Design at Vero: A Look Through the Years
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Two months ago we hired our first full time Product Designer at Vero.
We’re excited about fully realising all of the great ideas we have in mind to help you communicate better with your customers.
Prior to two months ago, Damien and myself led our Product Design. We’re smart problem solvers, yet we’ve got zero real design experience.
We followed a strict formula and, because of this, we did a solid job. The formula: talk to customers, identify problems, propose solutions, put those solutions in front of customers and then build the actual solution.
A great mentor of mine likes to say:
There are only two things a young company needs to do: listen to customers and build sh*t. That’s it.
His oversimplification is conceptually spot on: listen to what customers need and build a solution that solves these problems.
The trick is to build an intuitive solution. A solution that goes beyond what the customer themselves could have envisioned. To do this you need to bring together domain expertise, problem solving and Product Design. If this were easy, every company would be Apple.
Vero is a product that people use every day.
This is a fortunate position for us to be in. Moreover, it is a position of huge responsibility.
Many of our customers essentially live inside Vero. They need it it to talk to their customers. They need it to do their job. They need it to grow their business. They need it to improve their product experience.
That means we need to be ready to answer questions at nearly any time of the night or day. We need to ensure Vero is up and running efficiently.
We put huge importance on both of these and take customer success and our product’s reliability very seriously.
We also need to get out of our customers’ way.
That means building an intuitive and friendly product.
Build your MDP
The Minimum Viable Product has been a sexy concept over the last few years. The idea of building a really raw version of your product that lets you iterate and get feedback.
Here’s the original version of Vero:
Many of our phenomenal customers today will still remember that UI (thanks to you for all the feedback along the way).
What is fascinating is how much an MVP informs your product throughout it’s life. If you solve a real problem, and spend time thinking about the problem, as we did with Vero, your MVP will deliver what it needs to in order to get customers on board and have them work with you.
The fundamentally functionality will become the bottom of the pyrmaid you will build and, if you got that base right, it’ll give you a solid platform on which you can build new features and refine functionality that will allow you to grow your company.
Since that initial release of Vero we’ve added a lot of functionality: template management, a segmentation engine, OR conditions, live logging, workflows, series campaigns, testing, testing on series campaigns, reports, and so on.
We’ve also refined how our event tracking works, our campaign logic and invested dramatically in the scalability of our system.
It took us a good two years to really flesh out what our product really needed to win customers over and, since then, we’ve been growing tremendously.
Create something you’re proud of
Despite knowing we have the core features and tools our customers need to execute their campaigns, there is so much more we need and want to do at Vero.
Our goal is for Vero to become the go to platform for creating customer experiences that build loyalty, increasing customer happiness and, ultimately, increase revenue.
We’re excited by what our customers are already achieving: when you have customers launching campaigns to 3 and a half million people at 9pm on a Wednesday night, creating segments that drill down into past campaign receipt, on-site user activity and user properties on the fly, or when you have customers delivering tens of millions of emails in eleven languages, you know you’re helping them solve some real pain.
We take the responsibility of supporting this infrastructure seriously.
We’re about to release some improvements to our infrastructure and, along with this, we’ll be releasing some UI changes.
The aim of these UI changes is to:
- Add additional consistency to user flows. One of the most common pieces of feedback we receive regarding our UI and UX is that nested ‘screens’ in Vero need to be clearer. Navigation needs to be cleaner and more consistent. Our new design will usher in a platform to do this.
- Provide a base to improve core functionality. Campaign and segment creation are two of the most highly used aspects of Vero and we have improvements in the works for both. In order to deliver these ideas we need to make the containing pages and surrounding flows more consistent. We also need to setup design patterns we can use to layer new tools. Our new design is the first step toward this.
- Bring real design to Vero. Having a full time Product Designer gives us true direction in terms of our brand, our style and our product. This is exciting
We’re proud of the direction we’re taking Vero and can’t wait to share our soon-to-be-released design updates and the journey we took to get there.
In the coming weeks (early August) we’ll be rolling out some changes to our UI and UX and we can’t wait to hear your feedback.
The changes we’re really proud of. We think you’ll love the level of quality in our new designs and the changes will help you get on with your job faster and more intuitively.
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