Cloning is your friend


With most web-based applications, the developer makes more money if you use them more.  Whether it’s more user licenses, more projects, or more data being stored, their revenues go up when customers expand their usage of the service.  But these very same products tend to make it hard to do a rather simple thing: duplicate or clone existing items.

Say you’ve created a project that you want to duplicate for another client. Or you need to add another user login for a new staff member.  Or you’ve made a great email template that you want to customize for multiple territories. In my experience — even using some of the best commercial software apps — these tasks require you to copy and paste the info to a text document, create the new item, and then manually insert the information into the new entry.

Clearly, there’s a better way: give users a button for Clone, Duplicate, Another Like This, etc. It’s a huge time saver and reduces the chance of errors. So how do you decide when this feature would be appropriate? Easy: Think about what users do when their accounts grow and usage of your product expands. Do they add lots of similar projects, user logins, email templates, and other things that your application lets them create? If so, you should strongly consider making these repetitive tasks easier with a Clone button.