One Week In…Posted: March 23, 2010
So we launched last Tuesday after a week of doing the server scramble, the SMTP shuffle and the “Dear Amazon, please remove the email limit from our account so people can user our service” swing. The good news was that we were able to launch very late on Monday night with the beta email hitting UK customer inboxes first thing in their morning.
All seemed well, but of course very slow as far as sign-us went. I expected this and tried to brace myself, but it is still a bit trying to launch and see the masses not come flooding in. A friend of mine emailed me to let me know that he had tried creating an account with several passwords and the system would not accept them. Then I received an email from someone else that had the same trouble. I did some asking around with others that I knew had logged in or tried to.
It was enough to get our developers to look into it, but because we hash passwords, we can’t see what people have entered as a password to see exactly what the issue was. As part of the requirements I designed, passwords were required to be quite strong and validated before a user of the system could move forward. Plus the password has to be typed in twice and must match. So either we had an issue with the validation, or we had an amazing amount of attempts that managed to mis-type over and over again.
Good news: As of yesterday, we have updated the password requirements to be a little less strict (minimum 6 characters, must contain one letter and one number), hence simplifying the algorithm that checks strength and reducing the chance for error. We also removed the need for new account creators to enter a beta access code. I originally saw this as a means of controlling the flow and keeping an eye on anyone that might abuse the system early, but I have realized now that it was really a barrier to entry for the large majority of people who were genuinely interested in trying out the site, but would not be bothered to wait for someone to email them a code. By then, they had moved on.
So far the changes have seen much better sign up rates, even though the change is less than 24 hours old. I’ll keep an eye for the next few days and see if we continue to trend upwards.
The last thing to share for today is that myTooq reached another milestone that took longer than I expected. The first invoice was created and sent today at 10:48 AM. I honestly expected this to happen in the first day or two, but with passwords and beta codes hampering things, I guess it makes sense that it took this long. All I know now, is that we’re moving forward a little but everyday.
Thanks for stopping by.