2018 was the year we pushed our product live!
– If you are wondering what the product is, please take a minute to watch this video:
We realised early into the Padoq journey that we were building something pretty big. The prototype had more than 300 screens and gave us a demo that we could show off to potential users and begin drumming up excitement. It also provided a visualisation of what we were trying to achieve, so we could demonstrate our exciting vision of Padoq – a community platform of the future.
TESTING & LEARNING
As with most software development projects, things often take longer than you expect them to – and Padoq was no exception to this. But by August, we were ready to make our app live on the iOS App Store followed shortly by the Google Play store. After months of showing users our static Invision screens, we were now able to create Padoqs, make posts and invite friends.
We were keen to see how users reacted and began gently pushing Padoq out through friends, family and the Manchester business community, whilst also hosting a few on-boarding sessions with larger communities. Our first live on-boarding saw us pull 60 students from Manchester University into a room, only to find 10% of them (yes, that’s only 6 people) could get on to it due to a verification code issue during sign-up. Red-faced and frustrated, we retreated…
Mike’s realisation: Our software was not going to be perfect from day one.
GETTING GROUPS ON BOARD
Following a ton of feedback both internally and through friends and family, we began fixing the on-boarding issues. Our primary method of doing this was by creating interesting Padoqs ourselves and then encouraging our friends and family to actually go in, use them and give us candid feedback. A few of my personal favourite Padoqs that were created include:
- Beer Aficionados – This Padoq quickly became the place for beer lovers to share pictures of themselves drinking cool and interesting beers – you can join it yourself, too: https://padoq-live.app.link/Beer-Aficionados
- Keeping up with Callum – A ‘secret’ Padoq restricted to my family that allowed us to stay updated with photos of my nephew Callum, who was born 13 weeks premature and therefore deserves all the attention ☺
In early October our next live on-boarding session came about with Tech Manchester, a mentoring scheme for startups in Manchester (Get in touch with @TrishKeatingmcr for more details!). With 65 people across two days, I nervously instructed the group to download the app and join the Tech Manchester Padoq… Success!
Within 5 minutes, we had successfully on-boarded the whole group and they began sharing posts and engaging with each other through the platform.
Mike’s second realisation: Wow, this is actually going to work!
As we moved into winter, we have continued on-boarding groups who are now using Padoq as their main communications platform for internal engagement. Special shout-outs to some of our earliest Padoq pioneers, including Wythenshawe Amateurs Football Club, Stockport Volleyball Cub and Yare Boating Club in Norwich.
The best bit, however, has been using these groups’ feedback to continuously evolve and improve our product. We have a handy ‘shake to report’ function which allows users to report bugs as well as suggest new features. And as a result of this, we have quite the roadmap padding out for 2019 (we will be writing a blog on this very soon!).
OUR VISION FOR 2019 – MORE COMMUNITIES
For now and for the rest of this year, however, we want more of the same. Enthusiastic organisers and their communities who want to try out Padoq and help us build a product that fits their needs. Whether it’s planning a holiday, running a club/team, or simply creating a space to talk about something you love with friends, we invite you to please give Padoq a try today:
And if you want us to come down and give a demo to your community, we can happily do this too. Please keep the feedback coming in; we love to hear it and we endeavour to react to it!
Whether it’s collecting payments, having more organised discussions or helping your group to make a decision – we hope Padoq can be the solution for your community.
Finally, thank you to everyone who has helped us on this journey the past year – from those writing the code to those giving Padoq a try and providing useful feedback.
I’m personally so excited to see what 2019 brings!