Building a new tool for seamless collaboration on web design isn’t as easy as one might think!
A quick introduction to ruttl!
Over the last few months, we’ve been working on ruttl, a visual feedback & collaboration tool that enables designers and web developers to work in sync on web projects. ruttl is Brucira’s first product that will be released to users, i.e. it isn’t something that has been designed to increase collaboration & productivity internally.
Ever since we released the first look for ruttl, we’ve received a tremendously positive response from designers and web developers who have been looking for a new way to collaborate. The current feedback collection process involves multiple time-consuming marked-up screenshots, lengthy email threads, and a lot of miscommunication.
As designers who had experienced this ourselves, we wanted to find a way to solve these major pain points. But since we were involved in building the solution, we wanted to make sure we wouldn’t miss any other issues. So, we decided to open up access to designers and web developers through a beta waitlist. They would be our early users, sharing their feedback & letting us know what needed to be fixed, which features they’d like, and so on.
At the end of our first phase, we had over 1500 users waiting to access ruttl!
When the first version of ruttl was ready, we decided on a strategic approach to share access with everyone who’d signed up.
Personalized onboarding emails
Our approach was to value quality over quantity. That’s why we began by manually sending out onboarding emails to those on our waitlist. We chose 30 people every day and sent out an email offering them credentials to trial ruttl’s beta version.
Some of them didn’t respond, so we followed up to check in if they were still interested and if not, we asked them the reason for the same. We also wanted to make sure they knew ruttl had begun beta tests and that their experience and feedback would help us build the best design review tool on the market.
The email strategy we adopted was successful because the personalized approach won a lot of people over almost immediately. They knew we cared about their opinion and feedback, and they felt happy to share the same with us.
Our second strategy was to engage with like-minded people on Indie Hacker, a platform for up and coming products & businesses. We chose to target designers and developers who we thought would benefit from trying ruttl out and several of them signed up for the waitlist to gain access.
Brucira has established itself as a leading product design agency, and the design community has been following our growth. We leveraged this through social media marketing and sharing educational and useful content through our channels.
One-on-one demo meetings
Our third and final strategy which turned out to be the most successful: one-on-one demo videos and walkthroughs.
We offered the first beta users one-on-one ‘demo meetings’ with our founder & CEO so that they would be able to use ruttl to its full potential easily. Since more and more people began requesting these demo meetings, our project manager, Rishab, took charge and ensured that each and every doubt/issue a user had was resolved on priority. This hands-on approach was appreciated by our beta users who were able to share very insightful feedback about their experience using ruttl.
What We Learnt
As a startup powered by a small but fiercely dedicated team, we know the value of a personalized approach over an automated one. Our strategy to personally reach out to our waitlist users was time-consuming and tedious, but we wanted to make sure every user knew how important and special they were to us. This difficult-to-execute but highly-effective, three-pronged strategy has resulted in some great feedback for ruttl that we can’t wait to incorporate in our next version.
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