Introducing Ben: Product Lead at Shapeways

I’m Ben, the new product lead for the Shapeways web presence. In my first two weeks here, I’ve done a lot of startup-y things–setting up furniture and helping arrange the new office workspace, meeting new colleagues (and introducing some to the experience of working in New York City and the USA for the first time).

My core focus, however, has been taking website suggestions from our community and merging them with plans developed by our company’s leadership team to develop the Roadmap of our site growth over the next 6-month period. This is an intense task, and one that is really a lot of fun.

I’m also planning the implementation of tools to make both processes more efficient and more community-centric. Lots of people are familiar with idea collection systems like Dell IdeaStorm and Ubuntu Brainstorm, and I want to set up something like that for Shapeways as well. You’ll be hearing more about this in the next few months.

Our website is a solid workhorse right now, but I see room for improvement. We’ll be adding features and fixes at a steady pace, but with a renewed focus on web design and user experience, there are a lot of areas where we’ll add polish and enhance the ease-of-use for shop owners, designers and customers.

With our huge selection of products, it’s important to ensure people can find things they like. To address that, I’m working on ways to help visitors discover items of interest, and to personalize their experience when shopping on shapeways.com.

Finally, for would-be designers who want to learn about 3D modeling and get started creating and selling their own designs, our team is planning to highlight and expand the documentation and tutorials we provide on the site.

(We’ve even implemented a few changes to our website already–nothing big yet, but if you see little things that have been changed, that’s because of us!)

I’m looking forward to learning from and working with you, members of the Shapeways community!

-Ben

2 comments

  1. Dizingof

    Welcome Ben and Good Luck ! ;)

    You’ve got yourself a very cool job at a *very* cool company.

    If i may, focus if possible on developing fast color viewer for the 3D models in Flash – i truly believe customers will better evaluate a model this way rotating it in all directions etc as its the closest thing to holding it in your hand.

    I have close to 300 models on Shapeways.. i cant order them all and shoot a video.. :D

    Cheers

    1. Benjamin Horst

      Dizingof:

      Thanks for the well-wishes and the suggestions. I know I’m very lucky to be here and I’m going to do everything I can to serve the needs of the Shapeways community and help us to keep growing.

      I’m concerned about Flash as a web technology for several reasons, but I like the idea of a better 3D viewer, and it is something I’m currently working on. I’m leaning toward a javascript implementation right now, due to better support on more platforms (iPhone and iPad, especially). You are totally right about the need to get this perfect for designers and customers–so please keep the feedback coming!

      -Ben

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