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Podcast: What Drives Credly’s Product Innovation?

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In this inaugural episode of the Credly podcast series, we dive into the world of product innovation with guest speaker Sara Petry, Credly’s Director of Product. Sara shares the thinking behind developing features and enhancements that deliver a high-quality customer experience on the Credly digital credentialing platform (hint: we aim for things that solve problems for customers) and gives a preview of new features on the way.


Susan Manning:                   Welcome to the Credly Podcast where we touch base with our issuers, earners and partners, and explore themes of interest in digital credentialing. I'm Susan Manning.

Susan Manning:                   Today we're going to share an inside view of how we innovate and enhance the product. And who better to explain all of that then our Director of Product, Sarah Petri. Welcome Sarah.

Sarah Petri:                            Hi. Happy to be here.

Susan Manning:                   Great. Now, what exactly does a director of product do?

Sarah Petri:                            A director of product can do any multitude of things depending on the company that you're at. But, the core of it is really, focus on delivering a high quality customer experience. At Credly, that means a lot of things.

Sarah Petri:                            As most of our customers know, we have a digital platform, which is the tool that they use to deliver, issue and recognize digital credentials with their earner's. However, at Credly, the technology is not the only part of our product. Our product is also the service that we provide our people. Our customer success team is really focused on the implementation and continued engagement with our customers.

Sarah Petri:                            The director of product really works across both the teams that build our technology, our engineers and designers, as well as that customer success experience to create the best possible experience for our customers.

Susan Manning:                   And how long have you been with Credly? When did you join our team?

Sarah Petri:                            I joined back in July of 2017, so ... or 2016.

Susan Manning:                   I was going to say, it's been longer than that.

Sarah Petri:                            I know, longer than that.

Sarah Petri:                            Yeah. I've been here almost two years now. But in fact, I was a friend of Credly for a very long time. I did some work on our salesforce integration, probably, 2014, I want to say. I've been a friend and part of the Credly family for a long time.

Susan Manning:                   During that time, and the reason why I knew that you were here longer than 2017, is because we've had a phenomenal amount of enhancements that have come down the pike. What are some of the enhancements you're most proud of?

Sarah Petri:                            Yeah, it's been a whirlwind of feature development. Our team has grown so much and I think we've had the luxury of really getting to know our customers and the things I'm certainly most proud of have been the things that we released that we knew would really solve direct problems for our customers.

Sarah Petri:                            I think a big one would be what we call Credly Learning Addition, which is a whole version of Credly that actually can be embedded inside learning management systems. Things like Canvas, Bridge, which is a more corporate version of a learning management system, and D2L, all of which are pretty heavily used in the higher education sector.

Sarah Petri:                            This is very targeted, at these cases there, with triggers for automatically issuing badges. Being able to stay in that LMS environment. It's something that we're really, really proud of. We know that that's solving a big problem for our higher ed customers.

Sarah Petri:                            And we also know that the public face and the branding of an enterprise site, in particular, is really important for our customers to put their thought leadership front and center. We did a lot of work this year to enhance what the enterprise sites look like, that public face of our issuers, but also giving them power to expand their brand using what we call enterprise issuers.

Sarah Petri:                            For example, a company or a school could have different departments within them represented and really show the breadth of what their organizations do.

Sarah Petri:                            I think those are two really big ones we know that are impacting our customers, but of course it's been two years and I could probably go on and on with that list.

Susan Manning:                   It makes my head spin sometimes when I think about how far we've come in a relatively short time.

Susan Manning:                   Now, I know the answer to this, but, it can't hurt to let our listeners know, how do we get the inspiration for what we're doing, in terms of product?

Sarah Petri:                            It's all about our customers. I just mentioned that a lot of our roadmap and releases in the last two years have really been focused on problems we hear over and over again from our customers. We do our very best to stay in touch, hear how people are using Credly, and go in and involve them even in the process. We do a lot of interviews and user testing with our new features and get those quick feedback cycles. We wouldn't be able to deliver these really high quality experiences if we didn't have that relationship with our customers all the time.

Susan Manning:                   In the future, I want to bring some of those who do the interviewing and the designing and the managing of the product releases in on this conversation as well because it's a fascinating process.

Susan Manning:                   Sometimes it starts with me talking to a customer and they say, "I wish it did this," and then it kicks into quite a process. But it is rewarding when we get a problem solved.

Sarah Petri:                            Absolutely. That's why I do the job I do. It's a lot going on and a lot of chaos, but, at the end of the day, you're really solving problems for people, and especially in education and training and achievement. That's such a highly impactful problem to be solving for people, and really is a future ... a big future use case that we see. It's exciting.

Susan Manning:                   Now, and I want to manage expectations, but, is there anything you want to share that's coming down the road that we should be on the lookout for?

Sarah Petri:                            Yes, there's a lot coming down the road. The biggest thing that we're working on right now, I'm very excited about, is doing a big redesign of the tools that we provide our credential issuers on Credly.

Sarah Petri:                            The platform is going to get a whole new look and feel, and even some new and exciting tools around how people manage accounts, being able to have more control over the design of that look and feel I was just talking about of enterprise sites.

Sarah Petri:                            And all the way up to the thing that I think is most excited, which is our analytics tools. Really arming our issuers with the information they need to drive more and more engagement with their credential platforms.

Susan Manning:                   I'm excited about all of this and the work that I'll get to do in helping our clients understand how to use the tools. So, these are exciting times. I want to thank you for being here today, and because, listeners, you do drive our product, I hope you'll feel free to contact us at with any questions or comments. Thank you.