Homebase recently launched a feature that allows a person to upload a photo of the schedule and share it with their team. We have a number of customers who use our time clock but not our scheduler, and we thought this would be a convenient way for these customers to always have access to their schedules. We figured that the uploaded schedules would look something like this:
As soon as we launched, we saw managers and owners sharing schedules just as we suspected they would. Most of the schedule photos showed paper or spreadsheet based photos.
But we also noticed that many businesses that already used Homebase for scheduling, were also sharing photos of their printed Homebase schedule. This puzzled us. We wondered why someone with access to a digital schedule would print it, take a photo and then upload it.
So we asked.
Talking to business owners and people who work for them is the most important thing that the Homebase product team does. We can hardly walk into a store without asking the staff how they clock in or get their schedule. We pepper servers with questions about shift trades and advance notice. When we get our morning coffee, we search the cafe for signs of a time clock. We like to find out what people love about their jobs and what they wish were better. We love hearing entrepreneurs share their motivations for opening a business.
We also ask our customers lots of questions when we’re planning features. Even with all that, we were caught off guard by our customers’ motivations for posting a print out of the Homebase schedule. And, frankly, kind of embarrassed.
It turns out that customers post photos of Homebase schedules because our app doesn’t have a view of the entire schedule. I love working with Margot. She’s our head of business development, and one of the smartest, most energetic people I know. When I upload a schedule photo, I can see exactly when she’s working. If I don’t have that photo, I have to tap through each day of the week in order to see when I’m working with her.
We gave our customers the view on left. Through “hacking” our app, they told us that they also want the view on the right.
A few simple conversations helped us realize that we’re lacking an important view in our mobile app. So now we’re working on how we can deliver both a day view and a week view. We’ll let you know when it’s ready to launch.
We’re lucky here at Homebase. We have a generous customer base. Our customers and their employees answer our calls and emails, and provide frank feedback and ideas. They share their hopes for their businesses and careers, and tell us about what’s keeping them up at night. We use these conversations to make our product better, because a better Homebase will contribute to helping these people achieve their dreams.