Brandon Reti, our VP of Product, takes us on a trip down reservation-invitation lane. Here's how we got over a few initial hiccups.
Here at Breather, we understand that organizing and booking a meeting is a time suck that most people would like to avoid. You start by checking a bunch of schedules, deal with time conflicts, pick a location, prepare the agenda, etc….
We believe that anything we can do to make it easier for our users to book, invite, and guide people to a Breather location, the better.
Whether you’re an Executive Assistant, a Manager booking an off-site for your team, or the one trying to start the office book club, our goal is to ensure a seamless, stress-free experience for you and your guests.
V1: Explain Breather to Your Guests
Invitations have been a part of our product for over two years. We started with the simple notion that Breather was new, and we wanted to make sure the burden of explaining what Breather does and providing room directions was on us and not the host. So, we developed an invite system that would send any guests the following email:
V2: Reservation Sharing
This was a good start. But once it was live, we noticed that we were only solving one of several issues. We discovered that a lot of Executive Assistants and Managers were booking on behalf of people within their organizations, and weren’t actually attending the meeting. So we had a problem—only the host could unlock the door.
We continued to iterate, and last year implemented Reservation Sharing. This was a major leap forward. If the host invited guests via our invitation system, guests could gain access to the building and Breather space if they downloaded our app. It was, essentially, digital key sharing. And the answer to all of our problems! (Or so we thought.)
V3: Keep it Simple
This was a huge step forward for us, but people weren’t using the new invite feature as much as we’d anticipated. We needed to dig deeper.
One of our UX Researchers, Charles, interviewed some of our most regular bookers, and found that our invite feature still wasn't 100% correct. There was still too much friction, since both the host and their guests needed to download the app.
During one interview, an EA told Charles that she would wake up at 5:45 a.m. to text the door code to the execs, so they could access the space. This was crazy! Not to mention completely unacceptable by our standards.
When we looked into this issue more, we found that this EA wasn’t alone. The problem she described aligned with a number of the customer support tickets we’d received. Having guests download the app was problematic.
We headed back to the drawing board. After banging our heads against the wall for a bit, we decided to radically simplify.
We looked at what we’d developed in the past and realized we needed to do three things:
- Ensure ease of use.
- Ensure security for our users and their guests.
- Ensure security of our locations.
Since we deal in physical space, there will always be a certain amount of friction when it comes to accessing the locations, our job is to minimize it.
Our new invite system is dead simple:
- Every Breather reservation generates a link.
- The link can be shared on Slack, iMessage, or in a calendar invite.
- That’s it. You’re done.
The only thing guests need to do is click the link, confirm their attendance, and all the reservation info will be there easy access. Simple. Just the way we’d imagined it.
Book a space, bring some friends.