I always enjoy attending Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners when I have a chance. Yesterday evening, I attended the event at Evernote HQ with a close friend and former co-worker of mine, Lisa Vu, a game producer at Green Throttle. Upon entering their gorgeous, spacious and well-designed office, we were greeted very kindly by their team and received a complimentary Evernote Smart Notebook Moleskine journal, along with a free 3 month premium membership. It's a pretty awesome schwag in my opinion and it came in handy for note taking during the presentations.
The turnout seemed to be about 125-150 women, and the vibe was inviting and friendly as we mingled around the multiple tables of hors d'oeuvre, desserts, and wine. I still have to say that being in a room with that many women is just a tad bit uncomfortable for me (but that's just me!).
We met a few folks from different industries and met a few of the Evernote team members. Overall, there was a lot of friendly chit-chat of getting to know one another.
The presentations begin and there are about seven speakers across their product, design, and quality assurance teams. The speakers were all focused on the user experience and how their community interacts with their products. It was mostly general but still insightful and if anything it's a reminder to always be customer-centric and continue to improve products for your main focus aka the customers using your product.
Here are some of the highlights and learnings that I took away from the speakers:
- "I use Evernote to _______." - I think this is a great reminder of what we should keep in mind when developing a product for users. It's important to figure out what the use cases are and to create these different scenarios in order to understand what your customers want and to shift focuses on development towards those features as long as it fits with business needs and makes sense.
- Evernote Ambassadors - They have a great community evangelist program of hardcore Evernote users which I can always appreciate coming from a Community background myself and having to do something similar during my days at Kaboodle. These are the people who integrate Evernote within their lives and promote Evernote by word of mouth and across their networks.
- "Why am I here?" - This is another great reminder that tends to be overlooked. For users coming in for the first time and landing them on a app or page, ensure that the experience answers the question of why they came there in the first place. Keep it simple.
- Trust the data and not suggestions - I agree 100% with this. My pet peeve is when someone comes up with a suggestion that doesn't get tested and is just rolled out due to a mere suggestion with no proof of success. How often do you get suggestions? Depending on the size of your company it can range from few to many but the point is, the data shows you what works best for your customers.
- Evernote API as a source of user acquisition - I've never thought of this before and have never worked at a company that created platforms or had an open API for people to build apps on top of. Evernote encourages people to build apps to work with their product and help them promote it by featuring them. This is a great source of acquisition because in most cases, the app creators will market to their user base and hence have new users join Evernote because of the third party apps. Win-win situation!
Overall, I had a nice time. Thanks, Bay Area Girl Geek and Evernote for hosting the event!