Bidsketch

I’m super excited with the recent update to the main Bidsketch website. After months of work we’ve released a new design and logo for Bidsketch.

You can see the new website design here:

http://www.bidsketch.com/

The blog was also redesigned in the process as well:

https://www.bidsketch.com/blog/

The new logo is a bit more modern and better reflects the personal approach we like to take.

Take a look at the new logo:

 

The same goes for the new website design. It felt like it was time to update the look and put a little more personality into it.

The credit for the great design goes to my good friend Ryan Scherf:

http://ryanscherf.net/

Ryan does amazing work and I’m very happy he was able to help me out with a new design. I hope it makes reading the blog or visiting the Bidsketch website a bit more pleasant for everyone 🙂

 

{3 comments}

RubenRuben

Many email providers (like Gmail and Yahoo!) use SPF to ensure that email is allowed to be sent by the server that sent it. They do this by checking your DNS server for an SPF record that says it’s ok for X server (or domain) to send emails for Y domain.

Bidsketch now has a public SPF record published so that you can setup your DNS to include Bidsketch mail servers in your own SPF record. If what I’m talking about here is a bit over your head you might want to consult your host or someone that has experience managing DNS.

That being said, all you have to do is add a new text record in DNS with this in it:

include:_spf.bidsketch.com

Note that the underscore is there on purpose. So your complete text record might look like this:

v=spf1 mx ptr include:_spf.bidsketch.com ~all

Again, this can be confusing stuff so only mess around with DNS if you know what you’re doing or can get someone else that knows to make these changes.

{7 comments}

RubenRuben

Bidsketch has been live for about 8 months now and I continue to be surprised by how much great insight can be gained by talking to my users.

I’m lucky in that Bidsketch is made for designers. Talking and interacting with designers is just plain fun. Things go a lot smoother when the person on the other end of your conversation can understand the terms you’re using. A major benefit to this is that I’m able to get some great feedback about how to make Bidsketch better.

Still, a few months ago I was struggling with getting feedback from an important subset of users: the ones that cancel.

I don’t know if you ‘ve tried to do it before, but getting feedback from users that cancel isn’t easy. It’s downright impossible sometimes. I know; I tried everything.

Well, I thought I did. It turns out there’s an extremely effective way to get this type of feedback if you just have the guts to ask.

What do I mean by asking? I don’t mean sending surveys after the fact, or even sending personal hand-crafted emails asking for feedback (I tried both). When you do that, you’re only half-asking.

What I’m talking about involves taking a risk that some people might get pissed off. I’m sure there different ways of doing this, but I found a way to increase the percentage of useful feedback from 20% to 80%.

And here it is:

cancel

Yep, it’s a mandatory comment field when an account is canceled. Putting that on my cancellation page was hard for me. I want to make it as easy as possible for anyone to stop using Bidsketch if they really want to. On the other hand, I need to know how to get better.

This simple comment box taught me two things:

  • People are more than happy to give you useful feedback as long as you’re serious about getting better.
  • Assuming you know what your users are going to think without validating it is a big mistake.

Another neat thing that I found was that a surprising amount of users are only temporarily stopping (because of a job change, etc.) and plan on signing back up.

If you offer a service of any kind, think about what you can do to truly ask how you can get better. Trust me, it pays off.

{2 comments}

RubenRuben

Work (lots of it) is taking place to give Bidsketch a brand new look. Not just that, but once the new design is live, you’ll find a couple of pleasant surprises which I’ll talk about in a few days.

The best way to describe it would be to say that it’s a bit of a usability + design enhancement for Bidsketch.

So I just wanted to give a quick preview of what the design is going to look like. Here’s a screenshot of the new “clients” page:

Clients Page

As for the design itself, it’s from the very talented Ryan Scherf who originally designed it to go hand in hand with the sales site. For a look at some impressive design, check out his stuff.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ll be posting more screenshots as I get closer to unveiling the new design. Stay tuned for more screenshots!

{2 comments}

RubenRuben

In about two weeks I’ll be heading out to Atlanta to hear some ridiculously great entrepreneurs speak at LessConf.

Some of my very favorite people will be there. These are guys that have heavily influenced how I approach product development and customer service. Guys like Peldi from Balsamiq, and Jason Fried + DHH from 37signals.

If you haven’t gotten your tickets, there’s till time! At $400 it’s a great deal.

And if you’re going to the conference drop me an email, I’d love to meet up: ruben@bidsketch.com

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RubenRuben