Building Great Creative Products
Asha Gupta has 10+ years shipping products at early and mid-stage companies including Venmo, Squarespace, Etsy and Hopscotch. She specializes in building systems/tools that are easy enough for beginners and powerful enough for advanced users. She started out as a UX researcher, then moved into front-end dev/design and finally found her home mixing it all together in Product Management. She recently moved back to her home town in Edmonton, Alberta to help grow the local tech scene and join a local upstart, Jobber.
She recently spoke at a Product That Count hosted webinar and discussed designing and evolving creative products.
In this webinar, Asha Gupta pulls from her career building creative products to help understand how you can do the same for your organization. You can watch the full presentation above. A few highlights from the webinar are detailed below.
On what it’s like to build a great creative product like Squarespace
For great creative products like Squarespace, you need to consider the entire spectrum of users you’re catering to.
“The first thing that stands out for me is that [we were] constantly trying to balance power and ease of use. So, we want our tool to be easy enough for anyone to get started with. A novice who’s never built a website should be able to use Squarespace. However, we also want it to be powerful enough that your advanced users can actually make interesting outcomes. You have to balance that power and ease of use. It’s really important for a healthy community. You really want both of those users. The power and the advanced users end up lifting your whole community and actually lifting your product and making more interesting outcomes.”
Creative products are built for the unexpected
Often times, our users and customers will think of use cases for creative products that we haven’t even considered. Great product managers know to look for them.
“If you have good tools, your users will always surprise you. And they’ll use your tool in interesting ways. So you want to design for that emergence.”
Four factors for building creative products
Asha did an amazing job sharing examples of each of these factors in her webinar. Make sure you watch her full presentation to catch them all!
“It’s really important to understand that you are probably building a lot of relationships between things. And it’s important to be able to think holistically about a system and the deeper parts. So, when you’re building tools, you almost want to make sure you’re thinking about as a systems design.
The second thing is building modular and chainable features.
The third thing is, once you’ve done that, it’s really helpful to be able to package those things up into what I’m calling user-friendly templates. It doesn’t always have to be a template as you’ve known it. Basically, how can you package up that modular level to be more easily used by a novice user?
The fourth thing is if you’re in the space of building tools, I think it’s super important to actually always be observing the outcomes of your tools. At Squarespace, we’re constantly looking at the websites that people would actually build. This helps you really identify gaps and unknown hacks that you can lean into.”
Many thanks to our partners at Amplitude for sponsoring this great presentation.