Kanban, It’ll Rock Your Productivity

In modern society we’re always on the lookout for new ways to eliminate waste and improve productivity. In our personal lives, and especially in day-to-day business, productivity improvements are seen as the holy grail, to be strived for and achieved each and every day.

We’re regularly inundated with new tipsideasconceptssoftware and strategies. But which way do we turn? How do we sort the good from the bad? Today I’m going to show you a way that’s as simple as its name is short, one which will help you increase productivity with a minimum of effort — it’s called Kanban.

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What’s new in the Usersnap Screenshot Chrome Extension 1.0.7

Easier project switching before taking a screenshot

Many of our users requested to switch between Usersnap projects before taking a screenshot. If you are logged in on usersnap.com you can select your active project now in the options page of our chrome extension (reach it via right click, options). We’ve summarized the new features in this short video. Enjoy taking screenshots and collecting ideas on the go with our chrome extension!

Do you enjoy our Extension?

If you like our chrome extension, consider giving it a five-star rating 🙂 It’s highly appreciated.
rate

If you have any feature ideas, don’t hesitate to contact us: help@usersnap.com or leave a tweet @usersnap.

We are waiting for your ideas!

Free Open Source Project License Request

We at Usersnap support and believe in the FOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source) movement and that’s why Usersnap is free (as in free beer) for any FOSS project to use.

We utilize a number of open source components like nginx, python, rabbitmq, angular and giving back to the community + improving the quality of your projects is a way to say “Thanks”

Your project must meet all of the following criteria to be approved:

  1. The project is licensed under a license approved by the Open Source Initiative.
  2. The project source code is available for download.
  3. Your open source project has a publicly accessible website.

In order to apply, follow those 3 steps:

  • Start a free trial from here.
  • Send an email to help@usersnap.com with more information about your project (see the three points above).
  • Place one of our “supported by” logos on your page:

 

usersnap_blue

<a href="https://usersnap.com?gat=foss-ref" title="Visual Communication for Web Projects">
<img src="https://usersnap.com/res/oss/usersnap_blue.png?x31155" alt="Visual Communication for Web Projects">
</a>

 

usersnap_white

<a href="https://usersnap.com?gat=foss-ref" title="Visual Communication for Web Projects">
<img src="https://usersnap.com/res/oss/usersnap_white.png?x31155" alt="Visual Communication for Web Projects">
</a>

We will get back to you before your trial expires.

Happy hacking!

Usersnapians

Super Powers for Web Developers

These days being a developer isn’t an easy task. Among all the tasks and challenges you already have to deal with, you need to deal with bugs. And here’s the rub, most of the time bugs, specifically client-side bugs, are submitted by end-users. We see 3 key problems with this:

1: Most Users Are Not Tech Savvy

It’s true and whilst we not say it to them directly, we know it. The user knows something’s wrong, because the website is not working for them, but they don’t know why, how to fix it or how to report it.

Try asking your Grandmother what JavaScript is for example. I’m sure it’d be a short conversation. And some users don’t know what the browser is. So how can they properly describe the problem?

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Beer startups from Europe

Like a true beer-lover I keep an eye on what is going on with beer startups around me. In Europe. The first stop for a research like that should be my friends, but unfortunately I decided to start by visiting “Craft Beer” category on Angel.co – It was a disaster. 3 out of 5 statups were with non-existing websites, one of them was hosted at Wix and only one was actually able to give me the information I needed.

Actually I heard about it on producthunt.co just a few minutes before browsing angel.co. So here is my list and my comments. Feel free to add comments or to add more startups. I’d love to share it with a broader audience.

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Designers are from Venus, developers from Mars

Every good web team should have at least one designer and one developer. I think we can all agree this is out of the question. Of course, you will need to have other “titles” to keep everything going, but today we will focus on these two because we think we can help you make them more efficient without hacking their comfort zone.

We know that because we are a team of designers and developers and we are using the same approach. It helps us work better together, be more efficient and have fun at the same time.

What is the problem anyway?

If you are running an agency or a web project team you probably heard conversations like this one:

Designer -Developer talk

I am sure you have similar misunderstandings in your own team. The problem is that the designer is approaching the problem differently compared to the programmer.

For him/her moving a layer 3 pixels left is 11 milliseconds, but for example, this can be 30 min of work for a developer and usually, he/she will use the same words – “move this layer 3 px left, please”. There is no such thing like layer for the programmer.

On one hand, you’ve got the designer’s creativity and thinking about the details and on the other hand is the way how the programmer thinks about a problem and what is his/her approach to finding a solution.

Let’s not go deeper but this is a problem and we know how to easily solve it.

The Solution

I’ll keep telling you how we actually solve issues like that in our team and in our clients’ teams.

Please read carefully because this is how you can solve your communication issues, make your team more efficient and ultimately have 8 man-hours more per week. That’s a whole day!

We are using something called “visual annotated screenshots” in order to help designers and developers to be on the same page.

Instead of “Can you move this (pointing at your monitor) 3 pixels to the left?” how about this?

can-you-move-these-3px-to-the-left-pleas

The designer can show what exactly he/she needs, using the tools that any designer is familiar with.

The developer will get a bug report in the project management system you are using with all the necessary details, plus:

  • browser version
  • operating system
  • screen size

and more data automatically collected to help them work better and to understand what the designer needs exactly.

Additional details

The staging server

Most of the successful web projects are using a server where they can deploy the current snapshots of the projects so developers, designers and the rest of the team, we will not mention in this article, can work together.

Usersnap can be installed on this server with just few lines of code and will bridge the communication gap between programmers and developers. Now they are on the same planet (remember the title).

They live on the “Completed on time”-continent.

Do you have the same problem?

Probably if you are reading this and if you are here, you do. So let’s get started? Oh, if you don’t have a staging server, don’t worry, you can use Usersnap on any server and website.

(Also feel free to forward the instruction to someone who is responsible for setting up things like that)

  1. Sign-up for an account with us by clicking here. It’s free for 15 days and we will not take your credit card now.

  2. Log in and configure your first project: Usersnap_-_Your_sites_-_2014-06-05_15.10.46

  3. Hit Save and use the code that will appear to embed Usersnap to your web project.Usersnap_-_Your_sites_-_2014-06-05_15.14.13

  4. While there, take a look at the right side of your browser – here you can set up where the feedback will be delivered – you can use bug tracking system, project management system, helpdesk software or even your own internal solution

Usersnap_-_Your_sites_-_2014-06-05_15.15.23

Not convinced yet

Feel free to contact us by writing help@usersnap.com.  It’s always nice to know who we are working for day and night.

Codefront.io Conference in Linz

In Linz begins

We recently attended and sponsored this year’s Codefront.io conference in Linz and it was great fun! A variety of topics were covered, here’s just a few hightlights of the talks given: Twitter’s Andy Hume talked about Resilient Front Ends and why your web application should work on your daily train commute. Thomas Schranz from Blossom shared his insights about product management: “Building products people want”. He also maintains a collection of top blog-posts about product management here and even more can be found here (both recommened). Miavia‘s Carina Wetzhuetter talked about the strangest feature requests she’s ever seen and why building a consumer product is hard as users tend to know the product roadmap better than the product team itself. Gercek Karakus provided excellent and actionable tips how to super charge your front end with the best UX.
Last but not least, Vitaly Friedman from Smashing Magazine gave his impressive and comprehensive talks about Responsive Web Design.

Find some impressions below!

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Meet fellow startupers from all over Europe. Every Friday. Online!

It all started a few weeks ago when we were having our Friday online standup.

Our Perg team opened a couple of beers to celebrate a really hard week. During this meeting the idea came up – why don’t we create an event where people like us – startupers, can grab a beer (or juice) and share some moments from their week – ideas, troubles, little victories or just get in touch with fellow colleagues.

This is how StartupBeer was born. Continue Reading “Meet fellow startupers from all over Europe. Every Friday. Online!”