It has been about a year since we wrote the first line of code for Postwire. Since we beta released Postwire on April Fools Day last year, we have redesigned the product twice: The first being a huge overhaul in a crazy two weeks leading up to our TechCrunch Disrupt NYC launch last May, and the second time a less crazy change in October where we tweaked much of the interface to make Postwire easier to understand. We’ve learned a lot in those redesigns, and we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time to do it again.
Why Change Again?
When we first built Postwire, you could only use content that you added. So this meant that every user had to load all of their content before getting started. Last June, we introduced Shared Libraries. This allowed a central person (or group) to curate all of the content and provide it to anyone who signed up in their company. The Shared Library, coupled with the Daily Digest Email, meant Postwire would automatically keep everyone up to date on new content the company was producing. These features unlocked huge growth in teams using Postwire, because users in sales, account management, and customer support were able to quickly share the latest content with their customers. Evidence of this is that while 20% of paid accounts are comprised of teams, they account for over 80% of the total paid user base.
The Shared Library feature has been awesome for the organic growth of our userbase. I love watching the way Postwire spreads in companies once there is someone championing it. As more and more teams are collaborating in Postwire, we are getting the same questions & issues over and over:
- How do I share my library with others?
- Can I get stats on when people view and share content in the shared library?
- I can’t find anything in the library. It is too cluttered.
- If I can add contributors to a library, why can’t I do that in Postwire pages?
- Can people re-share stuff I post on a page?
Do any of those sound familiar? For a product that thrives on user driven growth, we’re certainly putting up way too many roadblocks to build the userbase we have the potential to.
Where Do We Go From Here?
After brainstorming with the team on these issues, and coming up with band-aids, tweaks, and other ways to “patch” the issues, we came to a conclusion: We must redesign Postwire into a much simpler product.
We have learned that the main cause for many of the questions is due to a general confusion over Pages vs. Libraries vs. Collections. With three places to organize and share content, users get confused about where they should post their content. As a result, we have decided to merge the best features of all three into one container for the content. This will solve several issues:
- An easier interface (with less moving parts) to enable users to quickly “get” Postwire’s purpose and value.
- A single place to post and share content.
- Providing the best features of Libraries to Page sharers, such as the ability to have multiple collaborators, the Daily Digest Email, and the ability to re-post content to a new Page.
- Providing the best features of Pages to Library owners, such as activity notifications on views and the comment thread.
When Will The Redesign Be Done?
We have been working on these changes for a few weeks now, and our entire product team is 100% focused on it.
In the meantime, I will be doing a couple of posts a week on this blog to describe some of the most exciting changes in detail. I look forward to hearing your feedback.
How Can You Help?
We have spoken to many of you about these changes, and have recruited some of you to help us validate and test the redesign before we release it to everyone. If you are interested in helping out, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.