I actually had the idea for UXstamps more than a year ago. I was in London at the time and shared the idea with a few mates, the response was “OK”, no excitement, no drama. Still, I went ahead and got a prototype done via Taobao.com. What came back was a rather ugly bulky 3d printed stamp, it kinda worked but was also hideous, the idea was left aside. Fast forward just 2 months ago, I mentioned the idea to a good friend and was encouraged to make the idea happen.
So I ordered some prototyped, sacrificed on the size of the stamp for cost and launched a website I was remotely happy about. I wouldn’t allow myself to fire up a woocommerce site, Shopify crossed my mind too, but that also took time to set up). The goal was to test demand and that was it. The plan was pretty simple:
- Make a super simple website
- Get some prototypes made (cheaper the better)
- Give it to some friends in the UX industry to try
- Share Photos / Videos on Social Media
- Buy some ads on Google and FB
- Watch response then decide
What I was expecting
When I launched the site in early November, it didn’t even have payment on it, . The “Buy Now” button was actually a mailto link for users to email me if they are interested in a particular stamp, but then I felt it wasn’t really testing demand if people didn’t have to pay, so i setup payment by Paypal. I then made a video shared it on Instagram and FB
[Test Project] I’ve been working on something new lately called UXStamps.com the idea behind these is to make prototyping on paper super easy. It can be used in any paper or notebooks and comes in several designs. Start your wireframe the right way and have fun. Great for ux designers, entrepreneurs and even kids! #UI #Wireframe #DesignOnPaper #UX #UXDesign #stamps #NewIdea #experiment #entrepreneurship #uxdesigner #PM4discount #uxstamps
The response was “OK”, nothing like the amount of noise I would like. Almost like an afterthought I decided to post it on Linkedin… and bam, i started getting tons of Likes, Comments, Shares and finally Orders!
At the time of this blog post, there had been over 1700 Likes and 120 comments via Linkedin, I’m now even sure if I ever had 7 likes on my Linkedin posts before, I’m rather impressed by Linkedin, a lot of users were simply tagging other users, really helping it spread.
Somehow, completely without me knowing UXstamps somehow made it to both Hacker News and Product Hunt, had some pretty brutal feedbacks on Hacker News, so much so, i decided to stop reading them. There will always be nay-sayers and that’s fine, they just aren’t my audience.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely a happy problem to have, but I was just not ready for the number of orders I received, I very quickly went into panic mode and had to get everything ready. The stamps itself, the packaging, the posting and making sure the right stamp went to the right people. It was an incredible rush and I did not want to disappoint anyone (If I have, please get in touch with me, I can offer you a refund).
The Result so far
Up until today (11/12/2017), we have sold UXstamps to 8 countries over 4 Continents, I’ve been more than happy with the results and are currently looking for a better supplier to mass produce the stamps in actual size, instead of the current scaled down ones at a more reasonable price. The risk is that I’ve only received the number of orders I did because it’s so close to Christmas and it makes a nice gift, and not because of the actual need of end-users to help them wireframe better, on any paper or notepad they like.
This project is still on-going, please sign up to our newsletters to find out how we are moving forward. I’m also planning on writing a separate blog post on how we put the product together.
Also published on Medium.