A Year of Lessons from Korea’s Book App Developer Moglue

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Editorial by TaeWoo Kim, CEO, Moglue

Moglue is a South Korea-based tech startup providing solutions for anyone wanting to venture into the world of app books. Moglue’s desktop platform allows for anyone to create app books on both Mac and Windows with no coding required. Its platform also facilitates the packaging of apps so that they can be published in iOS and Android markets and allows for users to keep all royalties and rights after publishing.

A little under a year ago we launched our first version of MoglueBuilder and MoglueViewer, and a year later we find ourselves launching a completely new and redesigned version of the product. Why is this and how did we decide what needed to be changed?

TaeWoo Kim, CEO, MoGlue

TaeWoo Kim, CEO, Moglue

Priding ourselves in having excellent customer service and a great relationship with our clients, it has been easy to collect all the feedback and information we needed for a new launch. For the past year we have been talking to users, receiving their critiques and carefully listening to their concerns, which helped us identify the top problems with our program and made us rethink how we were going to fix them.

Over the course of the year we kept getting feedback from users asking for new features like speed, duration, web preview etc. Although we wanted to give our users exactly what they were asking for, our own structure was playing against us by making it close to impossible to add new features in a timely manner. This is when we realized our first big mistake.

When we first launched we were so excited about our finished product and everything that we had accomplished in such a short period of time that we failed to plan for the bigger picture: we had an excellent product, we were providing solutions and we were excited to share it with the world, however we did not build the product thinking of all the changes and improvements that would need to be made in the future. Our past structure was not efficiently designed and made it really hard to build on.

Although this involved a complete refactoring of the program, we realized what had to be done. We restructured everything to make it easier to add the requested features and to make improvements in the future. This is when we had to begin thinking strategically about where we see the company in both the short and long term.

Once we fixed our internal structure we were able to fix other things we noticed needed to be improved.

New User Interface

Wanting to add a lot of possibilities for the app book creators, we had added many features and gadgets that were not entirely the most user friendly. We were more focused on the technology part than on the look — however through user feedback we realized that our interface needed to change. This is why we decided to completely redesign the interface for a sleeker and more user-friendly look. We changed the graphics and made them more appealing to the eye, made the new page button easier to find, added the possibility to work with layers in order to make the working space less cluttered, and we added more icons for a quick link to top features.

Web Preview

We also realized that having just one type of preview feature was not convenient for everyone, which is why we decided to add a Web Preview feature so that users could instantly view their work in their internet browser. Taking our previous lesson on planning for the future, we know that in the near future we want to take the recently launched Web Preview feature a bit further though web sharing. We want to allow users to share their stories through web link without necessarily having to publish their work and sell it on an app store.

Focus on Education and Students

Another big lesson that we learned on the go was that we couldn’t keep our product focused on only one type of user. At first we designed the builder to be used by professional or semiprofessional authors/illustrators, but we soon realized there was a lot more potential in the product when we started being approached by educational institutions. We realized the potential of this type of product in the educational market and have slowly begun collaborating with schools and universities in Korea and abroad. Using Moglue as a student tool is not something that was planned when we first launched the product, but it is definitely something that makes sense and we plan on expanding further by adding more features in the future that can cater to students and educators.

The past year has been full of ups and downs and many lessons, but Moglue keeps on growing and our plans for the future seem more exciting than ever.

About the Author

Guest Contributor

Guest contributors to Publishing Perspectives have diverse backgrounds in publishing, media and technology. They live across the globe and bring unique, first-hand experience to their writing.