Working with Docverse has been one of the highlights of my career. When I reconnected with Shan and Alex after they moved from Seattle to San Francisco, and heard their pitch, I got totally hooked by their vision for the product; what excited me wasn’t just how great their technology was, but how focused they were on providing the most intuitive and transparent user experience. When I asked them during the kick-off meeting about the limitation of current technology, they both answered – almost at once: “Don’t be limited by what we have. Let’s focus on designing the best user experience, and technology will follow.” And they delivered on every word in that promise. We always refined and picked the best designs to have, no matter how difficult they were to implement. This is the holy grail for any UX designer: to have a carte blanche for envisioning the best thing, knowing that there is a team of wizards who will make it happen.
What’s unique about Docverse’s user experience is that it never tried to change the way people did something. Instead, it tapped into people’s existing habits and workflows to provide them with easier, faster, and more secure way to share and collaborate on their documents. We carefully observed how people already used email attachments, how they changed and saved documents, and how they previewed and merged each other’s changes. Andwe brainstormed for days at a time about how to make every part of that workflow better, without forcing users to do anything different, and sometimes without asking them to do anything at all. The best user experience was to have no user experience: the more transparent the product became, the more users were focused on the main task: editing a document together. It was the document, not the product, that’s always been the center of the universe.
Docverse just works.
I am grateful for having the opportunity to work with this amazing team, and being part of that great journey that started less than 18 months ago with a spreadsheet of ideas, to sketches and designs hanging all over the green walls of their Howard street office, to a functional product, and finally, to a successful acquisition. It’s been a true rollercoaster ride through a unique and inspiring Silicon Valley success story.
I blame Docverse for raising the standards of what I will be expecting from technology teams to make a user experience, no matter how challenging, come to life.