The New Better Proposals Editor

Written by Adam Hempenstall
Better Proposals Editor

Now and again, you have to look at where you’re at and ask the question:

“Is this the best we can do?”.

I don’t mean if this is good enough, but with all the talent, experience, and knowledge that we have, could we do a better job? We asked ourselves that question seven months ago. Was ‘this’ the editor that we would want to use every day in Better Proposals? Was it as fast as it could be, what were its drawbacks, what was it bad at? There were plenty of other questions on the list and it wasn’t long before we all came to the same conclusion – it’s time to rebuild the editor. After the better part of seven months, we’re finally able to show the world what we’ve been working on. 

What wasn’t negotiable

There are always some nice-to-have things you can add later, but when you’re rebuilding something as big as this from scratch, it’s vital you know which things you won’t be moving the goalposts for.
So we created a short, but essential list. 

The first thing was speed. It had to feel lightning fast. No loading. No endless spinners and page reloads. It needed to feel instant. 

The second thing was giving the people what they wanted when it came to pricing tables. Back when we started building Better Proposals, we had only just transitioned from running an agency to a software company, so we knew very well the kinds of features we needed the pricing tables to have. Over time, as we’ve grown and more industries started to use web-based proposal tools, the demands increased and so did our pricing tables’ capability. 

Lastly, there was flexibility. If we wanted to add new features to the editor, would that be a long, tedious process or something quick and simple? It needed to be as easy as possible to continue to cater to our customers’ demand.

Lessons from Amazon to Basecamp to us

Jeff Bezos once told Jason and David at Basecamp to focus on the things that will always be true. At Amazon, that was simple:  people wanted the biggest selection, lowest prices, and the fastest delivery. So that’s what they focused on and still do. No one will wake up one day and want less selection, higher costs, and slower delivery times.

We realized that our non-negotiable list was precisely that – people would wish for a new proposal editor to be fast, not clunky. They want to put their pricing in the way they do in their industry and have a platform that will grow with them over time.

We didn’t just build a faster version of what we had

If you’re going to rebuild a massive part of your product as we have, there will always be some new features you want to put in. So safe to say, there’s no shortage of new additions.

Want your entire proposal or document fully scrollable instead of clicking through each section? You got it.

Want to insert images from Unsplash or Pexels right from the editor? You got that, too.

Always liked the idea of having a video background? You’re in luck.

There is an absolute ton of new things added to the Editor. Some are covered in the launch video below, but if you scroll to the bottom of this post, you will see a great big list of everything we’ve changed or added.

The most mental product release video of all time

We don’t do things by halves, so we decided to create the most insane product release video we could. Think of it this way: if music festival stage designers decided to create software. 😉


The definitive list of what’s actually changed

Removed Text Blocks

We have completely removed the text blocks. When you open the new editor for the first time, you will notice all your text blocks are converted to Feature Blocks. The background is changed to white and the default text color is already selected. It won’t look any different but you’ll gain all the editing functionality of a Feature Block.

We’ve renamed a few things

Content Blocks

Covers

Covers have now been given the same treatment as a content block. You can add background videos, Unsplash and Pexels integration, and patterns into them. 

General

Digital Signature Blocks

Content Library

Full width images

Video

Pricing Tables

It’s been a lot of work so you’d better like it. 😉

As always, thank you for all your support. The coolest thing about this update is delivering the things you’ve been bugging us about for so long. Thank you for holding us to a higher standard – it’s what you deserve and it’s where we should be.

Can’t wait to read your feedback.

Adam
CEO

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