How Shortcut 10xed their +k Usage with CommandBar

Takeaways:

  • CommandBar makes Shortcut faster: After integrating CommandBar, Shortcut users can now more quickly find and access powerful Shortcut features.

  • CommandBar helps new Shortcut users get their bearings: New Shortcut self-serve users have a fallback to easily find features they’re interested in, without learning the intricacies of the UI first.

  • Saves engineering bandwidth: Shortcut saves engineering time with CommandBar’s out-of-the-box interface and low-code configuration tools.

Shortcut (formerly Clubhouse) is the intuitive and powerful project management platform loved by software teams of all sizes. More than 10,000 companies from all over the world use Shortcut to plan, collaborate, and build better software together. The company is headquartered in New York City (with employees spread throughout the US and world) and backed by Battery Ventures, Resolute Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and a number of other top-tier investors.

Challenge

Developers are one of Shortcut’s most important user demographics. They’re used to doing everything with their keyboards, and speed and efficiency are important to them. The less time they spend clicking and wrangling with the UI, the more time they can spend engaging with their team’s work. Developers are also increasingly used to a fast cmd+k (a.k.a. command palette) experience in the apps they use.

During an internal hackathon, Shortcut team members developed a basic cmd+k interface that allowed users to jump between pages in the Shortcut app. They shipped it and planned to add more functionality — like content search, keyboard shortcuts, and more actions. But with lots of competing priorities, the team struggled to find the engineering capacity to make their “quick switcher” into a robust, polished feature meeting the same high bar as the rest of their product.

Solution

Shortcut partnered with CommandBar to replace their in-house cmd+k tool with a more powerful interface that their users could rely on to quickly navigate, search, and take action inside Shortcut.

“The integration was pretty simple,” said Shortcut engineering manager Osei Poku, who got CommandBar up and running inside Shortcut in about a day. “The experience working with the CommandBar team was absolutely fantastic. They were super responsive, and it seemed like they really cared.”

Results

Shortcut’s CommandBar has quickly become beloved by Shortcut’s users. Usage of CommandBar in Shortcut is 10x what they saw previously with their original cmd+k interface.

At the same time, Shortcut saw that users were making better use of some of their most powerful and differentiating features. One example: using story templates. Before CommandBar, according to Shortcut product manager Sidd Penakalapati, “The functionality was a bit hidden to users; you had to know where to find it, and it still took too long. Now, it’s only a keyboard shortcut away with CommandBar!" The Shortcut team also makes extensive use of CommandBar’s low-code interface for adding actions to CommandBar. “Many commands can be created without any code at all. And for the commands that need some code, it's just really flexible. You can go either way. You can customize the commands as much as you want,” said Poku.

Their new CommandBar also looks awesome — and bolsters Shortcut’s “wow factor”. As Poku put it, “What we had before was kind of limited in functionality. CommandBar has a polish right out of the box that improves our brand.”

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