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ProductStash vs. Frill [Alternatives Review 2021]

Looking for Canny alternatives? Choose the right product discovery tool for roadmaps & announcements. Read our review and feature comparison of ProductStash vs. Frill.

Written by Andrey Kholkin

WHAT IS PRODUCTSTASH AND FRILL?

They are product discovery tools,

With a common workflow that can be split into 3 boards...

The ideas board:

  • Collect user ideas
  • Let users discuss & vote best ideas

On the roadmap board:

  • Add most requested ideas to a Kanban board
  • The idea becomes a product feature
  • Move the feature through different stages of development (pipeline)
  • Users can check progress

On the announcements board:

  • After the roadmap comes the announcement
  • Let your users know the feature has been released
  • Use several mediums - on page, via embed widget & email

01


ROUND

Dashboard Review

Frill is very minimalistic and has a sexy UI.

The admin & the user view are exactly the same!

This is brilliant UX - You don't need to open a separate URL just to "check how the user will see it".

The content is organized into 3 dashboards:

  • Ideas
  • Roadmap
  • Announcements

The ideas dashboard has a left side navigation for topics.

It gives an overview and suggestions towards what the user wants to find.

It also unclogs the idea board,

So you can quickly find what you are looking for.

You can do the same with ProductStash with dropdowns.

Not as intuitive, but overall their board also looks quite clean.

Frill uses an actual rich text editor (with auto-save)

This means "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" (WYSIWYG).

So you don't have to click any "preview" button to see what it will look like.

And you can embed "ideas" straight to your announcements (pretty cool).

ProductStash is not as cool and doesn't support embedding ideas.

But they support other elements:

  • Tables
  • Videos
  • Horizontal Lines
  • Bullet Points

UI/UX score:

ProductStash - 7/10

Frill - 9/10 (Winner)

MAKE YOUR CHOICE


Feature Comparison

Nothing beats a side-by-side features comparison

(Check the table below...)

02


ROUND

ProductStash
Frill
Ideas
Pinned Ideas
Upvoting
Comments
Following
Attachments

IMAGE ONLY

Internal Notes
Internal Scoring
Topics
Merge Ideas
Push Idea To Roadmap
Private & Public Roadmaps
Embed Roadmap

IFRAME

VISUAL BUILDER (COMING SOON)

Roadmap Stages
Edit Stages
Hide Stages
Roadmap Customization

HIDE/SHOW SWITCHES

VISUAL BUILDER (COMING SOON)

Translations
Announcements
Categories
Embed Widget
Widget Customization

HIDE/SHOW SWITCHES

VISUAL BUILDER (COMING SOON)

User Segmentation
Feedback Boards
Custom Domains
Avoid SEO indexing
White-labelling
Choose Font
Choose Logo
Favicon
Social Media Share Image
Permissions Control
API
Webhooks
Pabbly Connect Integration
Authentication

GUEST ONLY

GUEST/MEMBER

SSO

Ideas

Both tools have boards for collecting ideas (e.g. feature requests).

Where users/guests can:

  • Add ideas
  • Comment
  • Follow
  • Upvote
  • Choose up to 3 topics (Frill only)
  • Add attachments (ProductStash only)

And admins can:

  • Pin ideas to the top (Frill only)
  • Add private notes
  • Manage topics (Frill only)
  • Add score for impact & effort (ProductStash only)
  • Change idea status
  • Merge ideas
  • Push idea to roadmap

Roadmaps

The best ideas end up on the roadmap for development.

A product roadmap is nothing more than a pipeline with stages. (Kanban board)

Stages can be added, removed & hidden from the public.

Then inside the stages you can manage cards.

Those are the basic features of roadmaps.

And they are pretty well covered by both platforms.

Features only in ProductStash:

  • Attach features to a card with a progress bar
  • Embed the roadmap to your website via iframe
  • Customization - You can hide/show each element individually (about 20 switches)

Announcements

After all the stages of a pipeline a feature is considered finished and it is time to announce it.

The announcements show in two places:

  • On the announcements page created by the tool
  • Anywhere where you embed the announcements widget

ProductStash has user segmentation.

A use-case for SaaS companies:

Let's say you have two pricing plans - standard & pro

A new feature is released just for the "pro" plan.

Then you would announce it to the "pro" segment.

So the "standard" clients wouldn't see it.

(And get hyped for nothing)

Frill has some basic customization options,

You can set them directly in the embed code.

Like the text translation for example.

Currently, ProductStash has better customization options:

  • Choose an icon
  • Pick the colors
  • Display switches on/off for each element

However, Frill is building something epic...

A visual builder for you to design your own widget.

This will be a game changer.

The release date is set to be a month from now.

Here's a screenshot provided by Frill:

Feedback Boards

ProductStash created separate boards for feedback.

This is the next phase after you make the announcement.

The workflow suggestion itself is good.

However, the way this was implemented seems like copy & paste...

They just took the idea board and duplicated it into a separate section.

Authorization

ProductStash only supports guests (not registered users).

In theory, someone could manipulate the votes.

Which would be... well... bad.

Frill allows guests or users to add ideas, comment, etc.

Depending on how you set the permissions

They take it a step further with Single Sign-on (SSO).

Users can use your SaaS credentials to get access.

Instead of having to create a new account with Frill.

This way only your clients with credentials can add ideas, comments, upvote, etc.

Integrations

ProductStash has an API and integration with Jira.

Frill has webhooks and integration with Pabbly Connect.

You can easily setup a Pabbly workflow:

  1. Idea is pushed to Roadmap (Trigger)
  2. Task is created in your project management tool (Action)

This would (partially) save you the work of keeping both tools in sync.

A 2-way sync isn't currently possible, since there are no actions for Frill.

But better some automation than no automation.

Features Score

ProductStash has many more customization features than Frill.

However, I am hyped about Frill's visual builder which is to be released in a month.

A visual builder would be much easier to work with than all these on/off switches.

Also ProductStash did miss a critical feature - SSO.

I only want clients to add ideas and know that they can vote only once.

Not guests.

Otherwise, I'll always be doubting the results.

Frill has an integration I can actually use - Pabbly Connect.

ProductStash doesn't.

The only thing I was really impressed with is the user segmentation.

Features score:

ProductStash - 7/10

Frill - 8/10 (Winner)

MAKE YOUR CHOICE

 03


ROUND

Price Comparison

ProductStash's Pro plan costs $24/months for 10 boards.

You can use that to manage 10 products.

Their unlimited plan costs $40/month.

Both plans are fully featured.

Frill is more on the expensive side.

They have a cheap plan for $25/month, but not fully featured and limited to 100 ideas.

To get the full power of Frill you need the Growth Plan for $149/month.

It's fully featured and unlimited - but expensive.

Frill is currently running a campaign on Appsumo.

For $169 you can get a lifetime account for 5 boards.

Fully featured and with the white-label add-on.

Check out the offer here - https://appsumo.8odi.net/AoKXV7

Pricing score

ProductStash - 7/10

Frill - 9/10 (Winner)

MAKE YOUR CHOICE

Battle Decision


FRILL

Frill is a clear winner.

They have a quality UI/UX build.

It's clean, minimalistic and they use modern rich-text editing frameworks with auto-save.

ProductStash is good as well, but feels really outdated... (Like software from the 90s).

Feature-wise ProductStash has more features,

But none of these extra features are really important to me.

ProductStash missed out on two critical features:

  • User sign-up via SSO
  • Integration with Pabbly

Finally price-wise, since Frill is on Appsumo right now, it's a no-brainer...


ProductStash >> productstash.io

Frill >> frill.co

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