Finsweet launches V2s because improvement is in our culture
V2 is good and bad, but mostly good
V2 releases bring both positive and negative aspects.
On the positive side, they come with exciting feature updates, performance enhancements, and usability improvements.
However, on the downside, they require users to learn something new. If you've been accustomed to V1 for a year, it can be daunting to adapt to the changes in the workflow.
Change can be challenging, but in most cases, embracing V2 is worth it as it brings significant benefits to our workflow. Despite the initial learning curve of a V2, the improvements should greatly outweigh the drawbacks. If this is true, integrating a V2 into existing workflows can be exciting.
Finsweet's V2 releases: A history of continuous improvement
At Finsweet, we always strive to make our V2 releases worthwhile. Let's take a look at the history of our V2 updates in the order of their releases:
CMS Library V2 (Attributes V1)
The CMS Library's V2 release, also known as Attributes, was a major update that introduced a new way to apply code to Webflow. Instead of manually copying and editing code snippets, we adopted a "no-code HTML attributes" approach. This allowed all functionality to be accessed and customized through the placement of HTML attributes on elements, making it more efficient and user-friendly.
Original CMS Library V1 release XX. V2 release XX.
The Client-First V2 update brought significant improvements over V1, including a complete rewrite of the documentation with more than double the number of doc pages. It also introduced better system organization, new classes, dash and underscore rules, Folders, and the introduction of strategies. These updates were necessary to enhance the user experience and streamline the workflow.
Original Client-First V1 release XX. V2 release XX.
After acquiring Wized, we immediately started rebuilding it due to the instability and bugs in V1. The Wized V2 release, built by Jonas and his team at Finsweet, included a complete change of every aspect of the app. The Configurator tool, Dashboard, UI organization, and brand were completely updated, making V2 look and function differently from V1. The bug and usability issues faced in the previous version were completely fixed in V2.
Original Wized V1 release XX. V2 release XX.
Attributes V2 is primarily a technical update that focuses on improving the Attributes infrastructure behind the front-end implementation. This includes better performance, reduced load time, and a more powerful API.
We also made the decision to go Open Source, and as part of that process, several important updates were made, resulting in a rebuilt V2 to enhance the developer experience and make it a better Open Source project.
Original Attributes V1 release XX. V2 release XX.
Nobull V2 (CMS Bridge V1)
The original Nobull V1 was released as a beta but remained in beta due to usability issues that we were not comfortable charging users for. As a result, we rebuilt Nobull from scratch and rebranded it as "CMS Bridge". The V2 release features two-way sync, automatic scheduled syncing, and a rebuilt UI inside Airtable Apps, addressing the issues faced in the initial release. V2 is stable and we're comfortable charging out community for using it.
Original Nobull V1 release XX. V2 release XX.
Isn't that too many V2s? Won't users be confused?
As you can see, we are very experienced in launching V2s. There are two key strategies we take to minimize confusion among users.
It's crucial for users to know exactly what changes have been made in the V2 update. To achieve this, we create a "/v1-to-v2" page that outlines the updates in detail, ensuring users have all the information they need about the change.
We provide visual aids such as written documentation, screenshots, screen recordings, videos, and other resources to demonstrate how to use the new features or improvements introduced in the V2 update. This visual education helps users better understand the changes and how to effectively utilize them.
V2 is our opportunity to improve
V2 presents an exciting opportunity for us to make improvements to our product. It's our change to publicly improve.
As we develop our products, we invest a significant amount of time and effort in V1, anticipating what users want. However, it is only when the product is released and used by the community that we truly understand if our assumptions align with reality.
Feedback from the community, ranging from positive to unclear to angry, is invaluable. We actively listen to this feedback for months, carefully considering the flaws in V1 and identifying areas for improvement in V2.
This involves addressing the most common complaints, enhancing beloved features, and incorporating feedback from the community to introduce new features, UX changes, and overall product improvements.
For Finsweet, the launch of V2 is a public demonstration of our commitment to evolution, listening to feedback, and executing on improvements.
V2 should always more scalable
Scalability is a crucial focus for every V2 release. While we strive to build scalability into V1, it can be challenging to fully achieve.
By identifying scalability flaws in V1, it is more clear how to improve and make V2 more scalable.
This reflection helps us build scalability as a feature of our V2s.
Each of our V2 releases is designed with scalability in mind.
On average, out V1 to V2 timeline is approximately 1 year. Our goal is to design each V2 to scale effortlessly without requiring a V3 update the following year. We want the scalability improvements in V2 to be sufficient to sustainable for at least 2 to 3 years.
Improvement is engrained in Finsweet culture
Improvement is deeply ingrained in the culture at Finsweet, and it starts with our people.
We often hire junior-level team members and witness their growth into senior-level roles, as personal advancement is a core value in our company. We believe that everyone has the potential to "get to the next level" by delivering exceptional work.
Over the years, we have seen our team members blossom into all-stars, and this is one of the reasons why we prefer hiring junior talent over senior.
While someone with 10 years of experience may not experience a significant knowledge boost after just one year at a company, someone with only 1 year of experience can potentially skyrocket their knowledge and skills during the same timeframe.
This kind of growth is highly motivating for both the individual and the entire team, and it naturally fuels our product improvements.
As our team members gain more knowledge and experience in product development, there is a strong desire to apply this new knowledge to products that were built in the past. We believe that our public work should represent who we are today, not who we were last year.
The release of V2 signifies that both product and personal improvements have been made, and it feels natural for us to continue improving each of our products as we become more capable of building them.
If our commitment to continuous improvement holds true, we will be on the path to creating V3s for all of our products.
It's just the kind of thing we would do. Keep an eye out for our V3 article in the coming years!