When I first found MRA, it seemed to be a great business idea and a terrific product. Create a simple and effective route-planning system that could be used on a computer or a phone. Do that in a way that was better than the competition and do it in a way that was easy and effective to use. It looked very promising.
I saw the Great Suggestion List announced in February 2020 and in March 2020, users were able to vote to prioritize how MRA might develop in what was called the road map. Again, all very promising. I was initially very happy with what I saw.
I tried to use MRA, but at the time found too many features were missing, but encouraged by the Great Suggestion List and being able to vote for how things should develop, I signed up for Gold Membership. It seemed this route planning system had many advantages, but wasn't quite ready for me to use. I decided to leave it a few months and see what developed.
Prompted by a marketing email yesterday about MRA video, I dived back into MRA to see how things have developed. I am sad to say, I was very sad to see very little change.
I was keen to see the new MRA video, as this after all, was going to be something pretty good, right? After eventually finding the well-hidden examples, sadly, after months of development, I have to be honest and say it is disappointing - it is little more than a fixed line on a 3D map, where you can add photos if you wish. Even worse, I found lots of questions about why people were having to pay for it when they had believed Gold Membership would have given it to them for free.
Finding a forum post about the Future of MyRoute-app was even more worrying. Lots of information in there about sub-contracting out parts of MRA to 3rd parties, but it then became very confusing, calling their product MyRoute-app, MyRoute-app WEB, MRA Video, MRA navigation, MRA Route Planning. Wow, come on guys, this is crazy-confusing for users! The post went on to discuss drastically reducing the number of bugs and a big backlog of problem need fixing - not very encouraging stuff either!
Then came another confusion - it seems there are now Gold Members and All-in-One members. Huh, what? Why?
Then came the biggest blow. "Shortly after the opening of the second stage of MRA video, we will finally release the roadmap for MyRoute-app." Really? It has been SIX MONTHS since this list was talked about and people voted! What have you been doing with this list?
Finally, I read "Having a great route-planner is important, but so is having a high-conversion shop to buy products from." At present, I am afraid to say MRA has neither. The route-planner is okay, but has too many bugs and not enough features. The way you promote your product, or different parts of your product to differently-named types of members is highly confusing.
I believe you need to go right back to basics and do four things.
- Sell one product that includes everything and give it one simple name.
- Fix the bugs quickly. It sounds like you are hoping to do this.
- Develop the route-planning software to (where possible) to give users what they have asked for and release the suggestion list very soon. The list should be a firm plan, with guide timescales, so that users can see what will be coming in time.
- Drop MRA video future development until 2 and 3 are finished.
I hate being negative, but guys, you really need to get back to basics. You have managed to turn a great idea into a vague set of confusing promises and what-might-be ideas and also made lots of things confusing to users. Above all, we want a simple, easy to use, better featured route-planning software that works well. Until that happens, nothing else matters.
You talk very well about transparency, but then you are very opaque. At the simplest level, it would be very helpful to your users if you tell us roughly what will happen next with the route-planning. Even in terms of something like 'the next phase of development is likely to include these things'. I can understand why you wouldn't want to be specific, but after six months of waiting, we are growing impatient!
Yes, I know this all might sound very negative and yes, you will no doubt defend your position, but the fact is your users need to see more progress than this. I look forward to the new beginning that the 'Future of MyRoute-app' post promises, but please stick to the basics!