Everyone always says that when you run a startup its a bit of an emotional roller coaster.
To be honest, I’ve always thought that those people were the kind who spend 24 hours in the office and don’t get enough sleep.
We’ve always tried to keep a balanced attitude to running a startup, and since January, we’ve actually cut out evening work as much as possible, and tried to keep things a little more balanced and mentally healthy
Anyway as we’ve got closer to launch, things are definitely heating up. After an article was published in Accounting Web, the desire to get Float v1.0 out the door keeps shooting up. But getting it to a place where we’re happy with the user experience, feature set and absence of critical bugs isn’t as easy as either of us thought it would be.
However it was great last week to finally get Float 0.9 out and into the hands of some beta testers.
This was a pretty key release for us, as in March we basically decided Float was essentially too complex for the vast majority of people who had never done a forecast before, and too many users weren’t getting past the sign up stage.
We added a wizard, which helped, but still even the UI for that was complicated, and people struggled. Other than that we both felt that even though it wasn’t a core feature – there was something that wasn’t seductive enough about it to make you want to wake up next to it every day!
So in this release we really stripped back a ton of features, and our goal was simplify, take out any features that weren’t absolutely necessary and make the UI as easy to understand as possible. We essentially cut the number of pages from about 8 down to 2!
We also got to work with the IfLooksCouldKill team on the design of the new app, and I think this really helped things. in a big way…
As the feedback rolled in, its kind of elating… and it was great to get a tweet from one of our first users, Jaffa:
Then a few bugs, and then a few more days of great feedback, but ironically the feeling of people interacting with the software and reporting bugs…is kind of encouraging.
I guess when people find certain bugs, you know they are looking in the right place.
Anyway the roller coaster continues, and yesterday we ran another live user test with Silverback.
Its always an amazingly painful experience when you see how people interact with your app for the first time. We learnt a lot (Thank you Irene!) and realised that there is still a lot of UI work to be done to make Float as simple and engaging as we want it to be, but we’re feeling encouraged that this new release is hitting the spot for people in a way that didn’t before.
The journey continues…