We'll delve into the design process of ideating and creating Postman Templates, a crucial feature that helps developers get started quickly with Postman and accelerate their API development process.
I contributed to the overall design process to build the Templates feature. I collaborated with stakeholders, conducted market and user research, designed, prototyped and tested the feature.
2 Product Managers, Product Designer, UX Writer, Team of Engineers
‘People find it difficult to get started on Postman for their work.”
During user surveys and interviews, many users expressed difficulty getting started with Postman. Typically, they would set up their workspaces by watching YouTube videos or Google instructions. This sparked a question -
How might we make it easier for users to get started quickly on Postman for their use case?
A library of plug-and-use templates with different use cases to get started quickly
UNDERSTANDING THE SPACE
At Postman, our growth team is made up of 3 squads: Activation, Conversion, and Retention. Each squad works on a different area. We look at data in all segments on a regular basis to find areas in which we may improve.
Activation aims to help people see the initial value of the product and learn how to use it to succeed. It includes everything from the user's first steps in the app to the moment they take a high-intent action which activates them. In Postman, it is "Creation of a collection". A collection is a simple but essential Postman entity that users can use to do everything in Postman.
We looked at the data, which showed that 74% of Postman users don't make collections. This made us think that there could be these problems.
Users are having trouble with cold starts and don't know where to start.
Users don't know about everything Postman has to offer.
Users don't know what "Collections" are.
We conducted user interviews to validate our initial findings and further understand how people get started with Postman.
We found that users were having trouble with three main things:
Having trouble getting started with Postman (Our initial assumption got validated)
Not being able to figure out what to do next with their use case.
Postman is used by a variety of users from 20+ roles with 1-20 years of experience. The top four personas on Postman are - Backend Engineer, Frontend Engineer, Data Analyst and QA engineer.
Leveraging our key findings and persona attributes, we understood that the ideal solution must help users reduce the setup time.
We set some brainstorming sessions across teams to better understand how to solve cold-start problem. From these, we arrived at two approaches:
Abstraction - handhold and help users achieve their goals
Templates - give a head start and next steps and let them achieve their goals.
Other ideas included
Bootcamps - Walkthroughs for main user flows
Guided tours - Onboarding users better using tours
Embedded learning center - More accessible learning and help center
After a few usability tests and reviews with stakeholders and other teams, we noticed that most of the people were leaning towards having templates and not hand holding.
But, The construct of a template in Postman was difficult to understand. Would it be collections, workspaces or just simply requests? This is something we took a lot of time to figure out and eventually decided to go with collections as they are the most important entity that enables a user to do anything.
Although there are several companies like Miro, Notion, and Asana which have templates, there is no other tool in the API world who have solved the templates for API problems. The competitive analysis we did was to understand how to integrate templates into Postman.
Companies add templates to their products in two ways, both of which are contextual.
Post creation process
Pre creation process
We thought it made more sense to add it after the creation process.
We decided to test this hypothesis using a MVP with 4 templates for our 4 main personas. This was facilitated by several cross-discipline discussions and a lot of of referring back to our persona's pain points and characteristics.
Considering that this was a MVP, we built few contextual touchpoints across the product to validate the concept. These touch points were well thought through for each user journey and were put in a way that they don’t hamper the present experience of the user.
Activation rate increased by 2%
Specific users roles like backend engineer, full-stack engineer and student/professors have been consuming this more than other job roles.
In one of the touch points, 13% of the users opted to use a template vs 6% opted to import their work.
After seeing this initial success and an improvement in all the metrics we were tracking, we went ahead to build 70+ templates catering to different use cases, personas and industries.
Templates in Postman
Templates were used over 45k times in the first three months.
Templates are being used 1000+ times everyday by users.
There was a rise in 7% in users who created collections.