We're Listening To You. Here's Our Roadmap. - PhotoShelter Blog

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We’re Listening To You. Here’s Our Roadmap.

Earlier this fall you heard about how we’re renewing our commitment to PhotoShelter. A key component of that commitment is building out a team dedicated solely to improving, expanding and evolving the PhotoShelter product in new, exciting ways.

In an effort to ensure we’re updating and producing the features our members want most, we sent around a survey a few weeks back to collect your feedback and opinions. A whopping 2,175 PhotoShelter members took the time to answer our survey questions and we can’t thank you enough. Your input has been invaluable to us as we build the PhotoShelter product roadmap for 2019 and 2020. In the spirit of transparency, you’ll see the details of our roadmap below, and I’m committed to updating this list regularly so you can keep track of our progress.

We’re currently busy building our development team in Guadalajara to supplement our team in New York City and are already off to a great start. We have been aggressively hiring and ramping up the team with new, amazing web engineers, mobile developers and a designer, and their work is already making an impact. Our hiring plan for 2019 is 50% complete.

In our survey, we asked you to tell us what you’d like us to work on next. The results (shown in the chart below) clearly indicate that our members want more choices when it comes to website design templates, and we plan to fulfill that request. New designs start with research, mockups, and user testing. We’ve started this process already and plan to have functional designs in place in early 2020. We’ll be asking for member feedback prior to integrating them into PhotoShelter. Please let us know in the comments or by emailing our support team if you would like to be an early tester.

In the meantime, we are improving the search engine optimization of all existing websites using the recommendations we received from our expert SEO consultants. These improvements will come in phases, as outlined below.

In addition, I’m happy to say that an “anonymous download” capability is about to be released, a highly-requested new feature. This means you’ll be able to deliver images to your most trusted clients without requiring them to sign up for an account or use a password. Just send out a gallery link and anyone can download the images. The work was completed in development and is now going through our Quality Assurance (QA) process.

Other improvements scheduled for 2019 include:

  • A shopping cart that’s visible on all mobile devices
  • Keeping your own domain name on all pages of your website
  • FileFlow app for Android
  • Responsive design adjustments on all existing templates

Improvements we have scheduled for 2020 include:

  • Overhaul client galleries with a modern, user-friendly interface
  • 6 new website templates with advanced customization options
  • A flawless mobile shopping cart experience
  • Support for video files
  • FileFlow app support for password-only galleries and anonymous downloads

In the interest of transparency and open communication, I’ve decided to share this detailed view of what’s coming for PhotoShelter. With all roadmaps and time estimates, I like to give the very real disclaimer that software development can be a journey with unexpected twists and turns. Based on what we learn from you as we continue down this path, we may choose to deliver more detailed feature work, or reorder priority. As always, we welcome your feedback and encourage you to share your opinion in the comments below or with our support team.

You will be hearing a lot from me in the future and I plan to keep you updated with our progress along the way.

— Grover Sanschagrin
(Co-founder and General Manager, PhotoShelter)

Transparency builds trust, and for any forward-thinking business, it’s a necessary component for long-term success. To this end, I believe it’s important for leaders to acknowledge where their businesses can be doing a better job of delivering on commitments to customers, and of course, they need to do something about it.

At PhotoShelter, I recently had an opportunity to step back and assess our recent growth and look toward the future. There’s a lot to be proud of, but I want to acknowledge that recently, we have been so focused on driving innovation into Libris (PhotoShelter’s platform for large brands and organizations), that we haven’t lived up to our promise of frequent innovation for our community of independent photographers.

That stops now.

Thanks to the recent new growth funding we’ve secured, I am happy to report that we have allocated a healthy portion to PhotoShelter. In fact, we are actively assembling a team of developers who will be dedicated solely to improving, expanding and evolving the product in new, exciting ways.

To ensure that this investment gets the attention it deserves, I have appointed one of our co-founders, Grover Sanschagrin (pictured on the left, above), as General Manager of the PhotoShelter product. The very idea of PhotoShelter came out of his head, so Grover’s the perfect person to lead this effort going forward.

In this position, Grover serves as the top executive for the PhotoShelter product and is responsible for product and business strategy. I’ve never met someone with stronger vision for using technology to solve the business problems that creators face. Grover will guide the team and set the priority of product development.

The photography business continues to change in dramatic ways, as do the many ways to interact with clients and promote your photography business in a more connected world. We’re up for the challenge of creating new tools to enable your growth in this space.

As some of you already know, Grover lives in Guadalajara, Mexico. The city is also known as “the Silicon Valley of Latin America,” and because it is a tech hub, we have an exciting opportunity to expand. Several months ago we opened a PhotoShelter office in Guadalajara.

We have already started hiring designers and developers and we are currently in the process of bringing our new hires up to speed (including time spent training in our NYC office). In addition, we are about to release our first set of improvements to the product, to complement our recent release of the FileFlow app for fast, mobile client downloads.

While Grover has been recruiting for our new team, he’s also been listening to members of our community. He plans to publish our feature roadmap in the coming weeks, and you should expect to see more frequent results, starting with improvements to search engine optimization, and making it faster and easier for your clients to download images.

We have an incredibly special relationship with you — you have come to rely on our tools and our education, and your trust is vital to our success in this creative community. Along with the entire team at PhotoShelter, I appreciate your patience and loyalty to our product. I’ve tasked Grover with being fully transparent with you, and you should be hearing from him in the next 30 days. He’s got even more exciting news to share.