08 Jan 2019

Larder annual survey 2018

With our other product, Exist, we've got into a routine of sending an annual survey out to all our users, asking them about how they use Exist and what we should work on next. It's one part of our goal to work transparently, along with our public roadmaps and business stats. This year we've extended the tradition to our fledgling bookmarking app, Larder, too.

Larder currently has around 1600 existing user accounts and around 50 paying users. Because signing up is free and there's no requirement to pay for a subscription to keep your account (your bookmarks just become read-only once the trial ends), we've accumulated a lot of accounts from people who've given it a try and then moved on.

One of the main reasons we wanted to send a Larder user survey was to find out what we could do to make Larder worth paying for. I'm not convinced there's a huge market for paid bookmarking apps in general, but I'm sure we could still do better. Unfortunately, we received a measly 32 responses to our survey email, and 41% of these were from paid users. With such small numbers, I don't feel confident drawing very strong conclusions from the responses. So rather than do a big breakdown of each question, I'll just pick out some highlights.

If you're not using Larder on a regular basis, what's the main thing stopping you?

  • 41% reported they are using Larder
  • 13% picked "I don't want to pay for it"
  • 9% picked "it doesn't work they way I want"
  • Less popular, user-contributed responses included "It's not as convenient as browser bookmarks", "I don't use bookmarks much", "I only want a to-read list like Pocket", and "no Android app".

(Actually we've had an Android app for almost two years now. It's listed on the Larder account page along with the browser extensions.)

Do you use the GitHub integration to sync starred repos?

  • 44% do and love it
  • 41% do but don't really use it
  • 15% don't use it

This is one of my favourite features, and a differentiator to other bookmarking apps, so it's nice to see that nearly half of respondents enjoy it.

Do you use the Stack Overflow integration to sync starred questions?

  • Only 2 users do and find this useful
  • 47% have set it up but don't find it very useful
  • 47% weren't aware it was a feature

I don't find this particularly useful either, I use Stack Overflow as more of a transient resource. More work to do in educating new users about this integration, though.

Do you use our weekly update email containing new releases from GitHub?

  • 37% do and find it useful
  • 35% don't find it useful
  • 28% weren't aware it was a feature

This is turned on automatically when you sign up but if you don't sync GitHub starred repos (or those repos don't have releases), you won't receive an email. I star a lot of repos to keep track of progress, for things like tools I might use in future, so I find this feature pretty useful.

What one thing should we add or change that would make you really love Larder?

This was a free-form answer field, and we recieved answers along the lines of:

  • Full page archiving and full-text search
  • Integration with Google search results
  • Better browser integration (sync browser bookmarks, suggest results in address bar)
  • Pull OpenGraph images and descriptions, show thumbnails and favicons
  • Add a CLI (we now have a user-contributed one!)
  • Make it free
  • An Android app (COME ON people, it's listed right there)

There was no clear consensus here. My hunch is that for people to want to pay for bookmarking, even at a low price, they want it to cover everything they might need and have all the bells and whistles. Fair enough.

Again, there were answers suggesting things that already exist (search bookmarks from browser extension, Android app) that suggest we need to be more active in educating users.

Company values

We asked a bunch of questions about our company values, on things like "We have a public roadmap" and "We won't sell your data" and the responses were consistently positive. Some users would prefer we used analytics in our mobile apps, though.

What content do you want more of?

Users would mostly like to read more about how we run an indie software business, followed by posts about technical tools, libraries, and programming.

How we'll act on these results

To be honest, I'm not sure. I'm disappointed with the result, and with such a small sample size we can't be sure about what would make Larder more valuable to the largest number of people. The low-hanging fruit here will be some more education about features that already exist, and after that we'll see.