On development priorities

As part of a yearly cycle, all employees of Uptrends are requested to provide input on what they think should be the top three development priorities of the coming year. This input is then filtered based on its estimated impact on business value. The results are embedded in the roadmap for the coming year, and presented to the company. Take a look at the top three development priorities I submitted.

3. User engagement improvements

Since my start at Uptrends a couple of months ago, I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know (some of) the many features of the product. A daunting task, since the product has gained a lot of features over the years. It would’ve been nice if someone held my hand while I was exploring - or pointed me where to look. I had the advantage of being able to ask all my questions to the developers directly, but the customers don’t. Also, I had an internal document helping me through the initial setup - but our customers don’t, apart from the knowledge base. I feel that should change, and that it would improve the number of users who continue to a paid plan after their trial account. A couple of pointers:

2. Application structure improvements

The Uptrends application has very shallow structural model, which makes it hard to memorize the location of features. Every single feature is available via the main menu, and features that could logically be grouped together aren’t. This makes the user feel dumb (I can’t find that thing I used last time), confused (I swear it was here last time), not to mention overwhelmed (so many options, where do I go?) - and our users are none of these things, so we wouldn’t want them to feel like that. If a person made you feel dumb and overwhelmed, you’d rather not meet that person again, am I right? The same goes for software. Therefore, I think we should invest in making the Uptrends application easier to understand. This will raise customer enthusiasm (thus increasing the renewal rate). Some ideas:

1. Usage analytics

More than anything in the world I want to implement usage analytics in our product. Right now, we are as blind as a bat as to what features our users actually use in our application, or how they navigate. Without usage metrics, the only way to decide what features to improve / implement / remove is based on the totally subjective intuïtion of the team, or satisfying the demands requests of high-prio customers. We need to know what happens in our platform on a meta level. This will allow us to be confident that what we choose to alter in our product will actually improve the life of the vast majority of our users. Building a better product will increase customer engagement, resulting in a higher renewal rate.

Things that did not make my list: