Ottitia - My Very Basic MVP

(Daveyon Mayne) #1

No registration. Plans changed. Read all below to see why:

Ottitia brings excellent transmen to customers looking for job to be done in the trades industry. Ottitia targets tradesmen such as: Electrical, Plastering, Plumber, Builder, Carper etc.

Ottitia will filter out “cowboy builders” and ensure all tradesmen are properly vetted and keep a professional status.

The model of Ottita:

Employer (Homeowner)

1: Once registered, you can hire a company directly or post a random job* and that will be assigned to the nearest tradesman based on post code of where the work to be done and the company’s address. *Not yet implemented.

2: Contractor and accept or decline a quote. If accepted, the assigned contractor must create a milestone which will reflect on their final invoice. Once a milestone is created, the employer can review the need for the milestone. When happy, the employer can release the milestone. (Only the employer can release a milestone for a quote they have created).

3: Before creating a milestone, the contractor would have contacted the employer, arrange visits to generate an actual quote for the job. The job may come to less than or more than the original budget. (Either action is yet to be implemented ie: employer disagrees with more than their budget).

4: When the job is completed, the contractor marks the job complete and this generates an invoice for which the customer now pays.


Stripe will be used to top up an employer online account. Milestones will be checked against the employer’s account before releasing a milestone (not yet implemented).

Milestones are deducted from their online account and stored in a table column. This value is not added to the contractor’s account until the customer pays the invoice.

Legal information will be researched to determine what happens when an employer does not want to pay a contractor for his/her job etc.

I welcome you to my very MVP: Ottitia.

PS: You will need to create an account. No validation is coded nor resetting of passwords etc. To fully test, you’ll need both accounts: employer and company. Although your balance will be at £0, the app will still function.

All feedback welcomed: Good, Bad and the Ugly.

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(Daniel Hollands) #2

Feedback, in no particular order:

  • The title of each page says “foundation-rails” - you’ll probably want to update this to show something along the lines of “Page name - Site Name - Tag line” eg: “I want to hire - Ottitia - Hire professional tradesmen who adds value to your project.”

  • Remove the need to register to access the I want to hire section - this is going to be a huge turn off for most people, who will simply hit the back button, rather than proceeding any further (such as I just have).

  • I don’t understand the Companies page. All I see is the title, and a single item in a bulleted list. I assume this is probably meant to show the name of a title, but all I see is a comma.

  • Following on from this, upon clicking on the comma, I get a mostly empty page.

  • (find a better way to display that info)

That’s it for now. Remove the need to register to access the I want to hire section (or make it work with guest accounts or something of that nature) and I’ll take a deeper look.

(Daveyon Mayne) #3

Will do. Company page will show a list of companies.

Got an issue since ive switched from rails_admin to active admin. I’ll update later.

(Daveyon Mayne) #4

Ok…why this? I dont get it. You must have an account. You must register. Is it the wording?

(Daniel Hollands) #5

It’s a case of managing expectations.

Who are you, and why should I give you my email address? What benefits are you going to give me in exchange for my email address?

At this point in the process I have no idea, and because I have no idea (because you’ve not sold yourself to me yet) you’re not worth my time, so I’m going to hit the back button, and never return.

Sure, if they want to use the service, eventually they’ll have to sign-up, but why make it the first thing they have to do? It should be a smooth process where they don’t even realise they’re signing up for an account - it’s just part of the process after they’ve been able to explore the options available to them.

Take amazon for example - if they prevented you from seeing what they sold without first having an account with them, they’d not have lasted very long. Instead, their shop is wide open, and you’ve got the ability to browse, add items to the basket, etc… all without having to register. It’s not until you’re committed to making a purchase that they finally ask you for an email address to start the sign-up process.

Or, for an example closer to what you’re offering, look at - they:

  • start by asking for your post code
  • provide a customised search
  • let you browse the profiles of the cleaners available in your area

All without having to sign in.

It’s not until you’ve gone though the process above, and are committed to making a purchase, that they ask you to sign up/log in.

This isn’t a technology issue, it’s a user experience once - and right now all you’re doing is turning people away by forcing them to log in before they’ve had a chance to even find out what you’re about.

(Daveyon Mayne) #6

Is this a part of an mvp? I do see the UX in that but was wondering if that ux is needed at this stage?

(Philip Wattis) #7

What @LimeBlast says.

I think this is something that is easy to misinterpret for all those who see ‘The Lean Startup’ by Eric Ries as their bible.

Yes, your MVP is an attempt to do the minimum amount of work possible to see if your proposition works. What I think is not clear in the book, is the need to not take shortcuts that result in a degraded user experience.

It’s safe to assume, that no matter what your business idea is, there will already be people out there doing what you plan to do, doing it better, and already having traction. You are actively competing for customers against these people. Now, fortunately for you, your potential next customer may have decided to try you first, or may have some fundamental reason as to why they don’t want to use one of your competitors.

Now, every barrier or hurdle your solution presents your customer with, that they see as tiresome or unnecessary, is one more thing that could send them back to Google and seeking an alternative.

So while the MVP is about doing the least amount possible, when it comes to user experience, it is absolutely paramount that you make it as fluid as possible. Avoid unnecessary steps.

So in this instance (and I admit, that I haven’t taken a good look), I would expect to be able to browse around without having to register. Even if I need to register, gone are the days where you need to fill in endless forms. I expect to be able to click to sign up using my favourite social network. But even then, I’m not going to do that unless I think it should be required, and unless I’m carrying out some sort of transaction on your site (you might have convinced me to buy, or convince me that it’s worth coming back, and setting up a few preferences), that I’m going to feel that registration is unnecessary.

So, if you’re going to make me register, and I’ve independently reached the conclusion that I shouldn’t have to, it’s quite likely I won’t and I’ll simply go elsewhere.

Another perspective that is worth considering is Google. If all the good juicy stuff on your site cannot be browsed without being registered, then Google is never going to see it. Think of all that SEM you are missing out on!

I hope that helps a little.

(Daveyon Mayne) #8

Ok ill add that ux and some house cleaning. Maybe I need to fully explain the benefits of registering.

(Steve Pitchford) #9

I’m left wondering what happened to storklancer? That sounded like it might have had legs on?

I’m going to be blunt and honest ( because I think that’s a nice balance between ease of effort for me and feedback for you )

At present, I wouldn’t touch your service with a bargepole - let alone trust it with a £40,000 home extension.

The homepage needs to engage in me and immediately create a sense of trust and security. I need to see trust signs - something that gives me confidence that this site is going to be around for the 6 - 8 months my project will take at the very minimum. I want to know that the site is backed up by someone who isn’t going to go bust. A few words on what looks like a generic bootstrap page doesn’t cut the mustard for me.

Next up - your spelling and grammar on the homepage appear just awful. Just one example: “Post a job and receive quote from a dedicated tradseman.” - this makes me feel like it’s not worth my while continuing with the experiment.

Lastly - and I know I sound blunt, but there is a huge opportunity cost in you implimenting these things, and someone has to make the point clearly - this looks like a technical demonstrator rather than an MVP. There is no evidence of a business plan here. There looks like an attempt to impliment a proof-of-technical concept with little thought as to how you would take a business from zero customers to 100 paying customers per month.

Why, why, why, would anyone want to use this rather than, say, MyBuilder ?

I really want you to succeed with your projects, but can’t help think that you first need to find a niche where you can see a handfull of people having a punt with a lower cost good that is of benefit to them - your vision seems too grandiouse to ever fly.

(Daveyon Mayne) #10

And sort of things confuses me on what an mvp really is. Well in this case, its not a market-ready app. Im testing the functions etc. Spelling grammar can be easily sorted. When something is considered an mvp, there is no guarantee that it will be around even the next week. As for storklancer, it’s not dead. One app at a time.

A generic bootstrap is the first step. Why am interested in “kickassing” the homepage? A simple look is ok.

If I have not grasped what an mvp is, maybe i need to stop what im doing and go learn it.

(Daniel Newns) #11

ok not sure if this might help in anyway, but I believe this was the original Buffer app homepage when joel was still working on the idea, before he knew it had legs. Dont quote me on this but I think at this stage of things he only had an idea and no code done.

as you can see its simple concise and straight to the point, when you go to look at the pricing it just lets you know that they are not ready just yet but allows people to register interest so he could gauge the interest and see if it was worth even building it.

perhaps this would have been a good first stage you could have made a great looking homepage with the business proposition and then see the kind of interest it got, you say one app at a time so why not finish storklancer first. You could of built a really simple catch the interest page like buffer did for this project and seen the kind of traction it would get then finished off storklancer in the mean time.

its also worth scrolling through the timeline for that app and see how the homepage changed from first year to second.

(Daveyon Mayne) #12

What you have said made me understand what @Steve_Pitchford was saying. I’ll take a day to rethink a simple UX and the app’s benefits.

(Steve Pitchford) #13

Thanks, incidentally, for taking the criticism so well. One thought - you could try to do some contracting to earn some cash, and then re-invest that in something like this:

A difficulty - there is a lot of cash in being able to successfully bring a product to market, and maintain and develop it to maintain business growth. That tends to mean that a lot of the training is costly and access to knowledge can be tricky. You may also want to keep an eye open at local Unis for short courses, or lectures open to the public.

One thought - never tried it myself - but do you qualify for this:

Again, do wish you well, but also think you have a potentially good thing in stork lancer.

(Richard Cunningham) #14

The traditional way that someone signs up for a product like this, would be:

  1. Get a link to site (e.g. through a news article or an ad).
  2. Reads the website copy, which describes their problem and your solution
  3. Signs up
  4. Uses the product
  5. Tells their friends.

You lose a percentage of people at each stage of this (it’s called a funnel). If you are working on the functions (as you call it) of the site, that assumes that people have got to stage 4. It doesn’t matter how great your product is if they never reach stage 4. AARRR metrics describe this process in more detail:

At the early stage in your MVP you need to design tests, which tell you something. e.g. do people want this product? how much will they pay? how will you acquire users? (and is it cost effective?). The point about the buffer MVP is that Joel, he sold people the idea of the product before he made the product. Then he talked to them about what exactly they wanted, before going out a building the thing.

Specifically on the UX of onboarding, this site is very good:

P.S. You should fix the title tag from “foundation-rails”

(Daveyon Mayne) #15

Yes, thanks. I have not pushed anything to heroku as yet as I’m changing the homepage. I’m doing things like buffer – a better approach.

(Steve Pitchford) #16

Sounds a little like the customer loyalty ladder - stumbled across the following whilst looking for a meaningful reference, and it wasn’t a bad read:

(Daveyon Mayne) #17

One question, do I need to form a company at this stage? People need to know who will be holding their money for “safe keeping” etc.

(Steve Pitchford) #18

I’m not sure that’s a fair question to ask others. I have an honest question for you though - do you know what’s involved in setting up a business and running one?

If you don’t, maybe researching that could be a useful first step towards answering your own question?

(Daveyon Mayne) #19

Yes. I once had a ltd company. I also know the ins and outs. Business went down hill because my main supplier left the country.

(Andy Wootton) #20

I can’t remember where I read it but I recently saw the suggestion that the MVP was good enough for a demo to other techies but to launch to normal people, you need a Minimum Loveable Product.