Developing software is often seen as a mysterious, ominous process. How do we decide what a feature ends up looking like? How do we determine wants versus needs, and what tools will help you most in your day to day? Don’t we just click a few buttons and -- voila! A new feature is born?
Not quite. That would certainly be nice. But we’d love to introduce some transparency to our process.
Building a new feature or enhancing an existing one is a complex process that we’re working hard to get right. We have always enlisted a selection of our trusty customers to test and contribute to what we’re building, but we’re looking now to get more people involved.
Enter the Vin65 Beta Program.
We’re test driving the program with our not-so-secret secret project, enhanced reports, to collect customer input. As we learn more about what works well or not so well for the program, we’ll be iterating our approach, but this is a great first step in allowing us to get you more involved in how we build out our platform. Here’s what we’ve done so far:
Roundtable discussions typically consist of a conference call with several wineries and members of our product team. We ask questions about what you’d like to see in the feature we’re enhancing, what you dislike about the existing feature today, and look to learn more about how you’re using Vin65 tools.
For our enhanced reports project we hosted 4 roundtables with 29 winery employees and collected some really helpful feedback that is influencing the User Interface and data selection our team is currently building into the new tool. While we can’t incorporate every tidbit of feedback, these roundtables provide us with great insights that help us ensure we’re building a product that you want, and that works well for you.
When you participate in a user test you will have your mouse, video, and microphone recorded as you walk through the new tool’s user interface so that we can determine what needs improvement before we launch to all our customers.
For enhanced reports this helps us determine when steps to generate a report are confusing, what language doesn’t make sense to our users, and what other changes we can implement to make the product better overall and easy to use.
As part of the program you’ll also have free rein to poke through new features like the enhanced reports and help us find bugs, as well as give us feedback about what you like and don’t like about the tool.
Here’s Jeff Stai with Twisted Oak doing a very early test on one of our sales reports:
It’s not too late to get involved! In the coming weeks we’ll be increasing user testing for our enhanced reporting capabilities, and will begin roundtable discussions for some of our other features. We’re also conducting in-depth interviews so we can get to know you and your winery better, and understand how Vin65 can help make your day to day life easier.
All you need to do to join in on the fun is fill in our Beta Program application form, and wait for us to contact you with an opportunity. It’s a great way to leave your mark and help influence the direction of Vin65.