Andri Kristinsson is a Product Manager at SlideShare, spearheading the mobile team. The SlideShare mobile team is growing fast and recently launched its first app on Android after less than 6 months in development, with and iOS coming up soon as well. Prior to moving to the Silicon Valley in 2011, Andri was the founder and CEO of Innovit, a leading Entrepreneurship Center in Iceland where he helped hundreds of entrepreneurs grow through programs such as Startup Weekend and Startup Reykjavik, a TechStars global network accelerator. Andri has a B.Sc. in computer and electrical engineering from the University of Iceland and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
In this conversation, Andri discusses SlideShare’s new Android app.
Geetesh: The new SlideShare Android app – what was the motivation and raison d’etre for this app?
Andri: The world is mobile, and so are presentations. SlideShare is the world’s largest professional content platform with over 60 million monthly users. Until now we have focused on an awesome mobile web experience. However, we realized that our most engaged users were craving for a native app as well as content consumption on the web. At SlideShare, we constantly listen to user feedback. Therefore, we created the first mobile app to help users access, view and share their presentations on-the-go, and also help them with what SlideShare does best: discover content through people and people through content.
When we began building SlideShare’s Android app, we had three goals in mind:
- To make users more productive,
- To help them learn something new, and
- To make their day a little more interesting.
With these goals in mind, we focused on creating a few key features that would make this app something everyone would want to pull up every day.
Geetesh: What part of the complete SlideShare in a browser experience does this app bring to Android devices? And what’s missing?
Andri: The Android app is focused on bringing personalized content to our users and provide them with the best presentation viewing experience available on mobile devices out there today. The app brings presentations based on user interests and network of friends and colleagues. We also knew that mobile usage is very much about quick consumption on-the-go. This is what guided our designer, Jesse Venticinque in coming up with an awesome way to quickly swipe through presentations without ever leaving your feed of content. Once you discover a presentation you like, you can view it in full-screen mode.
Furthermore, we focused on providing users with a quick and easy access to all their presentations in one place – their pocket! We created a section where uses can collect and access their saved presentations, their favorites, and presentations they’ve uploaded themselves. This section has proven to be the most valuable part of the app according to a recent user survey.
Last but not least, users can enjoy most of the same functionality they love on the SlideShare web site, such as sharing to social media and discovering presentations through a powerful search feature – which is one of the most used features in the app!
We focused our efforts in this first version of the app on the core user experience but on the web we additionally offer various other features not available in the app yet. On SlideShare.net a user can, for example, upload presentations and use various Pro features such as seeing advance statistics and lead tracking. With the mobile app we are not really trying to replicate all the awesome features we do on the web. Rather, we are focused on offering our users a new way of discovering, sharing and enjoying SlideShare content anytime, anywhere.