Testing For Potential New Features

Posted on September 08, 2016 by

First off, one of our favorite things is building new parts to ReciPal that make your lives a little easier - whether it's simplifying an existing part to save you a few steps, or adding something entirely new that makes a related part of your food business easier to manage, saves you time, or money.

Making Our Own Lives Easier

But how do we know what you want, need, and is worthwhile for us to work on? Well, we built a small internal feature to test just that!

Basically, we put in a button or link as if the feature were already there, and a short form pops up to gauge interest once it's clicked to ask how important it is to you and if it's something you're willing to pay for. The act of clicking it alone shows some interest as well. Based on that feedback we can more effectively decide what to work on.

Example of how we test for new features

Feature form. Want barcodes in ReciPal - this is how you tell us!

Our Current Tests

So far, we've tested a couple of ideas:

  • Cost reports to help you see how your ingredient costs stack up against what other ReciPalers are paying for ingredients.
  • Barcodes - being able to purchase and integrate into the labels you get from ReciPal.

Barcodes seem to be the leader for now, as lots of users expressed interest and consider it quite important and helpful to integrate with ReciPal.

To that end, what else would you like us to test out and see if it makes sense to add to ReciPal?

Generalizing This Idea For Your Business

We of course want to know what features you want in ReciPal, but this general approach can be applied to your own business. A good way to test something out is by putting it in front of people and seeing how they react before investing a ton of time in mass production and precious resources like your company's time.

Are customers excited by it? Are they willing to pay for it? It can be new packaging, a new flavor, anything. You get the quantitative feedback of the click as well as the qualitative feedback to learn from and understand their thinking.

This is a good practice for all businesses to test things out before investing resources in developing a product. It can be done via focus groups, surveys, or in the lean startup world you can do things like using digital ads to see if people click them, a landing page to see if people give you their emails, and lots of other approaches too. Get creative!

Closing Thoughts

For an existing software product like ReciPal, you can test things by putting buttons/potential features around the app that don't actually do anything (yet), but can gauge interest and then ask people about it. That's what we've done and we've tested a few small ideas and gotten great feedback from our customers already!

Have an idea? Let us know! We can test it to see how others respond and then possibly build it for you (and everyone else). Leave a comment or chat us below and you just might help us build something awesome :)

About Lev Berlin

Lev Berlin ReciPal SlantShack Author Bio

Lev Berlin is the founder & CEO of ReciPal. Having previously been a founder of SlantShack Jerky, he needed nutrition labels and simple tools to start and run the business. He's read the FDA food labeling code countless times in the process of creating ReciPal and helping small food businesses with their labels. He's reviewed and created thousands of food labels, and been a mentor and guest speaker at food incubators, food business courses, and regulatory conferences, like Brooklyn Foodworks and ICE.

After graduating from Princeton with an engineering degree, Lev was a management consultant, then founder or early employee at half a dozen startups. He loves nothing more than helping other small businesses get off the ground and achieve their goals.

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