Friday Updates: Editor Redesign, Product Analytics, Waking Up Early, Delta 8, Catch Up Calls

What I’m working on at Preceden

Editor redesign

With help from Milan, Preceden’s front-end developer, we launched a big update to Preceden’s editor.

Here’s what it looked like before:

And here’s what it looks like now:

Beside the aesthetic improvements to the buttons, we moved some of the functionality into other areas of the UI eliminating the need for some of the buttons:

  • Reordering layers is now possible when editing a layer
  • Editing the legend is now under settings
  • CSV Import is now under settings (it’s not really a setting, but doesn’t fit well anywhere)

We also moved all of the export and sharing buttons that were below the timeline into a new menu:

Overall this takes the editor down from 16 buttons to 5, simplifying the UI a ton.

Multilayer axes

In the past Preceden tried to put all of the axis labels on a single line like this:

Notice how for January it just displays the year. This is because including the month and year won’t fit in that space.

Introducing a secondary row for the axis labels helps clean this up:

Also spent some more time on performance and bug fixes. Really happy with how the product is coming along.

What I’m working on at Help Scout

I’ve been working a lot with Help Scout’s PMs on product analytics, an area of our BI reporting that historically hasn’t gotten as much attention as finance, marketing, and sales. Over the last 18 months Help Scout has hired a lot of talented PMs and with that has brought lots of questions about how users are interacting with different areas of the product. We recently signed a contract with Heap which has helped PMs self serve a lot more than in the past, but a lot of the analysis still involves wrangling backend data which has me working with dbt and LookML most days.

Some examples of analyses I’ve worked on recently:

  • What % of users have sent a response in the last 1/7/30 days?
  • How does activity change with role (Account Owner, Admin, User) and number of users at a company?
  • What does weekly retention look like for our live chat tool? How does user count and industry impact it?

What I’m listening to

Balaji Srinivasan on the Tim Ferriss postcast as well as him on the on the My First Million podcast. Love his outside-the-box thinking on so many topics.

What I’m experimenting with

Four things:

Wake up early – for the last few years I typically wake up when my kids get up around 7am. Recently it’s been my 2-year old banging on his door and shouting “daddy daddy!”. For the past month I’ve been setting an alarm at 6am (using my Apple Watch so it doesn’t wake up my wife) and trying to establish a better morning routine. At the moment, it usually consists of making breakfast for myself then either doing a 30-minute HIIT workout or yoga. During breakfast and yoga I’m usually listening to podcasts. If I finish before the kids get up, I just chill on the couch and keep listening to podcasts. I’m only doing this on weekdays. It’s got me feeling a lot more energetic during the days.

Delta 8 – I’ve struggled with sleeping well for the last few years, so decided to try edibles. I take half of one of these Delta 8 gummies about an hour before I want to sleep and then when I lie down I fall asleep almost instantly. I’m not doing this every night, just when my mind is overly active from whatever was going on that day. It’s made getting up earlier easier since I’ve gotten enough sleep most nights.

Weekly catchup calls – A friend of mine reaches out to me once a year to jump on a Zoom call and catch up. I recently asked him about his process for this and he mentioned he keeps a spreadsheet of old friends and acquaintances with when they last chatted and some notes about them. He makes it part of his routine to do these calls often, allowing him to stay in touch with a lot of folks. I really liked the idea so have been making an effort to do something similar. My goal right now is to either reconnect with an old friend or meet with someone new once a week. I’m not a huge fan of meetings in general, but am enjoying these 1:1 conversations with people I normally don’t interact with day to day.

Savvycal is making it easy to coordinate these calls:

Hope all is well with you all .

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