The last week has involved planning in the work for the next 3-6 months. James #2 came in to help us do this and we followed a process which is reasonably rational and based on a customer-centred approach to design:
- What are the key drivers for people to use Folksy?
- What would help to improve those drivers (mainly converting shoppers into buyers)?
- Which of these ideas align best with a) what people have asked for and b) cost vs. benefit and c) long-term sustainability
The two main tranches of work to come out of this planning (that are not purely technical) are:
- Improved search
- Better ‘ambient discoverability’ based on things changing (what is being favourited, what people are looking at, new shops etc.)
I find this process – one we go through at least annually to re-align the road map and set budgets and goals – both liberating and yet frustrating. There is so much we’d like to do, so much we know would help us (and you) to grow. Yet managing within tight budget constraints mean we have to prioritise and compromise, two things we’ve learnt to be good at ;)
The two main work tasks will be spread out over the course of the next 6 months or so, with sprints around discrete stories / bits of work which we’ll look to release. We may find we have time / budget for some of the other suggested features as we go, but these two are our priority.
We’ve also been looking at a new forum platform to replace the old ‘beast’ (it really was called Beast) we’ve been using since 2008. Until very recently we hadn’t found anything we could take and use that was better. However, we’ve been playing with a new forum platform called Discourse which we believe is a massive improvement and potentially a great place for conversations on Folksy to live. The community tools have long been something we wanted to improve on and this is hopefully a first step.
Doug has also been really busy squashing bugs and prepping the ground for the bigger pieces of work. He completed over 20 tasks last week (not including making the tea) and if we did have a gamified-motivational-employee-scheme he’d win the badge for employee of the week. But we don’t, so I bought him more lemon and ginger tea to drink instead.
Sian, Camilla and Jess have been busy managing content, support and copy and liaising with some potential partners around events and offers. (I’ve made this sound trivial and it really isn’t).
And tomorrow we have our Christmas team away-day. Due to the Christmas period being ridiculously busy (and not at all due to anything else like me being awkward) we’re off to screenprint for the day at West Yorkshire Print Workshop. We’re going to design and print our own work then select one thing to do a short production run of Folksy t-shirts with, which we hope to sell through Folksy.
The last week also marks the last for Emily. She’s been magic. Literally, making great things happen with very little time or budget. Like Dynamo only far prettier. Her move to Portland, USA was too great a leap to still make working at Folksy do-able even in this age of Skype and things. As I write this Emily will be sleeping (she’s 9hrs behind GMT). Odd to think that. Anyway, we all hope you find something else to match your amazing talents and hope our paths cross regularly, preferably over a gin. Bye Emily (although I think you’re overdue a weeknotes, maybe you’ll come back and write one?).
Mostly listening to: Cate le Bon
Mostly dancing (on my own) to: Factory Floor