Visit to Indiana Wesleyan

10 01 2008

On Monday of this week I took a trip to Marion, Indiana to visit the climbing gym at Indiana Wesleyan University. IWU was one of the first sites that agreed to test the rock climbing software, and I picked them because they were one of a few sites within driving distance of Purdue.

It worked out for me to sit in on a climbing wall staff meeting while I was there, which made the experience that much more productive. Prior to my visit I had received most of the product feedback via email, and while there had been some good suggestions, I was itching to talk to a few users face to face.

The meeting turned out to be more productive than I could have imagined, and for me it was a huge confidence builder. The employees were stoked about the software (well, as stoked as anyone could be about software), and after I got the ball rolling with a few questions, the suggestions started pouring in.

Some of the cooler ideas that we kicked around were integration with Facebook, avatars or pictures for each climber, and a climber rating system based on experience. We also talked about a feature to organize and score competitions, and hashed out the wall activity reports that I mentioned earlier.

One of the many priceless quotes from the meeting came after most of the above suggestions had been given.

Me: Is there anything else you wish the software could do?
…silence…
Employee: Can it belay someone?

Truthfully, they were happy with the software…which made me happy. I’m looking forward to releasing the next version in a couple weeks, and am planning to stay in touch with the staff there. Marion is a relatively short drive from Purdue, so I’ll likely drop in again sometime in the next few months.

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