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The NameShouts Journey
August 28, 2021

On the path to a new NameShouts

Saif Cheval
Saif Cheval
Marketing Lead
min read

NameShouts does its job: name pronunciation.

If you’re here reading this, you’ve probably given it a try and found this is true. NameShouts helps people pronounce names, literally: it searches our database for you and gives you the audio pronunciation of an unfamiliar name.

But in a world of productivity hacks and life optimization, doing your job isn’t enough. For those with the drive to help others, to bring their capabilities to the world, you need to do more.

Helping people pronounce names is rewarding. After all, everyone has been in a situation relevant to the problem we’re solving, and we’ve dedicated blog after blog to how important it is.

There’s more to it than that though. If you Google “Pronounce Names,” you’ll see us. It’s no secret that you’ll see some other options too. And though we might be the most accurate, up-to-date and user-friendly tool for the job, ultimately we all do one thing: pronounce names.

That’s a problem for us. We spend countless resources on ensuring quality and accuracy of our pronunciations to set us apart from the other tools out there.

Our work has made us the most comprehensive database of name pronunciations on the Internet. It has taken our company to new milestones, and allowed us to join fascinating conversations on diversity and inclusion.

With that in mind, we figured it makes sense to take things a step further. Having the most comprehensive database is nice. Having the most comprehensive name pronunciation tool sounds a lot nicer.

So, it’s time for a new chapter of NameShouts. We’d like to introduce you to NameShouts 2.0.

Name pronunciation isn't broken, but...

We want NameShouts to be the comprehensive answer to the question, “How do you pronounce this name?”

The new version of NameShouts will, of course, give you the audio and phonetic breakdowns for name pronunciation searches. That ain't broke, so we don’t need to fix it.

But let’s say you want to return to a name you weren’t 100% on. Or see names you’ve searched before to call up your memory, as a refresher. What if you have a bunch of names to learn, and very little time to learn them?

We took a look at the core problem, “How do you pronounce this name,” and the many contexts and solutions we could provide in an intensive 5-day design sprint, using the frameworks laid out by Google Ventures. The results were nothing short of mind-blowing.

Suddenly, NameShouts seemed a lot larger than we had originally imagined.

So, what will NameShouts be able to do now?

We're making a list.

There’s a lot of small changes and updates on the way, but we want to focus on three big new product features: lists, extensions and teams.

After an in-depth ideation process and a series of lengthy customer interviews (huge shoutout to everyone who participated), we found that these three features would be of enormous benefit to our users.

The first? Lists. They’re exactly what they sound like, and some of you might already be pretty excited about it. Lists allow you to compile multiple names into one screen, so you can quickly access all the pronunciations you might need.

How does this help? For a teacher or professor, this provides a quick way to practice the names on your class list the night before.

For a sales agent, you can have your call list on rapid deployment, saving you precious time that you can put right back into personalizing your calls.

And for event coordinators, speakers and announcers, you’ll have a way to package your shoutouts, introductions and thank yous with a personal touch.

Each one of our core audiences can find a way to use lists to their advantage. Everyone will get access to a “Favorites” list, which allows you to save names you’ve searched into a single compilation.

Uploading custom lists is a paid feature: you can upload a CSV (comma-separated values, an export setting on Excel) file to the new application, and it will compile a list for you. If we’re missing any names, you’ll be able to request them within the list itself.

List view, a new way to handle name pronunciation
Customized lists: the big ticket feature

Lists are a natural extension of NameShouts into the ways you deal with names at work. And speaking of, let’s move to the second big feature: extensions.

Extend your name pronunciation, and team up with colleagues

Extensions, plug-ins, apps… They’re all names for the same core idea: using NameShouts outside of the NameShouts website.

We’ve made several pushes of our scalable API solution, but for anyone who isn’t a developer, those three letters can look pretty scary.

That’s why we’re building native integrations into the apps you’re using for work, so that you don’t need someone technical to make your life easier.

We’re starting with Hubspot, of course. But we’ll soon be working on integrations and extensions for SalesForce, Canvas, Moodle and more. For the developers out there reading this, our API will be enterprise-ready following Oauth2 protocol.

There’s also our Chrome Extension, which allows you to take the power of NameShouts wherever you may need it. And paid customers may discover a new feature is launching for the NameShouts Chrome: soon you’ll be able to search NameShouts directly through the extension itself.

New design for the NameShouts Chrome Extension
Even our Chrome Extension is getting an update.

So far we’ve discussed how NameShouts will expand on how you work. But what about who you’re working with?

That’s where Teams come in. With Teams, you’ll be able to join up with the people you’re working with to create shared lists, within which you can pin names you’d like to work on, as well as pool your access and priority request capabilities.

Plus, you can share your own name pronunciations within the app itself. Because your name is just as important as anyone else’s.

Those are the core pillars of this new project. It’ll all take place in a lightweight, responsive application built on frameworks such as Buefy and Vue – if you know, you know.

But there’s so much more, including automatic language detection, updated designs, and… an elephant? We’ll have to explain that part later.

Wrapping it all up

We’re extremely excited about this new version of NameShouts, and we’re hoping that after this deep dive, you are too.

One thing is for sure: name pronunciation is definitely not going to be the same.

Before we sign off, though, there’s one thing we’ve got to ask.

The new version of the site will be launching on Product Hunt very soon. If you’re a big fan of NameShouts and you’d like to check out the new features first-hand, we’ve designed a page where you can stay posted for updates. You can check it out here.

Until then, keep pronouncing names right. We’ll be working away to make sure you’ll be able to do just that, and so much more.

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