Using a Product-Led Growth Mindset to Improve User Experienceby@amirrozenberg
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Using a Product-Led Growth Mindset to Improve User Experience

by Amir Rozenberg, QualiMay 18th, 2022
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Amir Rozenberg, Vice President of Product at Quali, is working on product-led growth (PLG) at Quali by taking a close look at user needs, translating those needs into experiments, and learning from and refining usage patterns. Through a PLG lens, Amir shares his top focus areas for servicing DevOps and IT professionals.
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I have spent the last years working at DevOps-focused companies, so the topic of product-led growth (PLG) is near and dear to my heart, as are the topics of finding your first steps into PLG. Understanding user needs, translating those into experiments, and learning from and refining usage patterns are the activities I like to spend my day on.

After joining Quali earlier this year, I have had the opportunity to explore a higher ratio of self-serve signups and interactions through Torque, Quali’s SaaS product aimed to service DevOps and IT professionals, becoming an excellent candidate to implement PLG techniques.

Our first steps into PLG were largely guided by our formal users, friends, and prospects. We are following the continuous discovery method to discover and validate our findings. Here are some of the meaningful focus areas we have addressed so far:

Ease of sign up

A significant portion of our users would use Github as a repository for their Infrastructure-as-Code (IaC) components (Terraform, Helm charts, Ansible scripts, etc.), which are reused at scale through Torque. Previously, users had to enter their credentials to join the service. Recognizing that many users already have their identity defined in GitHub, we figured many would benefit from an accelerated sign-up/login experience.

We strongly believe that with more usage and number of users of our solution, the more we can deliver value and optimize our product. Therefore, we want to encourage users to use the product a lot! Why wouldn’t we want the small businesses or those just testing us to experience the goodness we provide? Therefore, we offered a feature-equivalent freemium, where small businesses can leverage us from the get-go and avoid growth blockers down the road. It was important for us to offer a feature-equivalent experience so that DevOps architects testing us would know exactly what their experience would look like once they start using the solution. No surprises, no smoke and mirrors.

Accelerated onboarding experience

Much has been said about reducing the “clicks-to-Aha moment”, asking for information only when necessary and clearly in return for value. Prior to the recent change in the UI, a first-time logged-in user would go through two pages of questions and then about five steps to start working. No “Aha moment” in sight. We realized that’s a non-starter, and the numbers talked (more on that next).

Our new onboarding experience is split into three phases:

  1. Pre “Aha” moment (AKA “see the value for yourself”): 1-click to launch a predefined environment and see it in action (we initially shot for more steps but got down to one).

  1. “Aha moment”: Three steps to connect your cloud and launch your own environment (AKA, this is working for me, and it was easy!)

  1. Ongoing experience: connect your CI (API integration), design blueprints, etc. Daily work.

Learning from real-world usage

This sounds trivial; however, it’s anything but. Our assumptions and hypotheses will live and die by our understanding of user behavior. We track the critical steps and selections in the portal. We enable the entire team to utilize a standard reporting tool to create funnels and other dashboards, and we are now able to see a different behavior for the changes we deployed recently. While planning, deploying and analyzing is the role of every product manager on the team, one of them took leadership in orchestrating the usage patterns tracking, and now it’s a part of every feature we introduce.

We are now moving into a new rhythm of looking at the various PLG tools and how each applies to our user journeys in or outside the portal. We are prioritizing experiments, defining success criteria for each (user behavior), deploying, measuring and refining. Rinse and repeat.

Next, we are planning to look further at some focus areas. One of those pertains to email communications to newly-signed users. We’re considering both event- and time-based series to engage the user with guidance and encouragement. Additionally, we’re looking at optimizing the journey to the “Aha moment”. Can we accelerate while demonstrating the goodness we’re doing behind the scenes? We believe we can.

So, Quali is on the PLG bandwagon, with all the hype and commitment. I also wanted to give thanks to one of my biggest PLG mentors, Chris Zappala, VP of product and growth at Cypress, for many moments of PLG learning and realization. We will be sure to learn and improve. There is no better feeling than seeing usage patterns shift as an outcome of an experiment.

About Amir Rozenberg Amir Rozenberg is the VP of Product at Quali, a global leader in infrastructure automation solutions with a deep background in testing and QA solutions. Amir and his team are obsessed with helping users and companies accelerate their software delivery cycles by removing complex infrastructure blockers and creating an efficient, scalable and predictable. Prior to Quali, Amir served as a product leader at Sauce Labs, driving key transformative initiatives such as low code testing and mobile test automation. Before Sauce Labs, Amir led a set of offerings for Perfecto, a world leader in automated testing for mobile and web apps, where he enabled accelerated application innovation while maintaining high-quality standards. Amir holds a Bachelor of Engineering (EE) degree from Tel Aviv University.