Sascha and Yoav are relatively new to the PlanetRomeo team, Yoav having joined a year ago and Sascha a little later. But as Senior Product Owners, both guys play a crucial role.
So what do Sascha and Yoav do that’s so important? Essentially, their job is to take new ideas and make them a reality. Nothing new gets on our site without some serious work from these guys.
Ever since they joined PlanetRomeo, Sascha and Yoav have been hard at work updating our platform to give users the best experience possible. “The more we develop the new site, the more convincing it will be for the long-time users because it will have all the most used features,” says Sascha. Aware that users of our beta site are missing some of the features of the classic version, for example picture classification, Sascha assures us that they are in the pipeline and will be available to all PlanetRomeo users in the near future.
But not only are the guys working on bringing our classic features to the modernized site, they are also working on some brand new features too. “We just published a ‘road map’ [a guide to upcoming features] in the blog section, but what we’re currently working on is the travel app,” explains Yoav. This new travel feature will allow users to plan their upcoming travels more easily, enabling you to set your location to multiple places at once.
“We’re reworking the filters and we’ll have the activity stream, showing all the new stuff that’s happening with other profiles,” Yoav says. “So when a favorite comes online or uploads new pictures, you can have a preview of what’s going on in the background.” The activity steam will make sure you never miss an update from your favorite Romeos, allowing you to be among the first to see their new photos and keep in touch with your online friends more easily. Sascha and Yoav are aiming to have it live in the first half of 2016, and it will available to all of our users.
And there’s more. Sharing your photos with other users will become quicker and easier thanks to the upcoming QuickShare feature. “It’s pretty hard on a smartphone to upload a picture or send it to people, so we wanted something quick where you could just click one button and share a secret folder with someone,” Yoav explains.
Some of our most loyal, long-term users have been skeptical about the modernization process, worried that we’re losing the essence of what makes PlanetRomeo so special. But Yoav and Sascha are certain that the updated version of our website is a vast improvement. “The biggest challenge in the company is we already have a very strong user base and a strong product that is also in use for many years and a lot of people are already used to it,” Yoav says. “So the hardest part I think is to try offer new behavior options for our loyal users, and to make our platform better and faster.”
“Also, in combination with the fact that the current desktop website hasn’t been updated for 10 years or something and normally websites would do a redesign every three years, so now it’s an even bigger step,” Sascha adds. “We understand that for the long-time users the changes can be a bit unsettling.”
So why should users be excited about the updated interface? “The visual approach is much more developed,” says Sascha. “It’s much more focused on the profiles. That is, design wise, the most important change.”
“It’s more intuitive, you see a lot more so you have a better experience with bigger pictures,” adds Yoav. “The more complex stuff is easier to do, like adding filters. So when you change something in the filters, you automatically see it happening in your results. I think all of the features are much easier [to use].” As well as this, the website has become more responsive, meaning it will adapt to whichever device you’re using it on – a blessing for users who prefer to use the desktop version on their phones in order to access XXX photos!
Sascha and Yoav are keen to stress that while PlanetRomeo is modernizing, it will not lose the special qualities that make it unique. Features from the original site are being transferred bit by bit to the new interface, and if users don’t like the new grid layout, Sascha and Yoav have added the option to switch to a more familiar list view. The next PlanetRomeo is currently being tested by our PLUS users, but be patient, as it will be available for everyone in the first quarter of 2016. The public launch of the beta site will offer users a more immersive, feature-rich and intuitive experience, but if you’d rather stick to the much-loved classic layout of the site, this will also remain online for quite a while too!