We’ve been working hard at Bullet HQ over the past couple of months bringing this new look to Bullet. There are a couple of reasons why we changed how the application looked which I’ll explain below. How Bullet looks and makes the user feel is super important to us so we’ve had quite a few interesting realisations that were contrary to our initial thinking but I suppose make sense in hindsight, which is probably true of very UI change.
Everybody Wants Simple Accounts, Right?
Making an assumption that everyone wanted simple accounts would be correct. So we built a huge layer of UX on top of a double entry accounting and payroll solution, to reflect those simple workflows we designed a tumblresk style UI. Elements like big buttons and huge text fields were to resonate the simplicity of the application. Great right, super simple looking front-end with a smart UX to manage the user, and monster of a rules engine to take that data and hammer it into something that’s legal winner right, no!
So What’s The Problem?
We we’re finding that new customers who didn’t know our story (as word of mouth has been kind to Bullet) were landing on the site and leaving thinking it was just another online invoicing tool, with some after thoughts like ‘Money Out’, etc tagged on. When you only have a couple of seconds to grab the customers trust, and trust it is then you hit a problem and we did. We have nearly a zero churn rate, once people use Bullet they love us, but getting new customers to see how automated everything was in a couple of seconds, was tricky.
Marketing Sites, People Just Don’t Read,
The first version of our marketing site had looked to tackle the issue of educating our customers as to the power of Bullet, not about accounts. We had feature lists, overview screenshots and quick workflow videos when they signed in which got changed to quick win demo’s. We personally reach out to every new signup and we were getting back some ‘obvious to us’, questions like ‘Do you do payroll?’, right up to ‘I’m looking for an accounting system, do you guys do that’, we knew we’d hit a problem.
The learning we took from this is we’re selling accounts to reluctant accountants, people who really don’t want to expend anytime learning about accounts. You’ll see (and have seen) our marketing site getting more and more emotive, we know our customer and we know they want to land on a site that says “We do Accounting’, then see images that are familiar (like minded people working in like minded companies) and press go.
Why Twitter Bootstrap
We’d actually designed our original look and feel for Bullet long before we became aware of Twitter Bootstrap. But, in essence the idea of the Bullet UI was to standardise all front-end development for John. From doing client work, we’d realised that waaay to much time was spent on picking colours and UI looks rather the UX flow and asking questions like ‘why is the user here and where do we want them to go’, which in my book is more important than anything else.
When we started looking at the redesign it made sense to use Twitter Bootstrap, it frees up time, keeps us focused on the customer and keeps things moving forward.
If you’ve any questions on this post let me know, or signup to Bullet and take it for a spin.