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Eating Our Own Cat Food - The Rollout of ConfigCat's Config V2

· 4 min read
Csilla Kisfaludi

We'd like to share the story of how we successfully rolled out Config V2, the latest and most advanced version of ConfigCat. Let us take you behind the scenes and show you how we used our own tool to achieve a smooth and gradual rollout. Join us as we explain the steps we took to launch Config V2 and demonstrate how we "eat our own dog cat food".

The rollout of Config V2

Listening to Our Users

We started the journey of Config V2 by listening to our users. We gathered extensive feedback and identified their needs and pain points. This user-centric approach helped us develop Config V2 to address real-world requirements (Our users are the best source of inspiration! 🩷). We had to redesign the user interface for some of the new features, so we decided to bundle them together and release them all at once instead of one by one. This led to the creation of a completely new version of ConfigCat, which includes not only new functionalities but also a brand-new, lean, and user-friendly dashboard.

User Testing Phase: Putting Config V2 to the Test

Before releasing Config V2 to everyone, we conducted thorough user testing. Our goal was to make sure the new dashboard and features were easy to use. We tested Config V2 with two groups:

  1. New Users: To see how easily they could navigate the new dashboard.

  2. Existing Customers: Especially those who had requested specific features, to understand their reactions and gather detailed feedback.

Participants completed tasks while we observed their interactions in live meetings. This hands-on testing provided valuable insights and helped us identify areas for improvement. (Watching users interact with the new features was both exciting and nerve-wracking! 😳)

Refining Based on Feedback

Based on the results, we identified several areas for improvement. For example, the new comparators dropdown list was too long and confusing. To fix this, we shortened the list and added a Comparator Selector dialog window that explains each comparator, making it easier for users to find the right one. These improvements were essential for enhancing the user experience.

Comparator selector dialog

Beta Testing Phase: Fine-Tuning Config V2

After implementing initial feedback, we moved to the beta testing phase. We invited current customers to participate, and their positive feedback was encouraging. Using ConfigCat, we enabled V2 for the beta testers by creating a segment for them and adding their organizations to it. Seeing our own tool in action was incredibly satisfying! 🥰

During the beta tests, we collected feedback via email and through our Community Slack. Over two months, we fine-tuned Config V2, getting it ready for a wider audience.

Gradual Rollout: Using Our Own Cat Food

For the official release, we decided to "eat our own cat food" by using ConfigCat's gradual rollout feature. Here's how we did it:

  1. Initial Rollout: We made Config V2 accessible to 10% of ConfigCat users, including beta testers. As you can see in the screenshot below, we not only used our own tool but also applied the new Config V2 features such as the BEFORE/AFTER comparators to enable V2 for 10% of our users.
Gradual rollout using Config V2 comparators
  1. Phased Expansion: After two weeks, we expanded the rollout to 50% of our users. This phased approach allowed us to monitor the rollout closely and quickly address any issues.

  2. Full Release: After another two weeks, Config V2 was available to 100% of ConfigCat users. The gradual rollout allowed a smooth transition and gave us confidence in Config V2's stability and performance. When we officially released it to 100% of ConfigCat users, Config V2 became the default version for everyone signing up for ConfigCat.

Smooth Transition

Throughout the phased rollout, we aimed for a seamless experience. Config V1 and V2 could be used side by side with no service interruptions. Users could migrate at their own pace, and Config V1 remained fully accessible. While Config V1 is still supported, all future development will focus on V2.

Conclusion: A Confident Launch with ConfigCat

The successful rollout of Config V2 demonstrates our commitment to quality and user satisfaction. By using our own tool for the gradual rollout, we showcased the reliability and effectiveness of ConfigCat. We are proud of Config V2 and confident it will provide our users with an enhanced and intuitive experience.

Thank you for joining us on this journey. We look forward to your feedback and hope you enjoy the new experience with Config V2. As always, happy feature flagging, and may your settings be as smooth as a cat's purr!

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