Looking back at any company or product history is bound to be a complex task. However, if you follow the steps which defined your success you will find what your customers most appreciate about your company.
Take a look at your business, then at your product, and take the most appreciated feature. It’s not always the oldest, nor the most difficult to implement. It usually is something which grew from intuition or a suggestion. Then, it went through a couple of changes as you improved your understanding of the problem your initial customers had. Then it changed some more when you had to adapt to customers having more and more different situations.
Showing country-specific features using a timeline
Let’s take the example of GrowthXP, the children growth monitoring software. In 2020 there are 15 country-specific versions including growth charts, syndrome charts, premature children.
A simple graphic could show these numbers of countries, charts per country (yes, it can vary a lot), countries with specific chart designs and so on. However, this gives a snapshot at a moment in time. Don’t stop at a snapshot, telling the story of beginnings and changes which happened in time is very interesting for people concerned about the problem.
Start with a simplified chronological list for the product or the feature
1996 - Growth charts references covering 21 countries (150 files) 2000 - Growth chart component for Sweden 2003 - Growth chart component for the USA 2006 - GrowthXP v1 with customers in Sweden and the USA 2009 - GrowthXP v1.5, adding new version for Germany 2010 - Charts library covering 27 countries (1400 files) 2011 - Growth chart component for WHO charts 2012 - GrowthXP v2 for 15 countries 2013 - Growth charts components for 5 new countries (DE, FR, IC, NO, UK) 2013 - GrowthXP v2.5 2015 - Charts library covering 46 countries (3400 files) 2016 - GrowthXP v2.6 (new country Austria) 2018 - GrowthXP 2.8 (new countries, web version) 2019 - Charts library covering 60 pays (4400 files)
And this is what you could come up with, using a simple visualization:
Between the timeline and the graphic, which one attracted you the most? Which one is easier to quickly understand? Which one allows more details?
How can you use the time to show your company product’s value?
Write down a timeline for your business, product or feature. These steps can help you start, but feel free to note down any important event:
- Idea, research, prototype
- Learning and more prototyping
- The moment when it clicked for a couple of customers
- Your first successful customers
- Find many customers similar to the first ones
- Adaptations you had to do for different kinds of customers
- Steady successes with old and new customers
Also, be aware of the cycles. Whenever you feel like your product moved to a new level, take note. Usually, the cycle repeats at each level:
start — learn — Bingo! — success — adapt — grow
next level — learn — Bingo! — and so on
I love this infographics website: Information is Beautiful.