At Shutterstock, we are constantly trying to make our customers’ lives better. We’ll be releasing lots of great changes in the coming months, so we thought this was a good chance to let you know how we work.

One of the recent changes you may have seen is the upgrade to the homepage you see when you log in to Shutterstock. Here’s how we did it.

Shutterstock has a group of people called the Customer Experience Team, whose job is to obsess about making your time on the site better. This team is measured by your happiness. We release new features to the website respectfully with incremental changes – listening to your feedback along the way. The more you comment, the more opportunities we have to make it right. Our work is never done.

Which brings us to your new homepage. We recently upgraded your logged-in homepage to showcase more of what you expect from us: beautiful imagery. We added recent images and recent searches at the top, to help you find content you’ve previously searched, and we cleaned up the spacing and content of the page to make it easier to scan.

Here’s a little more detail about our process:

“Talk to Customers”

First, we recognize that many of our customers have been using this page for years and no matter what we did, some folks would be adverse to change. So, we talked with a bunch of customers to better understand their daily problems. What we heard was that many members would lose their places when they switched between the task of searching on Shutterstock and working on their project. We solved this problem by adding a visual reference to your recent activity – both recent searches and recent views. There were lots of other features we tried in prototypes, but this simple recent activity feature seemed to be universally helpful.

Additionally, customers we talked to really liked having easy access to their account details, account information, billing history and download history, so we decided to design the page with those elements static and easy to find in the left-hand column. Additionally, we gave lightboxes a subtle new treatment that allows for easier scanning by showing similarly sized images as the hero image.

“Release With a Feedback Loop”

When we release new designs, we always do so with a feedback tab in place. There’s no way we can design for every single member, so we rely on your comments to make our products better over time. Most customers liked the changes, and others who didn’t like it have been giving us helpful comments about what’s important to them.

Don’t take my word for it, here’s a sampling of some actual customer feedback:

The “I Hate Change” Comments

  • “It’s different, hence it scares me.”
  • “Stop messing about with things.”
  • “I hate having to learn a new layout.”

The Challenges

  • “I just liked how the other one looked.”
  • “Where are the categories?”
  • “I really miss the information for the images left to download and the timing. Can you please bring it back. Thanks.”

The Good

  • “LOVELY!!! you guys did a good job. Your changes are always wonderful. you have a rockin’ team!!!!”
  • “I more than like it, I love it.”
  • “Its a lot clearer and concise! I love the easy review of my recently viewed images and recent searches! That’s very useful to me!”
  • “Very easy to navigate and the easy-to-use lightbox options are incredible! I love how other lightboxes are recommended too! Well done!”

“Keep Listening and Iterate”

All this feedback helps us improve–Please keep it coming. If you were one of the people who said you missed categories and the download timing, take heart: We are bringing back those features this week. (They may be live as you read this!) For those who just don’t like change, we hear your voice too, and we’ll do our best to release upgrades that are beneficial and thoughtful.

The new customer homepage is just the latest example of some of the cool new products on the way. (I can’t wait to show you some of the new stuff!) We hope you like it, and we’ll keep listening and working to make Shutterstock a great experience for you.

— Wyatt Jenkins, Shutterstock VP of Product