Copper v4.0 Development, Sneak Peak

Ok, last time I talked about our overarching requirements for the next version of Copper, here they are recapped:

  1. We’re going to reduce pages/clicks by 40%
  2. It needs to be something that I personally will use every single day
  3. We’re going to add 100% of the features in our specification document

Simple, right? However where do you start? From the end, of course. We usually have a running document which outlines all of the features that customers want. It’s usually 20 pages in length, and the idea is that we work on adding the most popular features, within the context of our philosophy of building beautifully simple efficiency systems for creative teams.

The problem with this kind of specification process is that Customer A is often unaware that what they think is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL to their business is actually at odds with what Customer B is saying is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL to theirs. If I had a dollar for every time someone said we’d be ‘barking mad’ not to add feature ‘xyz’, I’d have around $12,803. Not much, but still a hefty amount of accused insanity.

So, internally I like to think about ‘Feature Fractals’. A feature fractal is this: Customer A/B/C all talk about a required function using different terminology, and in some cases even different requirements. While most developers would set about adding 10-15 new features, we like to use our experience and distill these requirements into a single feature that will suit the 80% majority.

In our v4.0 spec, we have around 10 phases of development, and roughly 168 new features planned, most of these based on this feature fractal thinking, based on 20 pages, six years of emails, survey responses, conversations, meetings, and gut instinct. There’s a lot in here, yet check out Requirement 1 above!

So far we have around 20% of this next build funded, so if you think your organization might be interested in coming on board to sponsor this latest development, we still have plenty of spots left and they represent amazing value, click here for more information.

For now though here are three untitled screens.

We’re probably 3 weeks on from when these are taken, but you can see that even before we start coding there is some serious consideration around the product. Next week I might provide a little more of a look at the early screens and/or spec, but the in-depth stuff I’ll be keeping for the inner circle.

Feel free to comment, cheer us on, or just tell us we’re mad not to add feature ‘xyz’ ($12,803 isn’t enough to retire on).

– Ben Prendergast