Aheadworks Product Owner Stanislav Golodov: “Often, a Challenge Requires Thinking Out of the Box”
What is the way a new product passes from the idea to market? What does the Magento extensions market require most of all? Is product management mostly about brilliant insights or routine data analysis?
We are talking to Stanislav Golodov, Aheadworks product owner celebrating today his 5-th anniversary in the company.
AHEADWORKS PRODUCT OWNER
5+ Years of Product Management Experience
AW: Hi Stanislav, great to talk to you on this day when you are celebrating such a notable anniversary. First of all, I congratulate you on this occasion. Hope you’ll continue your great mission in our company making more and more high-quality products for Magento stores.
Our readers are keen on diving deep into the specific features of the product owner’s work at Aheadworks and hearing the latest product news and future plans. So, tell us a bit about your duties and what your work is about.
Stanislav: The main task for me is to look for the Magento functionality bottlenecks disturbing most of our customers, find appropriate solutions for them, and determine if a certain product solving that problem is going to be in demand. Of course, we aim to resolve issues with our products in the most efficient ways.
In order to offer only hottest product features you need to track both customer feature requests and global ecommerce shifts.
The process for designing a product is the following. I investigate market demands, find some possible solutions, estimate them and choose the best variant, and then prepare a detailed product specification. As soon as the product is at the development stage, I also look through the very process of coding in order to make sure that the implementation doesn’t differ from my initial idea.
Upon the release I still follow the product in the market and determine the functionality scopes for updates. In order to offer only hottest product features you need to track both customer feature requests and global ecommerce shifts.
AW: What is your main source for new ideas of the software products you design? Is it always the same things or do you need constant background revisions for better results?
Stanislav: Recently we’ve drastically changed our internal processes related to the new products design. A few years ago we used to rely on customer requests and keywords popularity analysis, while now we implement new tactics involving close cooperation with our partner development agencies and other stakeholders. They provide us with greatly valuable insights on the required functionality of our extensions and market demands.
Often, the challenge is not ordinary and requires some creative approaches and thinking out of the box.
Besides, we pay much attention to usability as far as our products are the software of daily use by multiple store owners and Magento admins. We strongly believe that our extensions should bring the maximal value through really straightforward and optimal solutions.
Often, this challenge is not ordinary and requires some creative approaches and thinking out of the box in order to find an innovative still simple solution of a nontrivial task.
AW: What are the products you currently design?
Stanislav: Just recently I have finished designing two new products for Magento 2, Help Desk and Reward Points, and now they are at the development stage.
Next is Coupon Code Generator able to create and send coupon codes to customers. The module will also naturally complement some other Magento 2 products, including Follow Up Email, Custom static Blocks, PopUp Pro, and Help Desk.
AW: Are there any functionality areas in Magento 2 especially requiring certain enhancements?
Stanislav: Magento 2 is a much more advanced product in many aspects, including checkout, SEO, backend grids, etc. But, you can always find some functionality gaps or suggest better ideas for any software product, solution or platform.
Starting our Magento 2 portfolio we aimed to give pioneering entrepreneurs all must-have extensions for M2 necessary to launch their stores. And, currently we have 13 ready-made extensions in our asset.
Starting our Magento 2 portfolio we aimed to give pioneering entrepreneurs all must-have extensions for M2.
Next come niche products designed to cover some specific and narrow functionality shortcomings such as Subscriptions & Recurring Products, Event Tickets and iPhone Theme, to be released in Q3 2016.
AW: When designing Magento 2 extensions do we have any chance to utilize the expertise obtained during the Magento 1 period or still need to create absolutely new approaches?
Stanislav: We believe that designing Magento 2 extensions from scratch is the most advantageous way and a great opportunity to improve all approaches to product development and the entire philosophy used by the company in this process.
Our newly created products are based on automated tests and technical documentation making product customizations and implementations much easier.
Designing Magento 2 extensions from scratch is the most advantageous way.
Exploring the most common use cases and most frequent workflows we thoroughly improve the usability of our products. The mobile-adjusted interfaces of our extensions are not just responsive, but also follow common mobile experience patterns. Load testing, detailed technical descriptions, clearly commented code and many other things make our products more valuable for customer and we like it.
AW: What are the upcoming Magento 2 products Aheadworks is going to release in the nearest future?
Stanislav: The next coming Magento 2 extensions are Help Desk, Popup Pro, Coupon Code Generator, Who Viewed This Also Viewed, Reward Points and other products mentioned above. So, follow our releases since we have a lot of cool extensions in our roadmap.
AW: Thank you for the interview and you are welcome to finalize it in a few words. Please.
Stanislav: As for me, the Magento extension market needs more innovations. Still, not only should innovations be novelties, but also a truly advanced staff. Innovations are the main driving force for any ecommerce platform allowing the surrounding ecosystem to breathe deeply and move on.
For me today is happening probably the most challenging, but at the same time most exciting period in the company.
I’ve been with Aheadworks for 5 years and for me today is happening probably the most challenging, but at the same time most exciting period in the company. Hopefully talking on behalf of the whole team I should notice that we are enthusiastic about ecommerce and Magento 2 and willingly contribute to its success with both our products and involvement in the greatest ecommerce community.