Monday, September 28, 2009

Eating your own dog food

Last week was a big deal for My Web Brain. At the end of week we released some updates to the product (see this post). But the updates were not what made it a significant week. What was important - and heartening for me- is that I started using it for both personal and professional use and have now used it continuously for more than a week. 

Yes, I used the product prior, but that was largely borne of a professional interest in ensuring the quality of the web application as it developed. Nearly immediately after our iteration 3 (version 0.3) release I started using the application more naturally and with fewer roadblocks. 

While My Web Brain still requires a lot polish to round off its features, as well as exciting features that users would be willing to pay for, it is very satisfying just to have a new tool at my disposal to help me manage my time and efforts (and feel in control). 

It is very educational to use My Web Brain in a realistic way as well, as you start to notice where the pain points of the experience are. You also notice which features are important. For example:

  • The implementation of due dates (for actions) and tickle dates (for someday/maybe items) does not respect user timezones. I was content to let this feature slip to the next iteration but in hindsight it has a very detrimental affect on the tool. 
  • Currently when you process your thoughts you need to type your complete action name; you are not given any sort of default based on the thought you are processing. Surprisingly enough there are many times when the thought is sufficient detailed that this would be very useful and decrease the friction generated when processing thoughts.
These and other observation are surprising in their immediacy. I have many other features on the docket to implement but it is clear from my own use that tackling these basic issues will enhance my experience, and hopefully the experience of other users nearly every time they interact with the application. 

Using my own product is also inspiring. If I can provide value to myself, I can provide value to others. As each update is completed I  get excited about what changes are coming next; Even though it will be myself working hard to create them. 

Go ahead and try My Web Brain if you have not already. You only need a Google account, and if you do not have one you can create an account through the application. 

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