Creating a Mobile Dashboard from Scratch for Storyly
Hello Medium community 👋 long time no see huh?
Let’s start with a brief information here. Storyly is a lightweight SDK that provides Instagram like stories to your app, mobile-web and website. We have a cool, easy-to-use and good looking dashboard to manage and create your stories.
However, when it comes to managing content on your app/website sometimes you are in need of a way faster and mobile solution. That is how we come up with the idea of having a mobile dashboard for Storyly as well. For example, you are at home in the evening and there is something wrong with your content, using your phone to temporarily fix it sounds easier right?
The Idea 💡
Alright, let’s hit the floor now. I’ve basically explained how the idea come up but wanted to deep dive into it a little more. First of all, I’ve came up with the idea of Storyly needs a mobile app for dashboard for our users’ daily use. However, I was just supporting this idea with my own mind which was completely wrong to do.
This actually became a real idea when we actually figure out why we need this. Our users had some urgent situations like fixing a problematic story or checking some important metrics or even sometimes creating a story quickly when they took a photo etc.
So, I was totally wrong with the problem & need, I was thinking it was a need because why not? but there was a completely different need behind it. Solving problems and creating stories fast, safe and sound.
The Creation 🖍
We are moving on! We’ve figured out the idea, the problem and the need at basics. Next stop: creating what dashboard features we are going to implement on mobile dashboard and how will be the mobile app of dashboard will look.
As we were focusing on urgency use, we’ve decided some basics and important features to be in the mobile dashboard. These were; creating a simple story, changing the status of your groups and stories, changing the order of your groups and stories and finally basic analytics. (we have way more complex features in our dashboard 😉)
Like after deciding the features, we also made a really simple priority list, in case if we need to phase this app. However, the features we wanted to imply was so basic and necessary, we said: let’s just roll!
Meh, if you say let’s just roll, it might cause some other mistakes (sort of). We’ve partially completed the analysis document and willing to make some wireframes out of it. However, instead of going safe and sound, we’ve created a perfect (almost) design for our mobile app. The design was so close to being done but without the wireframe and some other things, we had to revisit it multiple times until we create a ready-to-test prototype out of it.
The Testing 🤓
We have the idea and we’ve created something. Next step was testing, by testing I don’t mean an internal one, we had to test our prototype with our current customers and see their reactions. So, we’ve started planing short usability sessions with our users.
We’ve conducted 10 online usability tests with our own dashboard users and multiple internal usability tests at that time. Literally all of our users loved the idea of having a mobile dashboard and yet they all had some useful feedbacks and new ideas.
After all the sessions ended, it was time to revisit everything we’ve done so far. Guess what, we actually made bunch of small changes, the usability sessions were extremely helpful! There were teeny-tiny points that we’ve missed or didn’t think was important. Sometimes, you might think that everything is on spot, you’ve did a great job and all ready to go but nope, the reality is not like that. There is always small or big things that you missed or never even think of.
Mistakes & Learnings 🤔
Actually, I don’t want to make this post longer and longer. I’ve already mentioned couple mistakes above but will try to explain in a nutshell on this very last section.
- I’ve learned that, in a well developed product team, everybody needs to communicate like all the time. Without communication, you’ll probably rush the task and cause some minor problems,
- I’ve also learned that not everything we thought as a need or problem can’t be a real problem or need, you always need to learn these from your users,
- We’ve learned that while everything is on start, creating a full design is not the optimal way, no matter that design is so close to being perfect,
- We also realized how great can be usability tests, especially when you have a decent prototype to test. Those tests are so great to learn and imply afterwards,
As all the good things has an end, this post is almost over too. You might thinking, okay, where is the product, show me! It’s on development at the very moment. We are planing to release Storyly’s mobile dashboard app within the first quarter of 2022. Here is a sneak-peak for couple of you reading this 😏