I’ve been part of a few start-ups here in Melbourne and in California. Looking back, the projects that were most important to me were those with a vision I believed in, customers I could relate to and a passionate community that really wanted to see us succeed. I had a few experimental years with bigger enterprises in the middle there, but joining Envato has put me back in my happy place.
Initially, my role here was User Experience Lead, so I’ve been involved in a lot of hands-on design work with a variety of dev team projects. However, I’ve also been spending a lot of time talking with different kinds of authors and buyers, reviewing support tickets, reading forum threads and talking with our support and community teams to understand what issues are causing frustration and confusion.
Very recently, my role has been upgraded to Product Owner. This means I will now spend my time focusing on the overall product design and prioritisation of these issues, so I’m really glad we’ve invested the time listening and building up this empathy. We have lots of work to do, a broad community to keep happy and plenty of tough prioritisation decisions to make, but everyone here is committed to improving our core features and experiences.
You can expect to see me in the forums more often, acknowledging problems and asking a lot of questions. I’ll also be writing a monthly Notes post talking about our product development — what the dev team has been working on, why it’s important, what I’m thinking about and where we’re likely to focus next.
Right now, the dev team is working on a major upgrade of our main marketplace code base to a newer version of Rails (the framework we use). There’s never a convenient time to do this sort of work, but avoiding it is actually slowing us down.
In the meantime, I’m thinking about what comes next for the dev team. How do we break these big changes we want to make into smaller, incremental improvements? Which five things could we make a little bit better instead of one thing amazingly awesome?
A lot of my focus has been around item support — reading the forum threads, talking to buyers, talking to authors and planning out some of first changes that will get things moving in the right direction. We’ll be starting this work in December. We’ll talk more about the changes as we go both here and in the notices forum.