CASE STUDY Roadmap

Creating my own product for teams to capture and automate user feedback

Project Background

As a product designer, I've always been the person responsible for keeping track of user feedback and making it visible to the team to inform our work. If you don't stay on top of it, the feedback can fall through the cracks as the work gets done. I wanted to follow up with users in a personal way, but it was an incredibly manual process.

I co-founded Roadmap to achieve two things:

  1. Close feedback loops through automation
  2. Make roadmaps less of a burden and more insightful

I wanted to encourage users to provide feedback on their own, automate the communications, integrate with the tools product teams are already using, and provide users with updates as progress is made on their feedback.

I wanted to build a culture of empathy for users into the entire product lifecycle, not just as an afterthought before launch.

Design

Branding, Website Design, User Interface Design, Prototyping, Front-End Dev

UX

Product Strategy, User Research, Workflows, User Testing

Duration

1+ years

Location

Remote, based out of Cambridge, United Kingdom

"Allison has the rare ability to recognize business opportunity, execute visual experiences across brand assets and code, and inspire a customer-focused culture."

– Brittany Fuller, Co-Founder & CEO Roadmap

User Research

We wanted to make sure we understood the problems with the way people are currently capturing feedback and sharing progress with users. Spread across three different timezones, the 3 of us talked to potential customers, advisors, and decided what problems we wanted to solve.

Product strategy

Our product started as a simple public roadmap and evolved into a feedback management tool. This is how it worked:

Feedback was captured on roadmap stories, added manually, or via one of our integrations with Slack or Intercom.

Feedback went to the inbox to be triaged by the team. If it was actionable feedback it would be added to or converted to an idea.

The team could combine and prioritize ideas in the backlog using custom fields and push to PM tools like Trello and Github.

Once ideas were in progress, added to a story, or completed, users were automatically notified, closing the feedback loop.

Early Sketches

Product integrations

Feedback comes at product teams from all different channels, and we wanted to be where the feedback was already happening to make product adoption easier for our users. We created a Slack and Intercom integration, a chrome extension, and also allowed users to capture feedback via their roadmap or manually in the app.

Once feedback was captured and in the backlog, Roadmap offered a convenient way for teams to track it alongside their product work. We created a JIRA, Trello, and Github integration to send automatic notifications when feedback was being worked on or completed.

Product design

There were two unique experiences to Roadmap that needed to be designed. The responsive web app where users manage their feedback and ideas, and the public roadmap that their stories show up on and users leave feedback on.

Go-to-market Strategy

We wanted to go-to-market as quickly as possible to get feedback right away. Being self-funded with limited resources, it was important to prove the viability of our idea as soon as possible. We isolated and launched the core functionality of the Roadmap on Product Hunt, receiving positive feedback.

As we continued iterating on our product, we worked hard to land our first 10 customers. They were receptive and excited about the product, and became product advocates inside of their company. They were using it in unexpected ways, teaching us and influencing the direction of the product.

Team Achievements

Conceptualized, designed, built, and launched a product to market from scratch.

Created a chrome extension and a Slack, Intercom, Github, and Trello Integrations.

Acquired users from companies like Github, Pinterest, Spotify, and Amazon.

We made money! It was generating 5 figures in MRR, paying for our expenses to run it.

We had hundreds of users! People trusted their feedback & roadmap with us. That's pretty cool.

Attracted attention from investment firms and companies like Slack, who were ready to invest.

"Allison brings a lot of passion to her work and her passion infects the marketing, product, and engineering teams. She inspires everyone to care more about the problems we're solving for customers."

– Brittany Fuller, Co-Founder & CEO Roadmap