Shortly after planning out the next big rocks for Cushion, I got to work on extracting invoicing into the main nav, rather than burying it in the “budget” section. Technically, this wasn’t difficult at all—simply adding the new link and updating the routes—but the impact would potentially be a big deal. There’s a good chance new users were missing invoicing because they didn’t see it on the top-level or existing users were being tripped up by needing to go out of their way to get there. Hoping it would have a positive effect, I deployed the change this weekend, and set up a message to appear in the app:
Back when I was full-time on Cushion, I would send these kind of messages whenever I made a significant update, so it felt great to get back to that routine. I think it goes a long way to show that an app still has life and that it’s still actively worked on—especially when the message is about little tweaks that improve the lives of the users instead of only big product launch announcements.
After queueing the message, I moved onto the next item on my to-do list. Then, throughout the day, messages started coming in. Not support messages to report a bug or request a feature, but messages just saying “thanks”.
This simple, yet impactful tweak of pulling invoicing into the main nav is an improvement that many of these people wanted, but no one ever voiced directly. Sure, I’ve received plenty of broad feedback about the nav and hierarchy being confusing, but never once heard someone say “invoicing should be in the main nav.”
That’s what makes this update even sweeter—to be able to look at the existing app, think about the issues with the evidence I have, then hypothesize a solution, and have it work out. It’s one of the main reasons why I love maintaining a product. I could launch a new marketing page that has all sorts of fancy animations that people of the internet applaud in the moment, but it’s nothing like launching an update that improves the experience for users that I’ve known for years and having them express their thanks. That’s priceless to me.
Now that I’m bursting with energy from this update, I’m going head-first into the next big rock on my list—the marketing website. As I mentioned in the last post, I’m not looking to go down the rabbit hole for months, so I’m being especially cautious with how I proceed—focusing first on the main pages I need to update, then moving on before I get trapped. Yesterday, I spent the day designing, and today I’ll get the wording right, then I’ll wire everything together. I feel good about this one. Even though I’m essentially “reverting” the homepage to a previous version (with a few updates along the way), it just feels right. I’m excited to get it out there.