We've been developing the Ubersmith product for over 10 years straight, and it has a ton of features. We've implemented some pretty awesome things for a number of different niches, and in such a way that we've avoided cluttering the interface for those who dont need them.
Through past site incarnations, we've had feature pages that were a mile long, others anemically short, and nearly everything in between. It was about us, and we wanted to tell you as much as you were willing to listen to.
For a moment, let's look at websites as a blind date. The girl (or guy) walks up to the suitor, they shake hands and briefly say hello. Without pause, the suitor immediately begins selling themselves in a scattered, non-stop fashion while the other sits silently trying to decide what matters.
I went to college in upstate New York...
I'm strong willed but able to compromise...
I've been to Europe 58 times...
I like heartland rock, post-punk revival and '85 Rub-a-dub
I can juggle swords...
I love dogs, cats, hamsters, parakeets, children and chinchillas...
What features are meaningful to you?
When we approached the website redseign, the above scenario came up constantly. How could we avoid being that person? How do we pair down the massive feature set to have an impact in the couple minutes a potential client will give us?
While clients end up using more features than they expected once Uber is in production, the sales process tends to focus around a handful of pain points they're trying to solve, usually consistent across industry segments.
Colocation providers generally don't care about our CPanel automation, however they're always interested to hear that we can do power season billing at the BMS level. Conversely, most Hosting companies want to know about order automation and usage based billing (bandwidth, R1Soft, etc) and dont even think about billing at a facility level.
Tell me more about yourself
The excited young couple sits down at the candlelit restaurant. The suitor, being mannerly, opens the conversation with some informative personal tidbits, and then hands off, "Enough about me for the moment, what do you like to do for fun?"
To help distill those features into focused pages, we created the idea of Business Cases, focusing on a few market segments that we talk to the most. While the Ubersmith product itself is not changed by choosing a particular path, the features you see first will be customized to your segment.
The concept of Cloud Providers became an unexpected and interesting discussion. While there are a growing number of cloud-only providers, most are hosting companies or MSPs extending their offerings. We chose to promote it to a top-level market segment primarily to clearly highlight that Ubersmith is already an established cloud billing platform, and show off some of the surrounding features. We're anxious to see if this confuses people in other segments, but time will tell.
Our hope is that market segments will help us shape the conversation around your business and your pain points. Every feature we've chosen may not hit the bullseye, but we think we have a better shot of helping you recognize your business in the Ubersmith platform.
Lastly, a very special thanks to the guys at Design is Easy, who we have to thank for the beautiful new look & feel. On top of being stellar designers, they were an integral part of the above discussions, making sure the final product reflected the methodology.