Recently, @MR asked if I “could shed some light on why change takes so long as I know there are lots of pros here who would be interested.”
I thought this was a great question so I decided to crowdsource an answer for the Community, directly from Thumbtack employees, to give you a behind-the-scenes look at the evaluation, deliberation, and prioritization that takes place. Here’s what they had to say:
Q: Why does change take so long?
TT Employee 1: “Despite our best efforts, implementing changes in the product often takes a bit longer than we'd like, and that's because even for the smallest change, it takes many people with very unique skills and coordination to make it happen.”
TT Employee 2: “Feedback is incredibly important to our teams here – however, we hear many suggestions and ideas, and our teams can’t work on everything at once. This is why we continuously review and consider your feedback to prioritize which updates to work on first.”
TT Employee 3: “We have to figure out what the majority of our users are having problems with, and develop priorities from there.”
TT Employee 4: “We identify the highest impact opportunities to help as many pros as possible find more customers.”
TT Employee 5: “As soon as a change is agreed upon and committed to, an engineer can't just sit down and build it. “First, a product manager and analyst work to determine the estimated impact of the feature.”
TT 4: “What may seem like a trivial change ends up taking a lot of time because timelines need to match up internally, and we have dozens of engineers working together to build the best product possible in the best way possible.”
TT 5: “Designers and copywriters then work to create the most user friendly way to build the feature.”
TT 1: “The change then goes through rigorous testing on all platforms to make sure nothing broke while making this change and our product is as dependable as it should be for pros to rely on it to grow their business.”
TT 5: “From there, the product marketing team helps figure out how to make sure pros find and use the new feature.”
TT 2: “Because we want to make sure we’re building the right feature, this process takes time and often, updates are more complex than anticipated.”
TT 1: “For example: pros use our product on their iPhone, Android, and on the web. A small visual change requires the coordination of a designer to make sure we create a consistent and intuitive experience, an iOS developer, an Android developer, and a web developer.”
TT 5: “Building a new feature takes time!”
TT 1: “We are constantly working on improving our processes to accelerate the pace at which we improve our product, and its quality.”
TT 2: “Please continue to share your feedback! We’re listening.”
I hope this gives you a sense of why new product updates take time to implement, and also why not all of the feedback we receive will result in a change being made. It’s a diligent process that is designed to create the best possible product, always with pros and customers in mind.
If you have other questions you’d like us to dive into, please include them in the comments section and we will do our best to select one every month to take back to the Thumbtack team and report back on!
@cranichik @Hankster as was mentioned, not all of the feedback we receive will result in a change being made (and that includes features being reinstated). “We have to figure out what the majority of our users are having problems with, and develop priorities from there.” The Community is not always a representative sample of pro feedback.
@Drew Certainly change takes time. But reinstating a feature that was shut down overnight is very likely not time consuming. A return of the feature that informed us that a job poster (they're not customers yet) viewed our quote is essential to doing business. We were never consulted. We never asked for TT to take it away. We never received a plausible explanation why.
@Drew Unless I have read this wrong, it appears the removal of the feature that alerted us when a JP viewed our quote was based on so high a quantity of feedback that Thumbtack felt compelled to do so. This change, as any other, must have taken months to implement. In all that time no one thought to let us know this was coming and why. I am understandably doubtful that this decision was made based on our feedback. It must have originated elsewhere.
@Drew : Following on to @ChefOfAllSeason 's post, you recently said "The Community is not always a representative sample of pro feedback." This seems to imply that there are other significant ways in which pros are giving TT feedback in volumes sufficient enough to be noticed by TT. Please can you tell us what those forums are as I am sure there are many pros here who would like to participate in those communication channels as well. Perhaps there is a better avenue you can direct us to where there is a better chance the pros will be heard?
@MR What a great question. If, indeed, there are Pros who sent in feedback asking for this feature to be removed; I am interested in knowing their thoughts. Surely Thumbtack would be pleased as punch to share with us why so many Pros (not paticipating in the Community) have made such a request.