31 July 2010 · About 2 minutes read

Business Startup Week 2: Launch

After diving into setting up business last week, I got on with preparing Amberleaf for its live launch. This meant ironing out a few last minute issues, and tidying up parts of the interface.

Some of the biggest changes were to the new user screens. Despite their relatively low visibility (only being shown to new users), these welcome screens are arguably some of the most important in any application. The screens needed to give clearer direction to new users.

Welcoming New Users

The previous welcome screens had been rough placeholders, a couple of notes and instructions about what you were looking at. As well as being bland, they weren’t that useful in guiding people around the software. For the revamp, I chose to make the new screens a series of actions appropriate for new users right after logging in.

New Users Screen in Amberleaf

New user welcome screen in Amberleaf

I also got rid of unnecessary interface elements, such as sorting links and search boxes which were meaningless to an empty account. Every new user screen now also displays a prominent help link, giving a clear point of contact for support.

Launch!

My PayPal approval came through, and I linked it with the business bank account. After a quick switch on Spreedly, the subscription payments were active and I finally launched Amberleaf on 29th July.

I can’t emphasise enough how great Spreedly is for managing recurring billing, and how quick and helpful their team are at responding to questions. Integration with Rails was a breeze.

Away from coding and refactoring a lot of legacy code, I formalised the business, registering with HMRC and arranging suitable insurance on the car. I’m still puzzled by how the insurance company can justify its administration fee though!

Nevertheless, I made some tweaks to the Plymouth Software web site, and started thinking about business cards. I’ve previously used Solopress who were excellent, so ordered a sample pack of their latest recycled business cards. Next, it looks like I’ll be spending some time getting handy with Inkscape, and heading the ExPlay, Plymouth’s first gaming event.

Chris Blunt
Chris Blunt @cblunt
Chris is the founder of Plymouth Software. As well as code and business, he enjoys being a Dad, swimming, and the fine art of drinking tea.