Thomas Joos: Ego does not make the product better.

When we started Usersnap we wanted to help people in Web Development and Design to focus on the more important stuff in life than handling endless Email support conversations. That’s why we are starting a new series in our blog, called “Picture My Work”. In this series we ask designers and web devs to give us a little sneak peak into their daily work routines, their values, their tools and what they like / dislike about their work.

We asked Thomas Joos, from product design studio Little Miss Robot out of Ghent, Belgium to provide us some insights into his work. You can follow them on Twitter: @littlemissrobot and see their work on Behance.

1. Tell us about your work in 140 characters.
I’m passionate about digital design & innovation and get a kick out of transforming business strategy into meaningful digital experiences. Continue Reading “Thomas Joos: Ego does not make the product better.”

Gregory Koberger: There’s nothing scarier than an empty PSD

When we started Usersnap we wanted to help people in Web Development and Design to focus on the more important stuff in life than handling endless Email support conversations. That’s why we are starting a new series in our blog, called “Picture My Work”. In this series we ask designers and web devs to give us a little sneak peak into their daily work routines, their values, their tools and what they like / dislike about their work.

I am thrilled to kick off this series with Gregory Koberger, formerly at Mozilla, who recently published his Startup Notes, a beautiful, concise summary of the YCombinator Startup School 2013. You should follow him on Twitter: @gkoberger

1. Tell us about your work in 140 characters.
I’m a programmer-turned-designer who uses design as a way to make the content more accessible.

2. What is good design for you personally? Continue Reading “Gregory Koberger: There’s nothing scarier than an empty PSD”

How to automate your Web Design Sales

Usersnap is a great tool to help you give your clients the web design of their dreams. But you gotta get those clients first. We ran into Quote Roller at the Pioneers Conference in Vienna last month and we just knew we each had tools to help each other’s customers.

We share a growing base of rockstar web designers, graphic designers, SEO saviors and other small creative businesses just looking for fast and easy ways to show off their work and close more deals.

Quote Roller is a business proposal software that allows you to create, send, track and get legally, electronically signed sales quotes in minutes. Instead of simply writing boring, boilerplate content, why not use your proposal as a way to both address your clients’ needs and to show off your work? We say, instead of spending pages writing what you can do, show them!

Continue Reading “How to automate your Web Design Sales”

So we attended this Web Summit thing in Dublin…

As we were selected for the Alpha Program of the fourth annual edition of the Web Summit (undoubtedly the biggest tech conference in Europe), Florian and I spend our week in Dublin. With the evening activities involving pub crawls, after parties and get-togethers with fellow startuppy people, we definitely had a great time in Ireland. And we also got some important business stuff done.

On Tuesday Advantage Austria had prepared a ‘Pitch Perfect’ seminar for a group of Austrian entrepreneurs. Paul O’Dea (CEO, Select Strategies) warned us right off, that there’s no 1-to-9 plan when it comes to creating a pitch for your company. Using the battle-card canvas, he explained how explaining which problem or pain you’re trying to solve with your product or portfolio for your sweet spot customers, delivering measurable value and beating the competition at the same time, helps you drill down to a paragraph that functions as your larger pitch.

As challenges on the way to a perfect pitch, our group mentioned their struggles with picking the right storyline. And what if the product is very technical? Profiling our sweet spot customer, Paul suggested to filter them by the following ‘characteristics’: Continue Reading “So we attended this Web Summit thing in Dublin…”

Dublin Web Summit 2013; straight from the developer stage

With a 7 track conference it can be fairly hard to choose the ‘right’ talks. After an exhausting exhibition day on Wednesday, I really needed some peace and quiet. Coincidentally the Developer Stage was situated in a bat cave kinda tent. A recap from my Day 2 at the Web Summit (thank you Usersnap, for bringing me along!:

In Practicing Failure: Gamedays on the Obama Campaign, Dylan Richard explained how he got his team (40 technical people) ready for the event if technology fails. Some semantics; the 2012 re-election IT team worked 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, owned 300 repo’s, used 300 servers and catered to 1 million volunteers and 8000 staff members.

“Technology does not win an election, but you can lose because of it.” Dylan figured he needed to learn to deal with failure. “Looking at a community app, if everything falls apart but users can still communicate, you’re probably doing alright.” Suggesting that you might not know what matters, Dylan recommends talking with your stakeholders and ‘do less things, better’. Continue Reading “Dublin Web Summit 2013; straight from the developer stage”

Improve Trello cards with user feedback

Trello is a fast, easy way to organize anything, from your day-to-day work, to a favorite side project. Trello is everywhere – on Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows 8 Tablet, and your web browser, making collaboration easier.

Usersnap integrates well with Trello, assisting you in collecting and discussing feedback between developers, customers and quality assurance engineers.

Working on a web project?

Getting annotated screenshots attached to bug reports will raise a smile on every developer’s face. Usersnap allows your testers to provide a visual description of what might be a bug in form of annotated screenshots. Additionally you will get important information such as the used browser, the used operating system and the URL where the bug has occurred. Your testers can choose between a drawing pen, a highlighting tool and sticky notes to illustrate and annotate the bug report. To enable Usersnap on your web project, a snippet of code has to be added, which is as simple as installing Google Analytics (TM). After that, a feedback-button appears and one can collect bug reports directly in Trello. Continue Reading “Improve Trello cards with user feedback”

Collect better bug reports with Pivotal Tracker and Usersnap

Pivotal Tracker is a collaborative, lightwight agile project management tool, brought to you by the experts in agile software development: Pivotal Labs. Pivotal Tracker helps bring everyone, even distributed teams, into the same virtual room.

It allows you to deliver on Customer Feedback, respond to changing needs and new requirements easily and supercharge your agile project teams with real time collaboration.

Usersnap integrates with Pivotal Tracker, helping you communicate effectively about issues with your users and share feedback between developers, customers and quality assurance engineers. Speed up your development process by hooking up Usersnap and Pivotal Tracker.

Working on a web project?

Getting annotated screenshots attached to bug reports will raise a smile on every developer’s face. Usersnap allows your testers to provide a visual description of what might be a bug in form of annotated screenshots. Additionally you will get important information such as the used browser, the used operating system and the URL where the bug has occured. Your testers can choose between a drawing pen, a highlighting tool and sticky notes to illustrate and annotate the bug report. To enable Usersnap on your web project, a snippet of code has to be added, which is as simple as installing Google Analytics (TM). After that, a feedback-button appears and one can collect bug reports directly in Pivotal Tracker. Continue Reading “Collect better bug reports with Pivotal Tracker and Usersnap”

Save Bug Fixing time with Usersnap

At Usersnap we strongly believe that an improved feedback and communication process will save you (and your team) a lot of time spent on communication in your development process. Picking the right communication tools does not only directly result in better workflows but also affects the time needed to fix a bug which is particularly important if you are publishing your code continuously.

Communication: Development costs’ secret hideout

Phone calls, meetings, IM chats and screen sharing sessions are efficient ways to discuss bugs and planned improvements of every software development project. There are two stashed requirements here: two people need to communicate at the same time. This is not a roadblock if you are sharing a desk but it can be a challenge if you are working in a distributed team or if you simply don’t want to interrupt your colleagues.

On the downside, one-on-one communication is only effective if nobody else needs to be involved after the topics have been discussed. As the famous group intercommunication formula for a team of N people still is N*(N-1)/2, even small teams should focus on effective communication to reduce the communication overhead.

If you are working in a startup environment (e.g. a team of 10) and take into account that some issues will be reported by your customers (e.g. +10 people you should listen to) you easily end up with 190 possible combinations of one-on-one communications streams. Online SaaS productivity tools like bug trackers and project management tools are basically striving to solve this problem by enabling people to communicate in groups, asynchronously. Anyways, the root cause of misunderstandings lies somewhere else.

The inconvenient truth about bug reports

Well, crafted bug tracking tools help you to keep up with the communication challenge. However, in the end, clients will send bug reports and feature request by email which will lack the context of the perceived bug and might read as:

“The blue button does not work”

This is exactly what’s perceived but there is little help here for solving the bug as it requires to guess the context of this bug. Specifically, in web development, it is common to deal with browser-specific bugs (“It works in Chrome but not in Internet Explorer”). Also, the rise of responsive web design introduces another important information to reproduce perceived issues on web project: the current user’s browser size. Developers know what’s necessary to reproduce a bug but clients and users who want to report bugs may not understand why a good bug report necessarily needs some contextual information.

If you are exceptionally lucky those emails might contain a word document with the collected issue or even a PowerPoint presentation with sketches of your clients’ suggested UI improvements. Continue Reading “Save Bug Fixing time with Usersnap”

How to integrate Usersnap in your development workflow

Usersnap can be integrated easily to any type of web page. The Usersnap help page offers an overview of how to integrate Usersnap in your site using a simple JavaScript snippet. We offer various CMS plugins for WordPress, Drupal or Joomla – but it doesn’t end there!

If you want to customize your Usersnap integration – for example: show it only to logged-in users, or add additional backend information to the report – you need to include Usersnap manually in your template. Are you a PHP, Python or RoR dev? Then you’re in luck, as we describe how to integrate Usersnap using those languages in this post! Speed up your development workflow!

Include Usersnap with PHP

Save your Usersnap snippet in a file called usersnap.inc.php which includes your API-Key. You can even fetch this API key from a config file or environment variable.

Continue Reading “How to integrate Usersnap in your development workflow”