About a year ago, we sat down with Lyyti's CTO, Lauri Lehtonen, to talk about what the year 2022 has in store for Lyyti and what product development steps he and his team are going to take. A year later, he is joined by Product Manager Mari Mäkinen to evaluate the past year and give us their thoughts and plans for 2023.
Nice to see both of you. How are you doing, and how has your year been?
Lauri: Thanks for asking. The past year was great! We are happy with the results we achieved this year. Lyyti Next Gen was launched in November, which was a significant achievement for the team and the whole company. We are excited to see customers create their first events with Next Gen and review the feedback from our users!
Mari: Of course, this is "just" a milestone in the grand scheme since the work with Next Gen is far from over. However, the team is very excited about the things we have been able to pull off this year. Now we are ready to tackle new challenges.
What has been a defining factor of this year?
Mari: Well, obviously, it has been Next Gen. A lot has already been done, and it is now available for users to test and submit feedback. This is a significant milestone for us as a team since we can create something new with Next Gen instead of only updating Lyyti Classic.
Lauri: We are still developing and adjusting our working methods. Changes to team structures and processes always take time. There is still work to be done, but we have come a long way since the last time we had this interview. There has been a shift in how we work since we moved from maintaining the current (Lyyti Classic) software to creating something entirely new with Next Gen.
Mari: Our work will change a bit next year since now users can be a part of our product development. We are working on the features and the user interface that users can comment on. Most of the year was focused on the technical foundations, where user feedback is a bit harder to collect and utilise. This is a massive motivation for the team.
Lauri: User feedback was the main reason to push Next Gen out in its current state. Even though we know it is far from ready, and many Classic features are missing, we want to get users' feedback instead of just working on it ourselves and publishing it in its later stage.
What can our users and future users expect from Lyyti in 2023?
Mari: Our first priority is to develop features that allow our customers to use Next Gen in their external events. Based on feedback, we will work on new features that support the needs of our users. Later, we will support various requirements like payments, multi-day events, and integrations with Lyyti Next Gen.
Lauri: My estimation is that by the end of 2023, 30-50% of our users can use Next Gen for all their events. For the rest, there are some complex features, such as payments and integrations, that we can start working on in late 2023 and will continue in 2024. We are still maintaining Lyyti Classic as it is until our users can fully utilise Next Gen. Fundamentals, such as participant types and additional messaging features, are in the pipeline during the first half of the year.
You have repeatedly mentioned user feedback during this interview; how important is it for product development?
Lauri: We must value it greatly if we aim to deliver a product that fully meets the needs of the event organisers. We are now collecting new feedback, but we also have all of our old feedback from users in the vault, and both are used to build Next Gen. Feedback helps us to fix bugs but more importantly is the trail we follow to develop a versatile but easy-to-use product. Feedback was the main reason we built Next Gen in the first place. We had many user requests we couldn't fulfill with the old technology base.
Mari, you hosted the Next Gen launch event and demos for our users during November and December. How were they received?
Mari: We have received much positive feedback for the minor changes and improvements we have built to Next Gen. There are still a lot of questions about when certain features are coming out, as that is crucial information for users. To answer these questions, we organise one-to-one conversations with our customers and monthly product info sessions open for everyone. In addition, there is a product newsletter that users can sign up for to stay updated with new updates and features!
There's a lot of excitement around Next Gen, which motivates us to build the best product. Lyyti has loyal customers, and it's considered one of the most sophisticated event management software on the market. We plan to keep it that way.
What has been the topic that piques the most interest in our users?
Lauri: It has been the integrations. Nowadays, there is a lot of different software in use to keep track of and measure initiatives. The need for information to flow and easy access to all relevant data is crucial. We have already updated our API, which allows us to do integrations more quickly, but our goal is to have many "click and go" integrations that we now have with Salesforce and Hubspot. Next Gen opens new opportunities for this frontier and can make our integration library much broader.
Thank you for your time! Any last remarks?
Lauri: Every user can impact the future of Lyyti Next Gen. Start creating events and give us feedback so that you can ensure the Lyyti experience meets your needs!
All the feedback affects our prioritisation of features and their release schedule during 2023! May your year be filled with events and new experiences!
Interview conducted a week before Christmas.
Hero photo: Sam Jamsen