Matthieu Karolewicz has been a Product Owner at Dartagnan for nearly 4 years. His role is to coordinate the production and development of the solution in collaboration with all teams and in accordance with the needs of customers and users. Matthieu explains how he goes about making the User-Centric approach a daily reality applied in all processes.
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Hello Matthieu. To start, can you tell us about the journey that brought you to Dartagnan?
I began my career as a developer of flash and mobile games before taking on technical responsibilities. When I joined the team, the solution had already been designed and was working very well, but there were still processes to fine-tune and a team to develop.
The Product team now consists of three pillars (Product – Design – Tech / Dev), and the project continues to fascinate me: our email builder is constantly evolving, and we are always looking to make it grow and improve.
What does it mean to be a Product Owner at Dartagnan, and how can we say that your approach is truly User-Centric?
In practice, my mission is to coordinate the production and development of the Product. To do this, I work with all teams to implement and apply various processes.
But first and foremost, as a Product Owner, I represent the internal users of our solution. My role is to embody the needs of our users and advocate for them. For example, if a customer tells us they want to integrate sound into their emails, it’s my responsibility to ensure that it adds value for the user. I must advocate for their needs with the development teams and translate it into documentation.
With this dual role, it can be said that our production and product improvement processes are indeed centered around our customers and users.
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In concrete terms, what are the processes you’re referring to, and what strategy have you developed?
I’ll outline it in broad strokes, but it can be translated into a process like this:
- There is an initial phase of expressing the need, followed by analysis and evaluation. We must allow our users to express this need and our teams to collect it. Once it’s validated, there’s a phase of brainstorming, design, and prototyping in collaboration with the UX – UI team. We stay in contact with our customer-users and engage with a representative sample to delve deeper into the analysis of the expressed need.
- Then, the next step is prototyping, in collaboration with the CM – PCM and Tech – Dev teams. This allows us to assess if the project is realistic and feasible. We always continue to engage with our customers to refine the prototype of our new feature.
- Once the prototype is approved and after writing functional specifications, we move on to the development stage, followed by testing and acceptance testing.
- Finally, the rollout of a new feature occurs in two stages. We unlock it for a portion of our users, with whom we can test its usage in real conditions and make adjustments based on feedback. Only at the end of this process can we make our new features available to all our users.
Being User-Centric would then mean that you update the solution every time a user expresses a new need?
No, not at all, and that’s what’s very interesting.
First, we are a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform where all users have access to the same content. In evaluating the need, we must determine if it concerns only one customer or if it can add value to all users. This partly determines our choice to integrate it into our Product’s evolution and improvement strategy.
Furthermore, to be a good Product Owner, you must both empathize with the user and respect the DNA of our platform. Sometimes, you must be able to say no when you identify that it deviates from our core business or could degrade the efficiency and performance of our email builder.
And what is the DNA of the solution – the Dartagnan Product?
This is something that must be formulated as a team. This vision of the Product goes far beyond just me.
However, what guides me in my daily work is:
- First, providing a solution that is easy to use and can be used without having to worry about technical issues
- Second, developing a solution that is as reliable as possible (we are really aiming for zero bugs)
- Finally, ensuring that the promise of the solution is kept, namely producing responsive HTML code optimized for email and with the highest level of compatibility possible with market email clients
|Learn more: Dartagnan’s user-friendly approach: the key to Motoblouz’s email strategy rerformance. Discover our case study.
In practice, what are the features in Dartagnan today that originate from users?
New ideas can come from both internal and external sources. At Dartagnan, we have the Campaign Managers and Project and Campaign Managers team. They are, in a way, experts in the solution. They always provide us with very insightful feedback.
Credit can be given to customers for elements that make using our solution easier:
- The API we developed to automate a number of actions.
- The redactor mode, which allows for more rapid editing of certain email content.
- Additionally, three new features will be released in the coming weeks. I can’t reveal everything, but among them, there will be the comments feature, which takes us a step further in the collaborative dimension of our email builder.
Finally, most of the very innovative features come from services where we integrate custom innovations at the request of certain customers. Some of these innovations provide real added value for all our clients. The service offering then serves as a kind of testing laboratory.
This also highlights the very democratic nature of our identity. What we do for one person, we can make available to everyone, with due respect for confidentiality.