Note: This post assumes that the development & designing is already taken care of, or is under way. This is not a web development tutorial.
So, like me, you too have decided to do something on your own. I understand, normal 9-5 jobs just aren’t for us – we aren’t wired that way. So you got an idea (in your mind – a million $ one) and have worked really hard to get it working and finally the website/webapp is ready for launch and to be consumed by its intended audience.
WHAT DO WE DO NEXT??
Test, Test, Test
No testing is enough testing. You simply can’t test anything enough to say it’s done or it’s fine. You must thoroughly test every single thing as much as you can. There are high chances you might miss something which you thought is obvious. It’s specially very frequent if you’ve built it yourself. There’s this inner confidence that no way you would’ve messed something trivial up, but it’s not your fault – you’re doing so much – it’s very normal to have made a small mistake or two (as long as you test well, find it, fix it).
Get the Landing Page Right
Trust me, it really is the most important page you’re building. When a user visits your URL, the first thing he’ll see is the page you’ve got ready to welcome him. Only if he’s impressed with that will he actually go forward and have a run at your product. If you can’t convince him in the first page itself – there’s no (chance of) convincing him later either.
I spent a lot of time just doing and re-doing the landing page. At least 15-20 git commits with comments just like ‘landing page text changed’ or ‘landing page changes’. It’s a constant effort honestly to get it to a state one could say they’re satisfied with, because let’s be honest, it can’t be perfect, right? You just put whatever effort you can to get the user to fall in love with your product at first sight.
- Have an intro video – don’t get it to play instantly, let the user decide. It helps a lot for the user to understand the product.
- Easy, Visible CTA – Need a user to login or sign up? Fill a form? Submit a survey? If you need a user to click anywhere, you must highlight it well enough, stress on it. Focus.
- Minimalism – Less content. Users these days don’t have much patience. If you have a lot to explain, use ‘Read More’ in the paragraph. Use images as much as possible otherwise.
- Straight to the Point – He doesn’t have the time to listen to stories, get to the point, serve him your idea and convince him as soon as he lands!
Feedback – FFF’s
The first people you must go to for feedback are your Friends, Family and Fools. They say, “If you’re struggling to raise investment from angel investors, the next fallback is FFFfunding – Friends, Family and Fools.”. This also applies to feedback. They’ll readily take out time to see what you’ve done and provide feedback. They might not be experts in what you’ve made and it might not even be 100% relevant to them, but they have an idea and they’ll be honest with you. Any feedback is good feedback, and you can never have enough of it.
Feedback – Strangers
Approach strangers – find a group on Slack, Reddit, Twitter, or any other community you know or a part of. Invite people and ask them if they have a little free time to test your product for you. Really great feedback can be claimed through this process.
Once such amazing feedback that has stuck with me greatly was before the launch of MySavings.Fund when a user who tested it told me it looks more like a ‘Project rather than a Product’. That spoke volumes about what I had been doing and how it turned out to be.
Fight the nervousness – Be Confident!
You got to trust your gut. I have delayed the release date of MySavings.Fund 8 times just because I wasn’t sure. You have to know that nervousness is common, its good, or else may be you don’t care enough or feel enough for what you’ve been working on day in and day out. Trust your work and leave the rest up to fate I feel. If your product is good, there won’t be any stopping it. And if its bad, a lot of learning can be made.