People Don’t Know What They Want Until You Show It To Them

June 24, 2013 Yoav Schwartz

Steve Jobs quote

When you’re building your own product, you have the flexibility and mindset to come up with new, creative solutions. However, when you’re using someone else’s product, it’s not about being inventive — it’s about that product doing what you currently need it to do.

As the CEO of a fast growing SaaS company, it’s my job to deliver great products to our current and future customers. We often seek out feedback on how we’re doing and what our customers want us to do next.

We get lots of great feedback on what our customers would like to see –  an option here, a setting there… occasionally it’s a much larger request that would be a major project (you can see how I feel about custom dev here).

We asked

People don't know what they want until you show it to them

Last year, we decided it was time to address a rather lacklustre aspect of our platform – the landing page, or home of the domains our customers use to publish their Flipbooks. This landing page was ugly. It was essentially a dump of all their Flipbooks, organized by Folders, but with zero customization.

So we asked our customers how we could improve this page and the feedback we received was not surprising – more customization and the ability to stick their social media widgets somewhere on the page.

To be honest, we could have delivered those requests in a week or two and probably satisfied a good portion of our customers. But that would have been boring, conventional and far from pushing the needle on creating an amazing experience.

So that’s when the idea for Content Hubs was born – a beautiful home for all our customers’ existing Uberflip content, as well as their other content such as social, video and blog feeds.

Hubs, however, was not what our customers asked for. Why? Because it was way beyond what they needed as far as they were concerned. But if all product companies ever did was create what customers told them they needed, we’d never push the needle forward and we’d still be in the dark ages.

We developed

We developed Hubs

We took our current customers’ needs and looked beyond them to what their needs would be in the not-too-distant future. What they were essentially telling us was that they wanted better control over the way their content displayed. What they didn’t know to ask for was control over the way their non-Uberflip content displayed – you know, the content that lives in places like Twitter.

That’s where innovation and ambition stepped in and allowed us to design an experience perfect for our customer base. Hubs allows companies and brands to fully control the content experience not only of their Flipbooks, but also for their tweets, YouTube or Vimeo videos and blog RSS feeds from a single location. You can hide certain tweets or articles, feature others at the top of your Hub, add your branding (logos, colors, etc.) — and best of all, Hubs leverages responsive design so it looks fantastic on any sized screen – from desktop to tablets to phones.

Before we knew it we had gone down the road to creating a brand new product under the Uberflip umbrella. Hubs, initially intended to be a feature for our existing Flipbooks, is now a completely standalone (though tightly integrated) product that like our others, pushes the boundaries of what’s possible on the mobile web.

We launched

we launched

We launched Hubs in private beta to around 1,000 of our customers. The feedback and response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Saw the email this morning, and basically I haven’t done any work because I am so excited.  I thought ‘this is like some skittles it’s so sweet'.”

– Game Insider

We’ve never gotten so many new feature requests in such a short time span! This is a good sign that our customers are engaged, and clearly shows we can do more to meet their new needs.

If you’d like to check out what a Hub looks like, we created one for ourselves since we also needed a centralized ‘hub’ to show off all our awesome content! You're in the Uberflip Hub now — let us know what you think, we love feedback : )

Learn more about Content Hubs from one of our content strategists — book a free demo now!

About the Author

Yoav Schwartz

Yoav is the co-founder and CEO at Uberflip and is responsible for driving the mission, vision, and goals of the company. He spends considerable time working with his team to continuously delight and surprise Uberflip's customers.

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