. Some people also used tags like “road/trains/flights” instead of using “road”,”train”,”flight”.
It is actually our fault that we missed to see that people like to use software as per their own comfort and not someone else’s.
Looking at what we had thought we would build is somewhat different from what we are building now. The feedback from users and overall activity gives us a lot of insights into what people want, what is actually engaging people and how we can maximize the features that increase the engagement.
For example we have “track a bash” feature which is like bookmarking the pain-point. The feature became absolutely redundant once we implemented email notifications on popular demand. But as soon we implemented email notifications of the form “XYZ has commented on your post” people wanted the comment text too appear out there. Immediately after that people wanted us to implement the feature where they merely reply to the mail and the comment is registered on the website like wordpress and facebook.
Many people also wanted to implement private messaging feature which I always kept at the bottom of my prioritized list of to-dos.