The Future of Acumen

Responsive design and Acumen are star-crossed lovers. The fates thwarting them are ultimately making a better product. Here’s why.

Is responsive design coming to Acumen? Affirmative.

Acumen 2.0.0 is a complete rebuild, which started over a year ago. It’s a reflection of my experience thinking, working, and speaking about responsive design and eCommerce — but it’s taking a while.

Why the delay? This is what I’ve been working on:

1. Consulting

It’s no secret that GravDept puts consulting first and products second. Client services has always fueled my product work and improved it. That’s how I like it, and what sets my products apart.

Projects for Skinny Ties, Angry Birds, Magento, and eBay Enterprise have filled my days and kept me squarely on the forefront of responsive commerce.

2. Speaking and teaching

My talk on responsive commerce at Magento Imagine 2012 broke ground in an industry plagued by underwhelming mobile sites and ignorable native apps. At Magento Imagine 2013, I returned for two encores: gritty technical realities of responsive commerce with Magento and strategic valuation of responsive commerce.

I also presented workshops on responsive commerce in Finland (2012–12) and Sweden (2013–09). Sharing what I’ve learned helps everyone raise the bar on quality.

3. Advising Magento

Magento also invited me to join the Developer Advisory Board: expert Magento professionals with deep business, architectural, and implementation experience.

We are responsible for establishing criteria, writing, and vetting the exams taken by Magento certified developers. From December 2012 to March 2013 I worked with Magento on the frontend developer certification, which launched in April.

Naturally, I’m frontend certified too.

4. Designing the customer experience

It’s hard enough doing responsive eCommerce right. Migrating from an existing site is nightmarish. I have no plans to let Acumen users struggle updating to the responsive version.

Laying out the upgrade path takes significantly longer than deploying a brand new product. Almost 1300 business depend on Acumen. I’m taking the necessary time to ensure it’s a smooth transition for my customers.

5. Building my platform

Acumen is available exclusively through ThemeForest, which unfortunately hasn’t evolved with the needs of product makers.

I have invested in building a custom platform to centralize sales, distribution, and support for my products with a sustainable business model. My attention is focused on this right now.

This is a complex but critical undertaking for GravDept, and the primary reason Acumen 2.0.0 is delayed. This platform is designed to provide me with the tools and flexibility that ThemeForest doesn’t so I can work better, smarter, and faster.


Those are not excuses. Those are my priorities.

Releasing Acumen 2.0.0 is very important to me, but quality is paramount. Everything I’m doing contributes to quality in Acumen and for you.

I am always happy slowing down and doing things well, which is why I don’t set deadlines on product releases. When it feels right and is good, it’s ready. That’s my product strategy.

Discourse Gravitated