2020: Our year in review
So…2020 was certainly something. It may not have been the year that any of us were expecting, but amidst all of the absurdity, upturn, and sadness of Covid-19, there have been a lot of great things worth acknowledging and celebrating. For us, and for many, it meant a change in how we work and a quick response to accommodate a shift in priorities for our company, our partners, and our users. In this, our last blog post of the year, we want to celebrate the many things that were accomplished in 2020, give thanks to our amazing team for their continued support and hard work, and share the little things that we’re looking forward to in what will hopefully be a much more normal 2021.
Remote work works
Thanks to high-speed internet, real-time collaboration tools, and video conferencing technology, our transition in March from on-site to off-site work was relatively smooth. Being a digital company has enabled us to continue entertaining users throughout the pandemic and we have been lucky enough to keep our team fully-functional from home. When the lockdown restrictions were eased and the office re-opened its doors, we continued to support colleagues who wanted to remain working remotely and have maintained a good balance between on and off-site work since. To ensure a smooth and comfortable transition, we provide a small contribution to cover internet costs at home and a 500€ allowance per person to purchase home-office equipment. And while there have been no Christmas parties this year, our own festive helpers, Iuliia and Kseniia, decorated the office to bring some holiday cheer to those who visited.
Learning, growing, and staying connected
Staying connected has never been so important and we wanted to make sure that a shift to working remotely didn’t isolate or disengage our team. That’s why we launched a weekly newsletter to not only keep the team informed about projects, feature releases, and business insights, but to also keep them connected through shared stories, photos, and life-updates.
In January, we also introduced the educational budget to empower colleagues with the learning tools and resources required to grow both professionally and personally. While some events were cancelled due to the lockdown, many offered virtual alternatives and we’ve seen courses taken in design, programming, stress-management, recruitment, languages, and more.
The launch of our first Premium product
2020 saw the beginning of a new structure for us, as we introduced dedicated groups to our project planning. This meant that each large project had dedicated resources available to efficiently research, plan, design, develop, launch, and test. One product to evolve through this new system was the IQ Premium.
The IQ Premium provides users with the opportunity to discover their intelligence through a 50-question test with the option to purchase their exact IQ score, performance breakdown, and Premium IQ Certificate for a small one-off payment. Not only is this our first product with a payment service, but it is also our first SEO-dedicated product, which is driving organic traffic through the carefully curated IQ-related articles in our learning hub. Available in English only, we hope next year to expand our offering and have begun development already on a version for German-speaking users.
We released LOTS of new features!
We are constantly looking for ways to improve our products and offer users the best and most entertaining experience—which is why we’ve produced even more features and tools this year! Here are a few of our favorites:
#1 User-input feature
Some of our users really know their stuff, but the multiple-choice question set-up in our quizzes and tests wasn’t quite offering the challenge they needed or giving them the opportunity to really prove their knowledge. That’s why our development team created the user-input feature, which requires users to type in the correct answer without the odds of multiple choice. Not only has this been a big hit with the users, but “for us, it's remarkable that we gave our users an opportunity to enter their own responses. It will provide us with more flexibility and options to create new kinds of content in the future.” – Nikolay, Software Developer
#2 Unlock-answers feature
At the beginning of the year we asked our users what they would most like to see from our products. One of the biggest responses was a desire to see their answers and, more importantly, to find out which questions they got right or wrong. So we listened to their request and created the unlock-answer feature, which allows users to find out exactly how they did in every question (see the video below for a sneak peek). “This feature has been a really big success for us, with around 80% of all our users unlocking the feature to discover more. It’s been a great way for us to increase their engagement and ultimately improve their overall experience.” – Louise, Project Manager
#3 Inserts feature
This feature came from a need to provide users with a more customized quiz experience. To do this we created ‘inserts’, which, simply put, are customizable pages that can be added in between questions to create a more content-specific and entertaining flow. They allow us, for example, to add a story element or to offer words of encouragement to the user that spur them on to get their result.
2020 has been a strange year for all of us and we could not come to the end of it without thanking our incredible team who have worked extra hard to bring about so many accomplishments during this pandemic. As 2021 draws near, we’re beginning to look at new opportunities, features, processes, and services to help us improve and grow even further, but, for now, from the entire 360 Digital Starters team…
We wish you all a wonderful Christmas and, above all, we hope that you, your family, friends, and team have a safe and healthy New Year!