How designing together brings value to the Seaber Roadmap
The best way to get a satisfied customer is to engage them in the design of your solution as early as possible.
At Seaber, the vast majority of product features and logic of our maritime software have been built in close collaboration with customers, taking in feedback and suggestions in real time. Our agile mindset and co-creation methodology make it easy to adapt new requests into our product as we continually learn what works better.
Together we examine
- What functionalities does the customer need?
- How are these functions performed in their daily routine?
Incorporating our customers’ insight, we went from a basic concept, to a minimum viable Product (MVP) late last year, to the fine-tuned customer-centric product we have today. Here’s how.
We have made it our mission to build and maintain a close relationship with each customer, regardless of whether they are trialing or fully licensed. Regular meetings ensure not only that we get feedback on our progress and current features, but give opportunities to brainstorm, systematically generate concepts and ideas, and ultimately design the next version of the product in collaboration.
What is co-creation?
The process of co-creation is simply creating ideas, processes and practices together with the end-user, or occasionally other stakeholders. In practice this means screen-sharing and open discussion. What you share and discuss can range from the first concept diagrams or UI design mockups to clickable prototypes or working product features.
The discussion involves questions like
- “How do you manage… currently?”
- “How would you like to manage that in an ideal world?”
- “If you imagine a scenario where you try to… would this work for that?”
- “Would it be handy if you could..?”
- “If you could wish for anything, how would you make this easier to use?”
Co-creation requires a facilitator with the skill to interpret things appropriately in different stages of product development. Like reading a book versus watching a movie; with the first concept mockups you’re filling in the gaps with your imagination, with a functioning product the visual is illustrated for you.
Input to the Roadmap
Once the product is released, tracking how users work in Seaber and actively taking in feature requests allows us to fit new functionalities into our future roadmap. Working in sprints makes quick changes possible and ensures that the right things are done at the right time, all without losing track of the bigger vision. This way we can focus on features that have the greatest impact on our users’ daily work, while keeping the customer engaged and motivated to contribute.
Feedback and Support
Finally, we have ensured that contacting us requires as few steps as possible - and that’s only one. Using GrooveHQ (https://www.groovehq.com/) for tracking support questions and feedback allows Seaber to be contacted directly via email with no login or registration. A message to firstname.lastname@example.org is automatically tagged and directed to the right department.
At Seaber we are never done learning and never done iterating. Our company is built on tools and processes to incorporate feedback in a skillful, agile and flexible manner, and systematically engaging the user ensures our shipment planning solution is, and remains, truly customer-centric.