If you're reading this article its likely that you've been kind enough to take the time to make a feature request, which is fab!
As you might expect we get a heap of feature requests in all shapes and sizes with all sorts of differing motivations. So we thought it would be useful to explain how we deal with them.
With this in mind, its probably worthwhile giving you a bit of background:
Our Business Model
As you know WriteUpp is a cloud-based system.
Without boring you with the technicalities this means that one piece of source code serves all of our clients all over the world. Doing it this way enables us to spread the costs of providing WriteUpp over a large number of users - which means our users get access to simple, high quality software at a very reasonable price.
If you're either using or considering using WriteUpp its likely that you are attracted by:
- the simplicity of our product
- the price of our product
- the great service that we offer
Which is great, because we made a very conscious decision when we decided to develop WriteUpp to create a product that was simple, useful and effortless to use.
We spend just about every waking minute (and some when we should be sleeping) thinking of new ways to make WriteUpp simpler and more useful, without making it more complex. Your feedback fuels this creative process and we're super grateful for the thousands of feature requests that you send to us via our Help Desk, Social Media and email.
The feedback that we get tends to fall pretty neatly into one of two broad categories:
We get lots like this:
"Would it be easier if you did x?"
"Its not very logical to see this here, how about doing it this way"
"I'd like to be able quickly do this...."
This kind of feedback is great. Its exactly what we need and it motivates us to re-think, re-design and re-simplify.
But we also receive a one or two like this:
"I like your product and I’ll subscribe if you just add this small feature for me”
“xyz product has this feature. I would move to you if you added it”
If we rolled on these kinds of requests WriteUpp would look something like this:
and we're rather keen to avoid this!
So, here's what happens if you make a feature request:
- We'll review it and make an initial judgement as to whether or not it might benefit the WriteUpp community as a whole (don't forget, one piece of source code serves everyone).
- Requests that clearly focus on the individual or very specific needs of a user are filtered out at this stage as are tickets that involve something along the lines of "I'll sign-up if you add this..."
- Feature Requests that make it through this initial review are entered on to our development tracking system (Jira) for consideration in the next or subsequent releases. If this happens you will be notified via email and you will be able to track the progress of your request.
- When each issue is logged in Jira it's categorised as follows:
Typically there are 200-300 of these per release and we generally put out 6-7 releases per year.
- When we begin developing a new release the whole team (Client-facing and Engineering) reviews each issue in turn and we decide which features should make it into the release based on:
- Roadmap - how does it fit with our product direction and dev plan
- Popularity - how many people have asked for it
- Complexity - how hard is it to do
- Criticality - is it impacting the performance/reliability of the system
- Simplicity - does it fit with our core ethos
- Once we've made the decision to add a new feature (or simplify an existing feature) the development team will code it up, it will be tested, quality controlled and released. Releases normally happen every 4-6 weeks but this does vary depending on the complexity of the release. You will receive an email notifying you that this happened and the feature will be documented in the release notes that accompany each release. Which you can access from Help Me->What's New
So, please keep the requests coming and hopefully this gives you a better idea about how we handle them. Rest assured your efforts aren't in vain.
Need More Help?
We understand that not everything is black and white, so if you need some help, click "Submit A Request" ticket and one of our team will help you out as soon as possible.