Lessons from our customer survey
In addition to all the feedback we get through our channels like GitHub, our slack channel, gitter, email and discussions with customers, we made a customer survey this week to learn more about our users. First we want to thank you to everybody, who spent some time to completed the survey. We learned a lot from that!
We have not received any real negative feedback, but of course there is a lot to do in order to improve. At the moment we are also trying to get more customers for our cloud version, because we need more resources to improve the product. Squidex looks like a small project, but we need a big team to implement all our todos. It is also not a good project for investors, because as an opensource company you give away a lot of your assets for free, especially in the seed stage, when your product is your only valuable asset.
About the Cloud version
When we asked in our survey, why you are not using the cloud version, we got the following or similar answers back:
Uncertainty regarding product roadmap and future support
We expected to get this answer and we understand why. Even for a small company, it is not that easy to migrate from one content management system to another, but we have done and doing very concrete things to improve it:
- We are very transparent about our roadmap. This survey was one task to improve our roadmap and be more concrete about our future plans.
- We started with the backup system, because we understand that there are good reasons why you might want to move away from the cloud. It could be the pricing, the availability or the performance, because our data-center is too far away from yours. We ensure that you always own your data.
- Squidex is open source and can be hosted on all platforms, even if we would decide to stop the support, you can host it by yourself.
We combined all the feedback we got to a single Trello board: Roadmap. The backlog is organized in different lists and each is sorted in itself. The next days we will make a list with the next todo’s to give you more insights what you can expect to come next.
Priority #1: More features and UI improvements.
When we went over the feature requests, we realized that a lot of them depends on the user interface. We assigned the purple label to these features. It seems that the user interface we build has some major issues, but that’s how every product starts.
- For a lot of features, we do not have the space anymore to integrate new features in a good way. The approach with the panels has its advantages, because you can show multiple panels together and drag and drop between the panels. But the big disadvantage is that many users to do not understand the drag and drop systems and for a single screen there is not enough space. For example there is a lot more information we want to show in the content list of content details.
- We have to explain more. For example we got the feedback that field validation, like required fields is, missing. But it is there. The fact is, that the Squidex often supports more validation option than our competitors (perhaps not everything you need, but that is another story). So we have to show how to find them, for example with a wizard for new fields.
- We have to treat each screen individually. For example we built the history feature where you can see how a schema has been changed over time and we use the same screen for all our views. But this means, that we can only show very basic information there, like a text, the user and the date. But this is not suitable for all screens. For example in the content history we would like to show the status of the content over time and not only a text with redundant information.
Priority #2: Samples and documentation
I think the following summary is very useful.
Let me just comment each item by its own:
- New Features: There is not so much to say about it anymore. The roadmap is full of features we have to implement, a lot to do actually.
- Subscriptions: The request to improve the subscription management is mainly driven by the wish to manage multiple apps within one subscription. In azure you have resource groups, in google cloud you have a subscription per project. We think we can easily do it manually for now by giving you individually discounts for your subscriptions if you have multiple subscriptions. It is something we have to solve sooner or later, but it is a question of priorities.
- Quality and Bugs: We do not have that many bug reports, therefore I am a little bit confused about the high number of votes. If you have any bugs, please let us know immediately. I think some of the votes are also due the quality issues with the user interface.
- Performance: I have not realized any major problems with the performance yet. In our cloud version the API calls are usually answered in less than 100ms. Again: If you have issues, let us know.
- Documentation (and samples): Yes, very important. But I also think that a good product should not require documentation. So we should focus on the product first and integrate the documentation in the product.
We also got a lot of feedback that you need more information about the installation process. We understand that, but we need help from the community here. First, because there are so many different deployment scenarios and second, because our priority is the cloud version to get the resources to pay more developers.
If you have wishes about specific samples, we also need input from you, because we do not know which frontend technologies you are using. Of course we have to cover the major frameworks, like react, angular, angularjs and vue, but we have to find the right priority.
- Support: So far almost everybody seems to be happy about the support and we are proud of it. We are online for about 12 hours a day and try to answer as soon as possible. And you get it for free.
Thanks again for your support and please bookmark our roadmap. Cheers!