A year ago today (4th July 2012), we launched FluidUI.com. We didn’t know quite what to expect, wondering if there would be a market for the type of tool we imagined – a prototyping tool that took inspiration from the games industry and built on the premise that business software should not only be fast and productive but also fun. We worked long and hard to ensure that the barrier to our user’s creativity was as small as possible – to make sure that the people who create amazing user experiences weren’t hampered by the UI of their very own tools.Less than 4 hours after we launched, we had our very first customer (we gave him a free account for life after he had finished his project). The next day we had 2. Every day we would get one or two, then a very exciting day when we had 4. New customers came on board every day for close to a month before we finally had a quiet Sunday. In our first year we’ve had well over a million visitors, our Chrome store plugin has gathered over 60k installs and we’ve been delighted to help customers in over 70 countries create their mobile apps.
Outside the digital world, we were offered a coveted place in Dogpatch Labs in Dublin (a shared co-working space for startups with some incredible Irish companies like Intercom, Boxever and Logentries). What we have learned from these and other great companies there has been invaluable to our growth. We took the first of what will likely be many trips to Silicon Valley, and worked closely with Enterprise Ireland (one of Ireland’s most prized assets) to grow our team and our reach. We were shortlisted in the startup competition at Dublin Web Summit and invited to speak at mobX and other events.
We’ve been supported by some incredible people all around the world. Early on, design agency thought leaders like Universal Mind gave us incredible feedback and helped spread the word in presentations and talks. Design strategist and lecturer Eric Dorf from Autodesk introduced a great number of US companies to our product and has continually provided incredible feedback to help us stay our course and understand what is important to our users. We could name 100 more amazing people, but one last special mention goes out to Jong-won Lee in Korea who included a section on Fluid UI in his book on mobile UI/UX design (We hope he said good things about us – it’s in Korean!).
Fluid has grown as a team and what we plan to deliver is far more ambitious than ever before. Like any product on its first birthday, we know we still have a long way to go before we can match everyone’s hopes and expectations, but we will continue to evolve both our team and the company with as much wisdom as we can muster. We plan to:
Continue to improve how we communicate with our users One of the things we set out as a core value early on was our desire to listen to and respond to our user’s needs. We work every day to improve this process, with everyone in the team seeing all our customer’s feedback. We of course love feedback - so let us know.
Continue to deliver on that feedback Finding the right balance between managing every feature request and driving our vision for what Fluid UI can become is one of the toughest “good” problems we face. We’re really excited by some of our upcoming feature releases - we know we have only just begun to deliver the kind of prototyping experience that we believe is possible.
Develop our core values Cement the core values of our company by bringing an amazing experience to each of our users and creating a “github for design” – a single place where designers can create, share and iterate great concepts for the next generation of incredible user experiences.
To wrap up, the Fluid UI team would like to extend a special thanks to every person around the world who has helped make Fluid UI into the best product it can be. We will continue to work tirelessly to improve the quality and features that you all care about and to grow in harmony with those that we care about most - you.