1 simple change for great product demos
Abhishek Sharma
July 8, 2020

While we’re building Glific, we are staying open to feedback from the stakeholders. We’re open for the possibility to iterate it and get things right. We’ve been showing our product concept and the progress to NGOs and taking their inputs to build it further. Especially during the early stages of development we want to show the product progress often and to as many people as we can.

The usual route for demoing the product is to setup developer machines to the last stable state. Then run the features live as the spokesperson talks about the various features and shows how the product features work. This method of product demo required setting up the dev environment in developer machines. It required syncing the spokesperson with the developer going through the application. But this method was not optimal. Apart from the major challenge of readying the system for each demo, there’s chances of running into errors, or a specific part not working the way it was expected. Despite the system being prepared, the demo jitters can sometimes lead right into the errors. The developer needs to switch from their active development setup to the demo setup in their machines, which reduced their productivity as well.

Setting up a test server can really help in having a single person demo the product which prompts less chances of errors. However, during the early stages of product development, such as targeting v0.1 features, there may be chances that the test servers are not set up. You may not want to invest on infrastructure so early since there’s not really a need. You can simply show the product features via the developer machine. 

This is where we saw an opportunity to make one simple change of using a screen recording of the product features. This allowed us to do the product demos more often, avoid any error occurrence during a live demo, and keep the product experience of all the demos consistent. 

Showing a live demo may appear to be more credible, but it is not a very scalable method. Capturing the video removes the reliance on a few people to demo the product and helps more people to demo the same. We found this one change really impactful for our demos, and we leave you with this thought to try it for your products or any kind of demo.