Building Credible, Shopify’s go-to notification app
It’s not often that you connect with high-quality clients on Reddit (sorry Reddit), but that’s exactly how we crossed paths with Dallin Koski, founder of Credible. Dallin had an idea he thought could work well on Shopify: an application to provide attractive notifications about recent orders to a store’s visitors.
Often, it can be a bit of a warning sign for a development agency when approached with the line “I have this great idea, now I just need someone to build it…”, but it was clear from our first Skype chat with Dallin that he was serious: he’d done his research, gotten some mockups together, and was realistic about the costs involved. (Dallin actually wrote up a great post on Medium about the development process from his perspective, which very kindly gives Disco a shout-out.)
With the benefit of Dallin’s clear vision, Disco was able to scope out the work involved in building the application very quickly, as well as being able to bring our Shopify expertise to the table to offer our own design suggestions.
Gavin at Disco provided excellent recommendations along the way, including bringing new ideas to the table that would enhance our apps feature-set. He was able to identify things we didn’t even consider, which is truly priceless.Dallin, Credible
Our philosophy has always been to build an initial version of the application as soon as possible. Doing this gives us a clearer idea of where the majority of the development effort is going to lie, as well as surfacing any omissions from the design specification. Furthermore, it’s a lot easier for our clients to give feedback and offer suggested improvements when there’s something concrete they can point to, rather than an abstract set of mockups.
In the case of Credible, we were able to get a minimally functional app together within a couple of weeks. While still plenty rough around the edges, the core functionality – allowing users to configure their notifications and having those notifications appear on a store front – was present.
Having the initial iteration in hand so early prompted a number of useful discussions with Dallin about things like the settings that should be available to users, how those settings should be presented, and what the final notifications on the store should look like.
The remaining development time was spent iterating on this initial version - tweaking the design, testing out different combinations of user settings, and adding features like mailing list integrations, live notification previews, and an administration panel for Credible staff to keep track of their customers.
As each new improvement or feature was developed, we pushed it to our staging server as soon as possible in order for Dallin to test it out and give feedback. Pushing constant updates keeps a great sense of momentum on projects, and avoids the problems associated with a huge dump of features all at once.
Gavin kept us well informed on his progress along the way with easy to access code & really great screencasts showcasing the app’s progress.Dallin, Credible
As the application started nearing completion, we switched into “launch mode”. This meant helping with the Shopify App Store submission process, getting a landing page up to attract customers, and getting a customer ticketing system set up for support.
During this time, Dallin had been doing the hard work finding a number of stores willing to beta test the application. Onboarding them as we got closer to launch and listening closely to their feedback meant we were able to pick up a few minor bugs and usability issues before general release.
The launch into the App Store was a pretty smooth transition from “beta” to “live”. In fact, the road since the launch of the application in mid-2015 has been pretty smooth sailing (one notable exception being a number of large Shopify Plus stores coming on board all at once and hammering the application servers briefly into submission before we were able to scale them up).
Credible’s seeing more and more usage, and I’m pretty sure Dallin’s already assembling a list of features to include in version 2 – we’re looking forward to working with him and the Credible team on that.
Working with Gavin has been an absolute pleasure…. I feel like he’s just as concerned about the success of our business as we are.Dallin, Credible