PS: This is not me on that picture 😅
It's been a few days since I started working seriously on my bookmark app (first article here). I still have no name yet but I have made some progress
I did a few informal customer interviews (3 interviews to be exact) with the people who joined my mailing list and those that I contacted directly. I was able to put in practice some of the lessons I have learned so far in the book The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick .
TODO: Share summary of book in a separate article
In the book, Rob explains why spending some time with customers and trying to understand their problems is important. He also give some techniques that can be used to do these interviews properly and learn valuable information. He recommends to get those interviews done in person or via video call but with the current situation, meeting potential customers is very tricky. I also do not feel comfortable asking people I don't know to video chat with. If I was on the user's side, I wouldn't be comfortable with a stranger asking to video chat with me😅. With just emails and direct messages however I learned quite a lot about the problems my audience is facing. This is a simple summary of what we talked about in the interviews:
- What apps they used/using and how are they used them.
- What problems did they face with these apps and how they decided to work around that.
Thanks to those interviews I was able to pinpoint who my target audience is. My target customer is someone who wants to have their bookmarks and bookmark notes in one place and they want to have their bookmarks organized. That person is also saving links, growing their reading list but having a hard time coming back to those links they saved. I was also able to get some ideas about the copy on the landing page. I will use those statements as inspiration for my landing page and marketing copy.
If I explain what the problems are and explain how my app is solving those problems, I think the landing page will help people understand better why they should pay for my app.
Building a prototype
With those a clear picture of what I am trying to solve, my MVP needs to meet the following requirements:
My users want to keep their bookmarks organized for easy access. The initial version needs to have tags and folders for flexibility. The app also needs to let the user know read and unread.
Simple note taking capabilities
Users should be able to add notes to their links. This feature was mentioned by one of the users but is also a problem I am trying solve for myself (scratching my own itch)
Somewhat visually appealing
Just because it is an MVP doesn't mean I shouldn't put some work into have a good UI and UX. I am not the greatest designer but I will do my best to build a good experience even at the MVP stage.
We also want users to come back to the link they saved and actually digest the content. The user will be able to setup a weekly email newsletter that will send them a list of their most recent bookmarks as well as random bookmarks they saved before (that last one is especially designed for people that will import their bookmarks from other sources)
Building the prototype
I originally designed a UI with Adobe XD but wasn't very happy about it. I decided to get back to the drawing board, start from scratch and build a prototype with code. You can see the result below
Coding the prototype live and interacting with it as if it was a real web app made helped me visualize how I would want the user to interact with the application. The prototype was sent to the people I interviewed and also the other users in my mailing list. I am currently waiting for some feedback. Personally, I am happy with the prototype so I decided to work on implementing the backend and make this MVP come to life. This is what I have working so far.
Plans for week 2
This week I will spend some time integrating authentication and get the email reminder working. The application is reaching the MVP stage already so I also need to find a name and build a landing page