Follow @hidrees



  1. Minutes.io - the best tool since pen and paper

    "Meetings are one of the most useless things we do in our lives" — Gary Arndt once said at an unforgettable Futourism event earlier this year in Toronto.

    However, meetings are something we have to do as part of our daily routines. With technology becoming a larger and larger part of our lives, we can’t be blamed for expecting our meeting minutes to be delivered the moment the meeting is adjourned. We’ve all been there - the team has a meeting, everyone has a lot of great ideas that we’re all excited to implement - organizing all that? Not that easy.

    Enter: minutes.io

    Mind you, I’ve only played around with this tool very briefly. Once I have updates on some of the more extensive features, I’ll be sure to update this post.

    My favorite part: no sign up required! I don’t know about you, but I’m just a little tired of having to fill out a form every time I want to use a service. Not on here. Minutes.io cuts straight to the chase. Refreshing! 

    The format is clean and simple. The default name for the Meeting is “Meeting” and you’re free to change it as you please. Another thing is the organization of the minutes. You get to pick if what you’re talking about is an “IDEA”, a “TODO” item, “INFO” or “OKAY” - not so sure how OKAY fits in with the rest. You also get to pick who’s assigned something and when it’s due.

    Gone are the days of using Microsoft Word for this kinda thing. Why? ‘cause this tool comes complete with shortcuts! Making users comfortable with your product and allowing them to gain control is not only awesome, it promotes loyalty. Very important usability heuristic that the guys (or gals) behind minutes.io have really thought through.

    The person taking the minutes puts down their name and follows through with the attendees names. So at the end of the meeting - you just worry about clicking send instead of figuring out WHO you’re sending it to.

    There’s a handy menu on the left-hand side of the minutes. You first get to “File” the minutes and then finally send them out, print them or edit them accordingly.

    Once you’ve filed it, you get to preview the minutes

    And then you get to choose how to send it. “Send” uses your default mail client and send with GMail prompts you to login with your credentials. Which is fair, ‘cause you wouldn’t want some temp sending minutes from the boss’s email address. Maybe having a verified account on the site would help with that. If I took minutes at meetings (which I don’t. Not really), I would love to simply send click and for the system to take care of it for me instead of going through my inbox etc. I would also like the minutes to be embedded in the email. Not sure how feasible that is, but it’d be cool nonetheless.

    Another thing I’m not completely sure about is how the privacy of the meeting minutes works. So say there’s a top-secret Batman and Robin meeting and the butler takes minutes using minutes.io, if he gets hold of the link, could the Penguin read minutes?

    Regardless, it’s an exciting project and I’m really excited to see how it folds out! You can follow minutes.io on Twitter @minutes_io

    (Source: minutes.io)

     

  2. The new facebook app for the iPhone is out! And it looks great!

    LIKEY:

    1. It doesn’t crash every 5 minutes. YES! That means I can be connected to my friends and their facebook-centric lives ALL the time.

    2. I can do a lot more and I can do it without consulting documentation. For example, going into groups and looking up posts was very cumbersome before. Not any more!

    3. The focus is on the news feed. Where previously, Facebook used to give you a menu of items as your home page, you now get to always look at your current news feed or the group or page you were browsing. Menus have been pushed aside as a more voluntary thing. Nice move.

    4. Attention to User Experience and icon design. Facebook almost NEVER pays attention to UX. They go ahead and make their font size smaller without reason, don’t really transition people into new designs and pay little attention to the consequences of their design changes on their users. HOWEVER, this time - they get cool points for redesigning that little icon on the top left corner. Notice how it looked different before. Why? Because the menu looked different. And the icon was merely depicting it. Now that the menu is a list of things - so is the icon. Good good work, Facebook. 

    5. It mimics the web. Which is awesome considering you want people to be able to do the same things, just on a smaller screen.

    NO LIKEY:

    I’m really happy with the new app, but if I had to pick one thing that didn’t sit well with me, it would probably be how everything is smaller, adding more room for error. Where before, the icons were all spaced out, now it seems they’re all crowded together. It hasn’t given me any trouble so far, but it may be cumbersome for people who have little patience when navigating with accuracy on a touch screen.