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How we greatly improved user engagement

The goal of any Saas Application is to convert as many trials as possible to paid customers. To improve your application, what do you absolutely need? Feedback. We are using a live chat support app to get feedback on how users are using our SaaS app.

We were greatly surprised by the results. Many of our users were stuck at the very first step of load testing their web or mobile app. We discovered several issues:

  • Customers were proposed to create an empty virtual user as first choice. Many of them were then stuck with this empty user, not knowing what to do next,
  • Customers were not finding how to return to project homepage from the virtual users edition page,
  • We are only collecting email when user are registering to improve visitor to trial conversion rate. We have then a lack of information about users, and need to find a way to get them later.

Let me explain now how we greatly improved our user engagement and trial conversion rate by fixing the above points.

Why we embrace remote work

The world population has grown by 30% since 1990, going from 5 to 7 billions people. The distance from workplace to residence tends to increase due to the life cost within cities, like in San Francisco, where someone is renting a backyard tent for 899$ per month, for people willing to have a temporary home until finding a decent one.

Why should we stay at a single place when having a digital company like ours? Why are companies requiring people to be at work 9am-6pm? Isn't there something we can do to make people happier and healthier?

I feel like, as a Digital worker, that we shouldn't be constrained to work at a single location. While you still need to meet each other from time to time, people moving to workplace is inefficient.

Commuting hell

Work Commute

I've been in San Francisco Bay a few years ago and have been astonished by how many people were driving to their workplace, alone in their cars. The same happens here in South France. I commuted to work for many years, spending countless hours in traffic jams. The time spent commuting is purely wasted. You can't do anything when you are driving your car. It's a little better when using public transports since you can do something else while on your way.

From Java to JavaScript

Our load testing platform, OctoPerf, has its frontend made using AngularJs. But it was not always the case, and this article describes the journey that led us to this choice.

Java was all I knew

When I graduated in 2007, all I wanted was to perfect my Java skills. I spent years as a consultant in several companies, chowing down Struts or JSF, Ant and Maven. I also created personal projects to learn JBoss Seam or GWT. Many of these previously trending technologies are outdated now.

Java and its ecosystem were all I knew, and all I wanted to know. The little prick I was, looked at PHP or JS developers with disdain. I was convinced that Java would be the best solution to any problem. I was convinced that I could create web applications without writing HTML or CSS.

You already know that i was wrong. silver bullet is a myth!

How to burn 50k dollars trying to save a few hundreds

You are a brand new startup. No cash flows in at the moment. What are you trying to do? Survive. You are saving every single penny to last as long as possible. You stick with free tools, or stay with freemium plans. Are you really saving money by doing this?

How it happens

Once your startup launch is successful, you're growing fast and are rapidly acquiring new customers. As it grows, the tools you used at the beginning are less and less adapted to your changing needs.

You begin to look for alternative tools to complete the job. The open-source load testing tools hardly scales as the number of simulated users explode.

MkDocs sitemap.xml file generation

Here at OctoPerf we love static website generators. Even if our load testing tool is made completely dynamic by AngularJS, our website and blog are generated using Jekyll.

The OctoPerf documentation is created with MkDocs. This wonderful tool allowed us to concentrate on the documentation content as the markdown syntax is really easy to comprehend.

Moreover, the responsive themes let us integrate the documentation directly into our performance testing tool:

OctoPerf integrated documentation

When we first wrote it, MkDocs version was 0.12.0. It did not support sitemap.xml file generation. This guide helps migrating to the latest version (0.14.0).