Getting the small stuff right is what makes a great product

CRM startup close.io just blogged about how they sweat the small stuff when it comes to UI and UX design. They gave four examples:

  • Updated the contact entry form so it parsed details entered and automatically identified them as emails, phone numbers etc.
  • Made it so pasting email addresses always produced a simple email address ‘[email protected]’ and never “John Smith” <[email protected]>
  • Enabled zero configuration sending of emails from within the app that appear to come from your native email client
  • Enabled automatic tracking of emails sent from any of your email clients so your CRM records stay up to date with zero hassle

These examples all result in a minor improvement in ease of use for the customer and they are all relatively trivial to build. They are also the sort of thing that people often fail to get round to.

I remember once sending some feedback to Graham Bosher, founder of our portfolio company Graze. It was a comment on a minor piece of functionality and I phrased the email to show understanding that fixing it might not be his top priority. I forget what the piece of functionality was, but I remember the reply very clearly – Graham came back saying ‘thank you, I’m incredibly focused on getting every aspect of the user experience to be as good as it can be’. Since then Graze has gone on to enjoy huge success and now has hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

The lesson from Graze is that attention to the minor details of products is a big driver of success. The close.io guys instinctively get that point too (if you doubt me, read the post explaining why they made the changes). Some founders get this more than others, but as product quality becomes an increasingly important determinant of company success I think we will see more and more people sweating the small stuff.