Meet Justin French

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Note: This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.

Hey everyone, I’m Justin French. I’ve been with Envato’s Marketplace team for about seven months. My background is in design. I started in print and branding then moved into user interfaces and the web and now I focus on user experiences and products. Along the way I learned enough Ruby and Javascript to be dangerous and I’ve lead some pretty amazing teams and tackled some epic projects.

I’ve been part of a few start-ups here in Melbourne and in California. Looking back, the projects that were most important to me were those with a vision I believed in, customers I could relate to and a passionate community that really wanted to see us succeed. I had a few experimental years with bigger enterprises in the middle there, but joining Envato has put me back in my happy place.

Photo of Justin French with a tiny cupcake and tiny coffeeInitially, my role here was User Experience Lead, so I’ve been involved in a lot of hands-on design work with a variety of dev team projects. However, I’ve also been spending a lot of time talking with different kinds of authors and buyers, reviewing support tickets, reading forum threads and talking with our support and community teams to understand what issues are causing frustration and confusion.

Very recently, my role has been upgraded to Product Owner. This means I will now spend my time focusing on the overall product design and prioritisation of these issues, so I’m really glad we’ve invested the time listening and building up this empathy. We have lots of work to do, a broad community to keep happy and plenty of tough prioritisation decisions to make, but everyone here is committed to improving our core features and experiences.

You can expect to see me in the forums more often, acknowledging problems and asking a lot of questions. I’ll also be writing a monthly Notes post talking about our product development — what the dev team has been working on, why it’s important, what I’m thinking about and where we’re likely to focus next.

Speaking of…

Right now, the dev team is working on a major upgrade of our main marketplace code base to a newer version of Rails (the framework we use). There’s never a convenient time to do this sort of work, but avoiding it is actually slowing us down.

In the meantime, I’m thinking about what comes next for the dev team. How do we break these big changes we want to make into smaller, incremental improvements? Which five things could we make a little bit better instead of one thing amazingly awesome?

A lot of my focus has been around item support — reading the forum threads, talking to buyers, talking to authors and planning out some of first changes that will get things moving in the right direction. We’ll be starting this work in December. We’ll talk more about the changes as we go both here and in the notices forum.

  • Misel Delic

    Welcome Justin!

  • Xaver

    Hi Justin!

    Welcome to our community and thanks for this opportunity!

    Since There are many threads on the forums I don’t have to repeat all statements rather link to some articles. As crozer already mentioned some importent things a mandatory for good businesses on the marketplaces.

    Better Rating System
    Better Item Comments Search and the reply button
    Dashboard in general
    Master header for items
    Secure Browsing
    Better livepreview pane (responsive)
    Redirect certain pages
    Better FAQs and
    switch to HTML5 (it’s 2012)

    There are maybe some others but if these are done I’m going to love you!

  • Adrian Try

    Hi Justin. Welcome!

  • Justin French

    Thanks Xaver, I’ll make sure I’ve read those threads and that stuff is on the list (most of it definitely is, along with about 500 other things).

  • Mike

    Hey Justin, welcome to Envato!

    As for something you should consider, a cart system, so users can buy multiple items at once! 😉

    • Justin

      Yep, on the list.

  • blerc


    +1 @ Xaver

  • Alex

    Welcome on board!
    +1 @ Xaver