The Kerika Elite is a program we have set up to improve our product strategy and gather feedback from a select group of our most experienced and influential users.
There are two main elements to this program:
Kerika Elite will be involved in the earliest stages of our product development: we will share with them proposed designs long before they are implemented, to get early feedback on features that we are considering building, and
Once new features are built, Kerika Elite users get early access them so they can provide real-world experience that can help us polish the product before it’s released to the rest of our users.
Kerika Elite users have contributed greatly to our mobile development efforts over the past year, and we look forward to their advice and suggestions for our future initiatives as well.
Can you be one of them? Sure. Anyone can nominate another user to be part of the Kerika Elite, although the final decision is ours to make.
Kerika Elite users are not compensated in any way; they simply enjoy being in the kitchen with the Kerika Team when we cook up delicious new dishes!
A new feature that we recently introduced will let you choose a background color: one for the desktop app, and one for the mobile app. (Oops, did we just talk about the mobile app?)
To select a color: click on your user profile photo, which appears on the top-right of Kerika:
Select My Preferences for this Account from this dialog, and you will land on a revamped Preferences page that now includes options for selecting a background color:
We are offering a range of light and dark backgrounds; in our own testing we found that the darker backgrounds look better on the desktop, while the lighter backgrounds look better on phones. But, of course, that’s just our opinion — try this out and select what you like best!
We have improved the invoices generated by Kerika, for both online and offline billing, to include a full listing of the Account Team to make it easier for the finance/purchasing departments of our customers to track changes made to Board Teams and the Account Team.
Here’s an example:
For each person who is currently part of the Account Team, Kerika will list their name, email, role and Invited On and Joined Team dates.
Invited On is the date on which someone was added to a Board Team or the Account Team; this is also the date on which one of the Account’s free subscriptions is used up — or the Account Owner is prompted to purchase an additional subscription, if no free subscriptions remain for that Account.
Joined On is the date on which the invitation was actually accepted by the new team member, which, hopefully, is really close to the Invited Team. (Otherwise the Account is wasting days on a used subscription.)
Role is the highest role a person occupies within an Account, across all the boards where the user is part of the team. If a user is a Team Member on some boards and a Visitor on others, that person’s role will be listed as Team Member.
As Kerika gets adopted by large organizations, we were seeing a disconnect between the active users who were making decisions about adding or removing people from their teams, and the finance/purchasing departments within the same organizations who were being asked to approve invoices. This change fixes that disconnect.
We have been lax in updating this blog, sorry, but not lax at all in working on improving Kerika, especially for mobile browser users. We are also getting close to releasing our mobile app, which will contain the same functionality as you get today when you access Kerika on a phone, but it will be packaged as a traditional-looking app for folks that want an icon on their desktop.
Here’s a short list of things that have been improved and added in the past few months:
For mobile browsers
There’s more of the desktop functionality now available on phones as well, including:
Managing the columns on a board: adding new columns and changing existing columns so you can customize the workflow of each board.
Drag-and-drop to reorganize items within lists: the order of columns, the order of tasks and attachments within a card, etc.
The Home Page (which we will be calling the Explorer, in anticipation of other anchor pages that we will roll out soon) has more complete abilities to manage your boards, templates, archive and trash, including favoriting items.
The Contact Us (to get help) feature has been implemented.
The Manage Profile feature has been implemented, including changing your name, photo and password.
The My Preferences feature has been implemented, and redesigned for both the desktop and mobile to make this easier to use.
We have made performance improvements across the board, although we continue to push the boundary on this. (One of our own boards regularly has over 700 cards so we are our toughest users and testers.)
A bunch of styling tweaks to help improve usability and readability, and there’s always going to be more coming in the future.
For desktop users
A bug that caused Views to not be properly updated for some users has been fixed.
When you switch from your current board to another open board and then return to the first board, Kerika will remember the scroll position so you can pick up where you left off without any delay.
For both mobile and desktop
The Preferences section has been reorganized to make it easier to use.
We have made some tweaks to make it easier to sign up, change passwords, etc. (And there’s more coming on this front.)
Users who signed up after getting an invitation from someone else will start off just having access to the boards and accounts they were invited to; now they can create their own account as well if they want to use Kerika for private work using the same email address.
Fixed some issues with our billing system that caused us to be underpaid in a few instances. We are going to do a big overhaul of our billing system later this year (hopefully) to make it easier for both Kerika and our customers.
Our development team in India is under a national lock-down due to Covid-19, and we had been worried about a loss of productivity.
After a week of lock-down we have been checking with each person, and it turns out there was no cause for worry, especially from those who had the foresight to grab an extra monitor before leaving their office.
In fact, we expect that our team will ask for work-from-home as a regular work model even after the virus is gone.
Kerika is designed for, and built by remote teams!
Kerika has been a sponsor of the Lean Transformation Conference every year, since the very first conference. In addition to contributing sponsor fees, our founder and CEO, Arun Kumar, has given a presentation each year, on different topics related to the conference.
At the last conference (in October 2019), Arun gave a talk on Virtual Teams: what’s different about a virtual team vs. a traditional collocated team, and how a virtual team can be very successful if it adopts the right processes and tools. A total of 117 people attended, and 55% of them rated the presentation as “Very Useful” or “Extremely Useful”.
Kerika also paid for a professional videographer to film the presentation so it could be made available online for others.
The topic of Virtual Teams is particularly important today because the Covid-19 virus has hit the state of Washington hardest (in the US), and everyone, including the government employees are scrambling to adjust to telework.
You might think that the video would be particularly helpful to the state right now, since it covered precisely those topics that the state (and much of the world) is grappling with today:
Imagine our surprise then to receive, out of the blue, this takedown notice:
So the video is gone. A small business tried to help the state of Washington, but won’t try again.
We had posted earlier about making sure that (malicious) users cannot inject code into Kerika, in any of the areas where user input is possible.
Here’s the complete list of user actions that we are checking for XSS injecton now:
Card Attachment Name
Board Attachment Name
Canvas Attachment Name
Canvas Shape/Object Name
Account Billing Information
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