Ladies and gentlemen, I am thrilled to introduce Float, a project I have been bootstrapping for over a year now with my two partners in crime, Glenn Rogers and Lars Gelfan. Float is a scheduling app that aims to help agencies allocate their team's time to their client's projects. Feel free to sign up today, the first 30 days are free!
It was a long process and I gotta say, bootstrapping something like this isn't easy. Working nights and weekends can be, at times, very hard. In addition, the problem we wanted to solve was pretty complicated, the interactions rather complex, and the frontend / backend code extremely heard to pull off. With these condition being our reality from the get-go, I am extremely proud of what we built!
When Glenn reached out to me, asking if I wanted to be a part of Float I was freelancing and was interested in getting involved in more than just client work. I said yes pretty much immediately for three reasons: Glenn is one of the more solid guys I know, my desire to engage in an entrepreneurial adventure and the idea of the product. Having worked with an agency in the past, the idea for Float had an immediate appeal and after performing a quick competitor analysis I realized that nothing out there was as simple and as usable as I would have expected an app of this nature to be. Which meant it was up to us to create one. What a fun challenge!
All the apps that we found in our research were trying to solve too many things at once, creating a lovely bloat-fest. We saw this as an opportunity to simplify the task of scheduling multiple people to multiple projects. Sure, we could have added project notes, to-dos and the works, but we felt that by doing so we would simply add to the bloat and would have solved none of the problems we found in the other products. We wanted to do one thing and do it well. This was the core mindset from the get go.
There were three main phases to the design. Wireframes, prototype and aesthetics (we preformed user testing throughout all three phases as well). Not to say that we divided them into three strict phases, we actually worked on all three pretty much in tandem, iteration after iteration. The hardest part to get right was obviously the schedule view as there were so many things to consider in such a small amount of space. Multiple projects, vacations, hours, overtime etc which all had to fit into a linear schedule view. We really wanted to get the interaction right and at times it seemed as though we figured every interaction possible until a new one we didn't think of came along and made us completely rethink what we did before. But as I mentioned earlier, I think we landed at a sweet spot.
Of course, being the perfectionist that I am, Float was yet another one of those lessons in compromise. Yup even in side projects, as a designer, you must compromise. Because of the sheer size of Float, I'll admit it and say that there are a few things in the app that could have been done a little more aesthetically pleasing. But that's ok! We were very carful to not end up in a loop of perfectionism and wanted to get it to a spot where is was shippable and simply iterate from there.
Float will be an ever evolving product. So please see this as a beta launch. We already have in the pipeline another round of aesthetic tweaks that will address some of design issues I mentioned above, plus a few more features and tricks up our sleeves!
I released many projects in the past, but Float is my first ever real product that I bootstrapped. I cannot express how proud I am of our team, Glenn and Lars, plus Karl, Ryan and Joe that helped with some of the front end work. I learned so much from this whole process and would suggest every designer go through the same. Real life experiences matters the most.
Go ahead and give Float a try, and feel free to hit me up with any feedback that comes to mind!
Sign up to Float now! First 30 days are free.
Written in New York. © 2013