- Karthik Kamalakannan
We started hellonext.co back in 2018, which was an evolution of my previous product called Evolvr.io (#1 product of the day in 2015 on Product Hunt). Since then, we've been trying out different product release cycle to improve the product features, fixes and performance optimization to build the best feature voting tool.
Here are some of them:
The Six Weeks release cycle
We tried Basecamp's Six Weeks release cycle for about a year. While it worked out great for big releases, like our new iOS & Android app, it never really worked out for our web version, since we had to constantly update the platform almost every week.
Though the feature releases worked out well, we had the big conversion problem. Users loved the product, but they wanted things that we didn't necessarily have at that time.
Small product updates, everyday
I am a big fan of James Clear's Atomic Habits. While I used to do things in small increments while working, it never really hit me to use that technique for our product development cycle.
During one of our internal meetings, the idea of releasing small fixes or improvements everyday came up, and it connected back to the core concept of Atomic Habits.
Back in March this year, we switched to daily releases. This means:
- Everyday, we will make a small yet noticeable update to our user interface and user experience;
- Everyday, we will make a 5% performance improvement to the backend code;
- Everyday, we will identify and fix at least one bug that could come in the way of the users using the platform;
- Finally, at the end of the week, we will aggregate all these changes, and push out a release note to our users.
We stuck to this method since March, and I am super thrilled to see the results after two months.
In May, we made 30% increase in our revenue (because of iframe embeds, and other customization options) 12% increase in user feedback submission (because of a UX change) 300ms faster response rate to our API calls from platforms like Intercom, which makes it faster for users to submit their feedback.
We are also tweeting the changes starting today, on @hellonexthq.
What did we learn here
One of the biggest learnings for me here was that small changes that we make everyday matters, which has directly impacted our users in a positive way, which is what matters to us as a business.
What development cycle/model are you following for your side project? Do you think we’re on the right track here?
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