Monthly Archives: July 2013

First Updates Are In

Is it Thursday already?! Sorry we were so quiet this week. We’ve been busy keeping an eye on giftbug and reviewing the valuable feedback that we’ve received from our awesome new users. This week we tweaked, fixed and updated and here are a few changes based on your requests:

The ‘ooh cool idea’ button
We heard from a number of people that your friends have really great taste! This means not only is it going to be a lot of fun choosing a gift for them, but you kinda wish you’d thought of that idea first…for your own registry. Well we decided to help you out with getting inspiration from your friends and we’ve added a new button “I want that too!”

Now if you’re spending your lunch hour window shopping in all of your friends’ giftbug registries, it’s as easy as 2 clicks to add that gift to your registry as well!

i-want-this-too
Add other people’s gift ideas to your registry easily.

Once you click the new button, you can edit the details and customize the information to you or simply click Create gift and you’re done.

Create a new category easily
We were planning to roll this one out later, but we heard you loud and clear when you said managing categories was a pain. So Andy put a rush on this one for you. Now when you are adding a new item or editing an existing one, if you need a new category, you can create it from within the Add category or Edit category boxes.

new-category
Create new categories from within the item details box.

You can continue to add new categories from the Manage categories page as well. We didn’t take anything away, we just added a new option.

It’s easier to share your url
We’ve added a button to make it easier to copy your share URL.  We admit that we should have had a button to begin with and were even informed that we were nearly the cause of monitor abuse when a user was trying to triple click the annoying little url. Evil url! Using the button will copy the url to your clipboard and you can paste it in emails, IMs, etc.

share-url
Use the new copy button to add your share url to the clipboard.

 

T Minus 1 Day

T minus 1 day until the world will behold the unveiling of giftbug, and by world of course I mean our family and friends, and our small but mighty band of Twitter  and Facebook followers. That’s right everyone, giftbug goes live on Friday! So what’s the launch going to look like? How are we doing it? Will there be cake?

After a lot of consideration we decided that the best launch for giftbug is the soft rollout. So we canceled the jugglers, the skywriter and the marching band. We packed up the kazoos, canceled the press conference and told a persistent Charlie Rose that he’d just have to wait.

A soft rollout means that giftbug is open for business, it works the way we designed it and it’s ready for users. We put a spit and a polish to it and now the question is, does the website make sense? For anyone who hasn’t been living and breathing all things giftbug for months, and for anyone other than me and Andy, do the design and the features make sense? Is it simple and clear to add items and organize with categories? Is it obvious to anyone other than us that this is the greatest invention since the post-it note, the snooze button and spray cheese? (that last one was Bug and Bella’s comparison)

So we’re putting it out there on Friday and asking for feedback. Kick the tires, take her for a spin, open her up and see what she can do.

We realize that our excited and eager public is mostly made up people who are genetically bound to take our calls and support our dreams, as well as our friends who are relieved that we’ve moved onto passions that don’t include them spending their weekends at our house with a hammer and table saw.

But you are also gifters, excited about finally having a solution for your busy lives. A solution that will maximize your time and your money, and most importantly make you gift-geniuses. People will whisper your name in hushed reverent tones, or at least they’re going to love and appreciate your thoughtful gifts; gifts that you selected specifically for them from THEIR giftbug registry.

You also receive gifts, and receiving gifts is always appreciated. That someone  took the time to honor you with a gift, wow that’s very powerful.  Buuuut, then there’s problems like the gifting rut, let’s call it the unicorn problem. With the unicorn problem, the gifter loses track of the years and they still think of your cute little 10 year old self who looooved those unicorns, and to this day they can’t look at a unicorn without thinking of YOU. And really how many unicorns does one person need until the unicorn salt and pepper shakers are really just gilding the lily? Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place that your loved ones could go to and get lots of great ideas from your personal, online, year-round, and did we mention FREE gift registry?!

So we give you giftbug…well we give it to you on Friday…because we say, why  should gift registries only be for weddings and babies?!

We hope that you’ll rush to try it out this weekend, if only because you love us (insert puppy dog eyes), but probably because you think this idea ROCKS and we’ve been teasing you with it for months. And we hope that you’ll tell us what you think. We want to hear from you! Call, email, Tweet, comment on Facebook, stop by (although a lot of sleeping is in our future), or maybe send a singing telegram (cause that would be AWE-SOME!) We want to hear from you and we want to hear what you liked, loved, question, scratch your head at or just plain don’t care for.

A soft rollout also means that this is just our first release. We have spreadsheets, notes and sketches with additional features. We plan to continue to improve, fine tune, tweak and finesse our original concept. This is also why we want your feedback. We want to maximize our efforts and put our energies in the areas that our users are asking about and looking for. There’s much more to come, but like I said, it’s time to kick the tires a little bit.

And tell your friends! Don’t be shy. We are looking for feedback and calling it a soft rollout, but the value for you comes from connecting with your friends and family and sharing your registries. T minus 161 days until Christmas!

Moms (and Dads) – Get Ready To Hug Us

It’s not just because we’re huggable, which trust us we are, but also because we feel pretty certain we’re about to make your life a lot easier. We’re confident that giftbug is going to be a great resource for everyone, as an everyday registry it is a website where friends and family can find your gift ideas and links to items that you’ve had your eye on. But why do we think Moms are going to be so impressed and unable to resist us (other than the fact that our own Moms think we’re pretty awesome)?

Well, basically the design ideas behind giftbug came from our own experiences and some of those experiences include buying for nieces, nephews and those that I claim as nieces/nephews (my college roomies’ kiddos). As birthdays and holidays approach, so does the time for me to hound the Moms with a million questions about current likes, clothing sizes, etc. Admittedly, I can’t tell a 2 year old from a 5 year old and let’s face it those munchkins grow like weeds; and their latest interests are always changing. Most importantly, I want to be the cool aunt. So wouldn’t it be great if the Moms could send us all to a central location with links to gift ideas (probably the quiet toys) and updated clothing sizes? And in this day of on-line security awareness, parents don’t want to be creating profiles for their young children, or keeping track of all of those user IDs and passwords, so we created a system where they can have spaces (or categories) on their own profile dedicated to each child.

In keeping with one of our internal commitments to build a simple site, we didn’t specifically engineer any giftbug features for parents, but what we did do was think through how a parent can use the site to it’s maximum potential. Our site has 2 basic elements, individual items and categories. You can have all items and no categories, or you can sort your wish list items into categories of your own creation. Here’s what we had in mind for parents – – –

In addition to all of their own registry items (hammock, noise canceling headphones, wine) and their categories (hobbies, books, wine), they can create a
category named for each child (in this case my nephew George) and within that category they can link to toys, games and clothes as well as provide us with information about the child’s latest sizes.

george-action-figure
Here is an individual item in the category ‘George’s List’ from my sister-in-law’s giftbug profile (coming soon!)
george-action-figure-details
When you click on the first image it opens up to show you the details, in this case that includes a link to Amazon.com, an image pulled from the website and a description (optional) from his Mom as to why George would love this toy.
george-sizes
Another item in the category ‘George’s List’, this one is simply information about his current clothing sizes.
george-sizes-details
When you open the item, you see the details Ann Marie provided in the description field. You are not required to include a photo, so by default we use a giftbug image.

And one last thing that the Mommies might like (as well as, well… everyone!), don’t forget, you’re not limited to just linking to items to be purchased on other websites, we give you the option to add free text (like George’s clothing sizes, above) and upload images. We are excited to see how you guys choose to use it, here’s an idea for the Mommas and the Poppas.

ann-marie-mommy-time
An individual item in the category ‘The gift of time!’ from my sister-in-law’s giftbug profile (coming soon!)
ann-marie-mommy-time-details
When you click on the item and open the details you see the expanded photo that she uploaded (doesn’t she look relaxed?!) and you can see a note she included in the description field about this alternative gift idea of a night out with her friends or the hubby.