HeyI.Am started as a side project. A friend of ours was looking for a new job and had some trouble creating a personal website with the site builders that existed at the time. We created a POC that turned his LinkedIn page into a basic website, got some great responses and decided to keep on working it.
After doing market and user research (nothing like a trip to London for some user interviews in random bars!) we've decided our target market is mainly fresh graduates looking for a job and wanting to stand out. Our website builder had a lego-like, block building approach. The user could choose the blocks he wanted to use, replace the icons, colors, graphics and content - but not move around any specific objects on the page. This would ensure the site always looked good and removed some of the complexity we saw in existing website builders. After LinkedIn removed the ability to import the data from the user's profile, we created simple instructions with examples, that were embedded in the template itself, to help the users fill in useful content.
Over the year we were working on HeyI.Am we experimented with a lot of things and iterated on the go, learning from our users. We conducted user testing, looked at statistics (Google Analytics and Optimizely) and reached out to our users via email. We tried having multiple templates for different purposes (all had the same optional blocks but different arrangement, images and text) and tried having only one; we tried requesting a sign-up before playing with the builder and tried allowing the user to build his site without signing up; we tried different texts, toolbar locations and order of items on the landing page; we tried different facebook ads; and there were also a lot of ideas we never got to try and implement.
Over time, we created a site, the builder itself, basic analytics and account management page, social presence, email campaigns, a blog, a deck for investors and a mobile app for exchanging digital business cards. Our user base grew to few hundred users, most coming from a couple of comments in job-seeking related articles, and although we have stopped working on it, some are using it to this day. You are welcome to check it out on heyi.am!
One of our users wrote to us saying we helped her get her dream job!