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Date: September 25, 2012
Category: Interviews
Comments: Comments

Introducing personal site builder “Qio” plus interview with founder Patrick Algrim

Qio LogoIts starting to feel like site builders are literally popping up every week to provide us with “the easiest solution to get online”. Meh.

I personally feel a lot of them are great but they lack a quick solution for a slick one page personal profile with a bit of flare. Patrick Algrim feels the same way and has built a personal site builder called Qio.

I played around a bit and must admit the experience was beautiful. Despite a few known minor bugs, I created my profile in under 5 minutes.

Rob Hope Qio

The frontend AND backend look slick and the UX is excellent:

qio-mngt

“Twitter – Facebook – Github – Behance. Qio keeps all these under one roof. It also leverages some of the networks to incorporate rich informative blurbs.”

As basic as these seems it must have taken ages to achieve this form of simplicity. Patrick describes his personal ethos as “Product Designer heavily focused on impacting the businesses of the world with simple functions. How, for who and why a product is made constantly tickles my fancy. A strong envy for transparent simplicity.” and it really shows in Qio.

I caught up with Patrick and asked him a few questions on the product:

Hi Patrick! To start, briefly tell our readers where are you from and what do you do?

patrick-algrimI’m originally from Chicago, IL but now reside in San Francisco, CA. I’ve been a Product Designer for many years, most of which has been completely solo.

I ran a consulting studio in 2006 where I worked with some awesome companies (Fast Company, Threadless and Groupon to name a few) then started a company in 2010 that was consolidated into Groupon.

“Product Design to me is the ability to understand multiple perspectives. I think a true Product Designer has the ability to be many people (UX, UI, Product, etc.) but that’s a conversation for a different day.”

What is Qio trying to solve?

I’m constantly surprised by how many people don’t have online presences and even when they do, they’re sharing the wrong kind of information. Personal Web sites should be similar to a glossary. What have you done? How would you describe yourself? Where can I find you? And so on. Instead, I see people focusing on all the wrong information. Large imagery of themselves, lack of ethical stature and inability to find contact information. Even blog posts I believe are not a great way of expressing your personal being. Everyday visitors go to your personal site and want to learn about you, so let them.

Is Qio a clone?

There is Facebook, LinkedIn, Flavors, About.me and the list goes on. First off I’m one person. So if you’d like to compare me to those multi-million dollar funded companies each with more than 10+ employees, feel free. I’d be honored. But in actuality, I think these services are a little different from Qio. In our industry we have a tendency to compare and contrast companies/people who are solving similar problems. I find that to be obnoxious. Solving a problem better than the previous person is still solving a problem.

Qio is a Web site creator. The morals for Qio will never change. Those morals will continue to evolve around enabling consumers to have access to beautiful, simple and effective personal pages for their professional lives. That means enabling you the control over your information on the Web.

I love your approach of releasing in BETA, getting feedback and improving incrementally. Do you feel this is the only way to launch a new product nowadays?

It’s an interesting concept that’s spoken about pretty frequently. The “fast iterations” and “just launch it” approach. Personally I think there’s middle ground. Too many people launch things that are not of quality. That makes me really sad. To me it signals that all they’re wanting from others is a fast turn-over. But having other people use anything you’ve created gives you a lot of insight. So there’s definitely a balance I haven’t perfected yet.

I will say it can be difficult if you lean too heavily in either direction. Lets say you spend 6 months on something and launch it, your heart is really in that object. So when others (naturally with human-nature) deliver some pessimism, it can hurt. With Qio, it took around 2 months of hard work before I declared that I had to launch something. Personal deadlines are a great thing as well. Most of the bugs I knew existed were not even spotted by the first few people, instead they found other ones. Kind of interesting that it turned out that way.

The lesson: maybe the things you see during the crafting process aren’t the same things other people see (kind of logical but still a great rule of thumb).

Are premium accounts around the corner?

They are! I want people to be able to use custom domains (myname.com to qio.me/myname). That’s a personal pet-peeve when I’m not able to do that. But aside from that single item, there is currently a list of features that will come with premium accounts (not to mention new themes and more control). More information should be released on that soon!

Do you see Qio being your full-time job?

What I’ve learned through my journeys is that it’s incredibly hard to predict tomorrow when it comes to the Web. When it comes to soul searching, making no plans is probably the best plan you can make. With that said, fortunately Qio is growing rapidly. As corny as it sounds I think it’ll be up to everyone out in the world to decide my future.

Thanks for the insight into Qio! Where can users follow you and more importantly send feedback about Qio?

Everyone can send feedback directly to hello@qio.me or via twitter @helloqio. Everyone can like us on Facebook at facebook.com/helloqio


Hope that gives you all a good background on Qio! Why not signup free here and create your own slick one page profile.

For Qio progress follow the Qio Blog here and follow Patrick on twitter here.

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