FUNDING
Accountants

What’s next for Fluidly? Hear from our lead designer

At Fluidly, we never stand still. We’re constantly working on ways to improve our tools, and to bring our customers more (you can see a list of seven changes we’ve made recently that have made a huge difference here.)

But while it’s easy to talk a big talk when it comes to feature updates, what do product changes really look like in reality. How do we decide what improvements to make? How long do they take to execute, and what kind of feedback do we get once they are live?

We sat down with our Lead Product Designer to get the inside scoop on her experience of working at Fluidly. Having joined the business way back when it first started when there were just a handful of employees, she’s seen the product evolve from notes on a whiteboard to an award-winning, industry-leading product with thousands of customers and now over 50 employees.

Find out what she has to say below, from why the product solves a problem close to her heart to the best feedback that made her smile…

Name: Rebecca Reynolds
Role at Fluidly: Lead Product Designer
Joined the business: September 2017
Favourite thing about working at Fluidly: The collaborative working culture. Whether it’s internal between different disciplines or working with users to better understand their needs, everyone is always passionate and enthusiastic to get involved.

What does your role involve at Fluidly?

“At its heart, my role is designing a product that people love to use. This involves a range of activities from conducting research to identify opportunities for features, through to designing how it works and looks. I also work with our engineers to build that final experience and make sure that we’re meeting the needs of our users.”

What really excites you about working on the product?

“The problems we work on are so tangible and relatable. My brother’s business went under because of poor cashflow management so it’s an area close to my heart. 

“There’s so much potential in what we’re trying to achieve and always new challenges and problems to solve.” 

What changes has the product team made lately that have had a big impact? 

“We recently released a feature where Fluidly automatically forecasts VAT based on the data in a SME forecast. It’s currently being used by a lot of accountants and their clients which has been great to see.” 

What’s the reality of getting a new feature from a validated idea to live in the product?

“Validating an idea can often be the part that takes the longest – figuring out what we’re doing and why. Generally we’ll be trying to validate multiple ideas at the same time so some could be a few days or weeks. Bigger ideas (such as our scenario planning tool) that have a lot more unknowns can take longer to get to the point where we’re ready for development. 

“Once we’re ready for that, the product manager, product designer and engineering lead will work together on a detailed solution. Once that’s agreed, we’ll work with the wider team of engineers to build it. Depending on the work, we might put together a prototype or a beta version to test with users to make sure we’re going in the right direction and it’s working as they’d expect. This allows us to make any changes before rolling a feature out to everyone.”

How do you decide what changes to make next? 

“Any features we build would come from a mix of ad hoc user feedback and in depth user research, which would help us get a basic understanding of how we’d solve a problem.

“From here we would score each one against:

  • How many users this would reach
  • How impactful this would be on our current business goals
  • How much effort would be needed to develop this solution

“In an ideal world everything would be quick to solve and super impactful so it’s more of an art than a science.”

What can we expect to see over the next few months in terms of updates? 

“User permissions for our accounting partners has been a request since the early days of Fluidly so it’s exciting to be able to talk in more detail about that soon. 

“The other area we’re looking into is ‘Cash Performance’ – we’re thinking about how we can signal potential issues with a client’s cashflow. Watch this space!”   

How do you work with customers to take onboard product feedback? 

“We have two types of feedback. The first would be ‘ad-hoc’ so this is where we record any feedback that comes through our Account Management, Customer Service or Sales teams. 

“The second would be 1<>1 research sessions with the product team. These could involve a general exploration of an area in SME finance or feedback about a specific feature. All of this feeds into our decision making to understand what we should be working on next.” 

What’s the best bit of feedback you’ve ever had? 

“A recent one that made me smile was where a client gave a glowing piece of feedback and then finished it by saying that they look forward to sitting down to use it on a Saturday morning with a coffee. 

“I’d never thought of us as a weekend or lifestyle product so it was great to see the enthusiasm shine through.” 

What do you think makes the Fluidly product so special? 

“The ambition and the people behind the product. There’s a burning desire to make things better, whether it’s our product, our partners or our people – we care. There’s no room for egos or drama – we step up for each other and our customers without fail.” 

Want to see how Fluidly could help your practice? We’re running a special promotion with 12 months free if you sign up today.

Simply book a demo at a time that suits you.

 

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