Archive for the ‘Design Stuff’ Category

iPad and iPhone Tricks

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

I don’t use my iStuff enough to feel like I’m optimizing all the gadgets and tricks… this article on BuzzFeed lived up to it’s title: 19 Mind-Blowing Tricks Every iPhone And iPad User Should Know

Of note (things I would use – all of the tips are cool to know about):

My iPad somehow got into thumb mode, and I never would have guessed I would like it, but I do… unless I only have one hand to type.  Then thumb mode is a pain.  I learned how to switch back and forth.

Did you know how to charge your phone twice as fast?  I hope this works on my iPad… very cool tip.

My kids play games on the iPad and I HATE HATE HATE the ads they accidentally click on.  Did you know about Guided Access?

 

 

 

JibberJobber enhancements – big and little (the finer details of software updates)

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Last night we did a release on JibberJobber with a lot of things.  I share some on the JibberJobber blog but usually not all of them (some are UI tweaks that no one really cares about, but they are good changes to make).  I’m going to try to document all of last night’s upgrades here.

Google Contacts sync.  I’m not talking about this yet because I don’t think it is working 100% the right way… but it’s there in beta mode if anyone wants to try it.  I have done it a number of times and it won’t break anything or mess up your data, but I’m not getting the results I think I should get.  This has been a HUGE project, but it isn’t over yet.

Recurring Action Items.  Another HUGE project.  Documented, with pictures, here.

Interesting menu change: Network –> Contacts.  After years of having the first menu item read “Network” we changed it to “Contacts”.   Both make sense to me but the more we thought about it, Contacts makes way more sense.  Some people were confused at what they would get under Network… but Contacts is more intuitive.  Crazy little change.

Another menu change: adding LOGS to the menu.  I’ve said that JibberJobber is a tool to manage contacts, companies and jobs, and the interactions between them.  You can now see this reflected on the menu with the fourth menu item: Logs (which shows the interaction between any of those three things).

Log Entries and Action Items on the Quickview Stats box: this makes a ton of sense… not only are we looking at the number of contacts, etc. you have in JibberJobber, how about your activities for the last week?  We show you how many Log Entries you enter in the last 7 days, as well as how many Action Items you’ve closed in the last 7 days (we’ll make that a ratio in the future, to show you how many were due, and how many you closed).

Cleaned up notice box.   If another user sends you contact information, or requests to be your coach, or anything like that, you get a notice in a white box in the Action Items panel on the homepage.  We cleaned this up… it is easier to read now.  And, the action links are more intuitive (I don’t remember what the old words were but they were not as intuitive as they are now).  Seems like it isn’t a big deal but it really is.  This takes away friction from the user experience… and we need to take away as much friction as possible.

Finally cleaned up the Add Contact issue that no one reported. But it bugged me a lot.  A few years ago we introduced the ability to track prefix, suffix and middle name… but there was a glitch where the middle name always showed up, even if you clicked the link to hide it.  This made the form see a little more clunky… the box is now gone and the link works fine now.  Whew.  Isn’t it amazing how little things can bug you so much?

Fixed and enhanced the Quick Add on Contacts.  First, we fixed the Twitter quick add (1).  Using APIs from other companies is a double edged sword.  On the one hand it allows us to do great things.  On the other hand, some companies change their APIs in a way that breaks everything.  We’ve experienced this with other APIs (like Google)… but we finally fixed the Twitter quick add.

We also, at the last minute, added the Quick Add from Facebook (2).  I tried this last night where I went to a Facebook contact, copied the URL, and then pasted into the box (after you click on the Quick Add link).  It worked charmingly!!  Try it (go to the Add Contact page, this is towards the top-right of the page):

Cobranded users get an alternate username and password.  If you get a JibberJobber account through another company (outplacement company, university, etc.), with a single click to create your account, you probably don’t know what your username/password is.  That model makes you go into that system and then get to JibberJobber. By popular demand we allow you to create your own JibberJobber username and password.  This means that you don’t have to go through that system anymore, and if you ever lose access to that other system you can always come back to JibberJobber through your alternate login.  This is critical because the data and work is YOURS, and you should always have access to it. Simply click on Account and you’ll see the option to create another username/password.  This is what it looks like after you have created it (note, the password tab is where you will change your new password, if you ever want to change it):

 Interview Prep without limits on text.  For some reason we capped the answers in Interview Prep to 250 characters.  I have no idea why, maybe to keep it under 30 seconds… or something like that.  Anyway, this limit is gone.  Just try and keep your responses concise :)

Ability to add documents from the Detail Page.  When you click on Associate Documents from a Detail Page you will see a new button to Add a new Document.  Before you had to go to the Doc Manager and add the document, which was a round-about way to do it… now it is a lot easier to easily add a document at the right time.

Cleaned up the Video Library.  Our UI designer had us put these big image icon things in two columns.  That was great, but it really restricted how long a title of a clip could be, and it quickly became a problem.  So we changed it so that only one video would show on each “row,” which gave us as much room as we needed for clip titles.

Another popular request is to only show OPEN jobs on the Jobs List Panel.  In the past you were able to order by open jobs, or do a search (status:open), but those were kind of temporary and required a lot of hard work (okay, well, maybe about 10 or 15 characters). Now, the default view is to show only the open jobs, but you can change that, as you can see in this new drop down.

You can change the Primary Contact from the Detail page.  Before you had to go to the Company Edit page, then scroll to the bottom and then choose a new primary. Now you simply double click on the gray box over Primary Contact and then choose from any Contacts you’ve associated.  You can see by (1) the Primary is Jason, by (2) you can see Barbara is a second (or other) contact, and in the drop down I can easily change from Jason to Barbara.  Note, this is how most of the Detail Page can be edited, but this was one of the few things we didn’t do when we introduced the double-click edit feature.

 You can now associate an existing Contact when you add a Job.  We need to do more work on this (allow you to add a new Contact and associate more than one Contact per Job), but this is an important start.

 

From the Events box it is easier to add a new “event” date.  Before, it said “n/a” and it wasn’t clear how to get a date in the box… now you simply click the “Add” link and it will bring up a Log Entry box with the Event already chosen from the drop down box.  This is 1000 times more intuitive than before.

 The List Panel search now works with quotes.  If you search for Jason Alba you would get results, but if you searched for “Jason Alba” you wouldn’t… now “Jason Alba” is basically the same search as Jason Alba (which is Jason OR Alba).  We need to do the same thing on the general search but it didn’t make it into last night’s release.

When you get an Action Item via email (which is a premium feature), you can customize the email you get.  Before you would get the title of the Log Entry and the whatever you put into the Comments for the Log Entry… now your email is either that OR you can override it and put whatever you want to best remind you of what you need to do.

We now have the duplicate checker on non-advanced imports.  If you unchecked the Advanced checkbox when importing Contacts (a premium feature), it would do a “quick import” and simply import and then tell you how many records it imported.  But, it wouldn’t check for duplicates.  Now we are checking for dups so you can have a cleaner database.  For the record, I always do the Advanced Import :)  I like to see my data and how it is mapped before I pull the trigger.

Speaking of the import, if you choose a non-CSV file we’ll now tell you.  Before it just kicked back an error, even though you are supposed to only upload a CSV file, but now it will say something about that (some people try to upload an xls file).

The autosave (3) was a great enhancement we introduced a few months ago.  The problem we found is this: if someone called me and I started taking notes in the Comments box (2), I typically didn’t put a title in before I started to write in the comment area.  JibberJobber didn’t like that.  So, we simply made a title for you, until you make your own: Untitled (1).  Simple, I know, but now the autosave will kick in even if you ignore the title field, which is one of two required fields on that form.

There were dozens of minor word changes throughout the system to make things more intuitive, and other minor changes I’m not documenting here.  I’m sure we have a long ways to go but this was a great and significant upgrade.  Thanks to my team for their hard work and diligence and to the users who gave us suggestions for improvements!

 

Advertising Fail – bad guys and bad… teeth??

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Check out this advertising fail from my local paper…. this is a bunch of different photos of a bad guy accused of killing 3 people.  See one of these pics that just doesn’t seem right?

I haven’t seen five of those but the bottom left sure looks familiar! (original link)

Skype Skrewup

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Something monumental happens tomorrow.

Seriously, monumental.

Somehow my PC’s clock got changed to 10/31/2012 a couple of months ago.  I didn’t catch it for a while, and all of my calls and chats in skype were logged as sometime in October, through October 31, 2012 (today!!).

So, when I was looking for chats, calls, voice mails, etc. it was hard and frustrating.  I couldn’t go by date… it was seemingly all jumbled up.

But tomorrow… oh blessed tomorrow… my skype life will go back to normal.

Yeah!

Classics, Human Nature, Four Basic Instincts, and YOUR PRODUCT

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

I’m reading some stuff in preparation for a course my wife and I are taking, and a section in this particular article reached out to me:

A knowledge of human nature is the key to leadership. There are four basic instincts which all humans have:

  1. Survival, security and a sense of personal control. A sense of self.
  2. A desire for relationships, connectedness, social mobility. A sense of being connected.
  3. Adventure, excitement. A sense of challenge.
  4. To gain meaning, to know self, truth and God. A sense of belonging to something bigger

When I read that I immediately thought: How does JibberJobber address any of these?

More important, to influence human nature, does my product (specifically, JibberJobber) touch on any of these?  Would addressing any of these instincts impact the success of my product?  Could I use any language (or concepts) from these instincts in my marketing material?

All valid questions for a business owner, entrepreneur or marketing manager.  And perhaps even for a job seeker.

Here are some immediate thoughts on each of the four, and my product:

1. … a sense of personal control.  Job seekers LOSE this sense of personal control when they lose their job, which causes a loss in income, stability, self-worth, identity, and more.

JibberJobber SHOULD help them regain some sense of personal control.  They might not be able to control how a hiring manager, company or recruiter acts, but they can log it and feel they are “on top of” their search.

2. … a sense of being connected.  Right now JibberJobber isn’t very social, but things might change in that area… :)  Would the changes help job seekers (and non-job seeker users) NEED JibberJobber more?

3. … excitement. A sense of challenge.  Like job seekers or entrepreneurs need more challenge… right!  How can JibberJobber give them a sense of challenge?  Maybe by offering challenging daily tasks to the users?  Like “Call three people today,” and of course log it in the system, so it is measurable.  Perhaps this can be summed up weekly, monthly, etc. to show the accomplishments.

4. ….A sense of belonging to something bigger.  If JibberJobber’s mission and vision is to change the world by empowering people in their careers, and helping people through inevitable transitions, and change how people think about these transitions… can my users participate in this movement?  If so, they can have ownership in this bigger picture.  It’s not just about their current transition, it’s about helping people suffer less because of the way “jobs” and “careers” have changed.

Fun to think about… now time to get to work on communicating this in the right places (which is much more than on flyers, business cards, email signatures, etc.).  This has to become a part of the product.

Making better products: Analysis for Continuous Delivery: Five Core Practices

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

This is a post I’ve skimmed, and need to print out to read more indepth later: Analysis for Continuous Delivery: Five Core Practices

I love this type of reading… although I can’t implement everything from the article. But I always get at least one awesome idea I can implement…

UGH! When will Google Chrome work with Google Docs??

Monday, July 30th, 2012

This has been frustrating for weeks. I tried to work with it, but finally had to switch to Firefox just for this one thing I do.

I use Google Docs quite a bit.  One on of my spreadsheets when I click a cell, I can’t really tell where I am putting data.  The red arrow shows where I have my mouse when I click, and you can see the row that I’m putting it in… I think (is it 108 or 109??).  BUT, check out the blue line around the actual cell I’m putting the data in.

What the heck?  I have to open Firefox, cussing Chrome and/or Google Docs, wondering when the brilliant brains at Google are going to get Chrome/Docs working together.

Behind the scenes on the LinkedIn iPad Application

Friday, May 4th, 2012

I just finished an awesome article about how the iPad app was developed for LinkedIn.  This was particular intriguing to me because we’re continually asked about a smartphone app for JibberJobber (go to m.JibberJobber.com to get to the mobile interface).

What I’ve said is that we’re collecting feedback, and as we get that we’ll get closer to deciding whether we need to do native smartphone apps.  Personally, I don’t want to do it.

Even if we were a huge company, creating and maintaining (and maintaining some more) native apps for the iPhone, Android, etc., and all of their whimsical changes (these are operating systems, so any core changes they make can be cause for a complete redesign/recoding of a native app).

In the article, it says that most of the iPad app is actually web-driven.  In other words, as far as I understand, it’s not an offline app… it has a few things that are native to the device, but pulls most of the data from the web.

Technology is a beautiful thing, and as a former developer, if this is the direction we’re headed (away from native apps and towards web-apps that look/feel/function like they are native), we’re headed in an awesome direction.

One can only hope!

Note: I have an iPad… but haven’t even cared to get the iPad app for LinkedIn.  I don’t do LinkedIn anywhere but from my PC.  How old-fashioned is that!

 

Winners, Losers, Acquisitions

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

I’m really interested in user interface design.  I have no training in it, however, as the owner of JibberJobber I try to get people to become more engaged in the tool.  UI has everything to do with it.

Here’s a fun article on TechCrunch titled User Experience And The Poison On The Tip Of The Arrow.

Here’s a quote from the CEO of Wesabe, on a difference between Wesabe and Mint:

“I was focused on trying to make the usability of editing data as easy and functional as it could be; Mint was focused on making it so you never had to do that at all.”

The entire post (it’s short) is worth reading, but since I’ve read this line I can’t get it out of my mind.

How do YOU make your product/service (or yourself, if you are in job search mode) so simple and easy?  Wesabe was going towards simple and easy at the same time that Mint was redefining it.  And they redefined it to the tune of an acquisition of about $170M.

The Power of Words: How Are You Communicating?

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

“I wrote the same, but with different words.”

So powerful. It fits into my 2012 JibberJobber theme.

 

I don’t understand why this video only has (right now) about 80,000 views.  It should have millions.