As a team, Kong is both cursed and gifted with the pursuit of perfection. And I’ll stop you right there - before you start thinking this sounds like a desperate graduate job interview, I’ll clarify; I don’t dare to say that we are perfect, but it doesn’t hurt to keep reaching for that next level of detail, that next level of consideration. Until you need to launch.
Since the eCommerce Expo, we’ve been flat out designing, building, testing and fixing features, partly based on the awesome feedback we got from the public there, as well as finishing off any must-haves before we launch Beta. The trouble is, when working as part of a team who won’t settle for “good enough”, every feature seems just as crucial and every bug just as catastrophic as the next. It can be hard to stay focused on the bare necessities of the product, especially as a designer, who can only sit and watch the devs take on the remainder of the build. In turn, making my “Capitalise these buttons” request seem quite trivial. Of course, these details do matter, but right now, we need to suck it up and smash out our best possible work in a short amount of time.
Letting go of that control has been one of the strangest adjustments of my Kong experience. Despite being a pixel perfectionist himself, our MD, Jules, has taught me to, firstly, trust my instinct and secondly, just see what happens. See how the users interact with it. You can guess, assume and predict all you like, but those juicy insights really come from the users themselves, and those will be the things that help us really nail our product.
So that’s where we’re at now. We sent out our first wave of Beta invites last week and waited with baited breath for the world to crumble around us, under the weight of expectation, or maybe some gargantuan Men In Black-like bugs. But no. Of course we’re still here, and not only did we survive unleashing our first public iteration of Kong, but we’ve had some really encouraging responses so far, alongside some even better suggestions.
So whilst it might not be an absolutely bullet-proof product just yet, as no Beta project ever is, I’m much more confident in the control we’re putting in you guys, the users, to help us produce a platform that will do exactly what you want - because you told us to.
To stay updated with our progress, keep tabs on us here.