Creators couldn’t see their new Gumroad sales on mobile, so they had no way of tracking their realtime earnings on the go.
At the time, the signed in view for a user wasn’t mobile responsive, so they couldn’t access their dashboard or sales info from their phone. Creators would tweet at us and write in to support asking when they’d be able to check their sales on mobile. I had been keeping a folder full of screenshots with these requests, so when I organized a Gumroad hackathon, this was at the top of my list of things to build. Up until this point, there was no Gumroad app for creators, only one for the consumption end. Creators were only notified of new sales through email, like the one below.
If the creator wanted to see the total amount they’ve now made on Gumroad, they would have to log in to the site and navigate to their Sales dashboard. The information on new sales and total sales is completely separate, and there are additional steps involved if you want that data.
With the emphasis on total sales rather than new sales, it can be tough for creators to get a sense of new sales coming in. From a business standpoint, we should make it ridiculously easy for creators to see how Gumroad is helping them every single day. What better motivation to continue creating products and then distributing them through Gumroad than to see the response and the $ that your current products are driving.
I recruited our amazing intern Ben to join me on this project and we got started!
Since this was a hackathon, we had to do some fast research. Luckily this idea was in my list of “things I’d like to build at Gumroad” so I had some user feedback to reference.
I also jumped into our support desk and searched emails for keywords such as “new sales” and “sales tracker” to see specifically how people were asking for this and what they wanted it to do. One user told us — “I keep the Gumroad page opened in my browser to keep checking for new sales. Because it’s exciting”.
The biggest constraint was creating something that would be within the scope of a hackathon. I started by defining the most important information to communicate. My inner monologue went something like this — “What is the most value provided by this app — the ability to see each new sale in realtime. Do we want to show a sales breakdown by Day, Week, Month, and All Time? What value is added between Week and Month? Do we want to provide a breakdown of sales by product or should that segmentation be for a later release?”
I then started sketching out the flow and defining scope with decisions such as letting users log in, but not sign up (for this MVP that is) since this is more of a tool for existing users rather than a marketing funnel to reach new users. I also removed a few things from scope such as photos of products and any interaction with the sales info, so we could make sure we would be able to ship this.
One thing I kept in mind was putting the emphasis on the customer rather than the purchase. The header beneath the total sales changed from being “From 20 Purchases” to “From 20 Customers”. Though the copy “From 20 Purchases” meant you’d see a higher number, it’s more important to highlight that there are people behind these transactions. These creators have chosen to use Gumroad because they want a direct relationship with their audience, so we should help them feel this relationship.
I finalized designs in Sketch and created a spec to serve as a visual checklist to help out Ben.
While Ben was plugging away, I experimented with some branding for the app. We originally called it Pulse, since it gave you a pulse of the products your customers were purchasing.
Ended up using the Gumroad “G” on a teal background. More important than the branding is making sure
that users understand this is related to Gumroad.
Ben and I had some time to spare, so we made this into an iWatch app as well.
We got a cake, which was better than any birthday cake.
The only thing better than cake is happy creators! We loved seeing the reactions from people as they used it. We also got requests from our community for an android version as well.
For the future of this app, I'd love to focus more on educating users how to make money.
Since we have the data for all of this, we could provide them with tips on how to make more on the empty states of any day.