It’s hard for us to get the balance right between making sure our users don’t miss out on important project updates, while avoiding the impression that Kerika is “too chatty”.
We are changing out default preferences settings — this will affect new users only, not existing users — to have most notifications emails turned OFF by default:
One reason for this change is that our Views feature does a good job of providing an overview of important updates across boards — and we are going to make it even better in the near future — so for new users in particular, we don’t want to give the impression that Kerika will increase their incoming emails, rather than actually streamline their existing communications.
We recently got hit by spammers signing up as Kerika users, using fake emails from domains like mailinator.com, which seems to exist principally to help people do bad things on the Internet.
After signing up, these spammers (who seemed to be based in the Philippines) would invite hundreds of people with accounts on Tencent’s qq.com service in China. This would result in invitations being sent to these qq.com people to join the spammers on their Kerika boards.
This doesn’t affect the majority of our users, since most people sign up using their Google or Box accounts. And because the reCAPTCHA works silently, it shows up only when Google has reason to doubt that the person at the keyboard isn’t human.
We did an update yesterday that included a bunch of minor bug fixes and usability tweaks. (It also included a ton of behind-the-scenes improvements to our architecture and product development processes, but if we did our job well you shouldn’t see any of that change…)
When the Kerika server is being updated (to a newer version), your browser will no longer keep trying to reconnect while this is underway.
We have some code in place to help fix broken network connections: if your browser can detect that it’s connection to the Kerika server is broken for any reason (usually a network error), the browser will automatically attempt to reconnect.
This doesn’t make sense if the server is down for planned maintenance.
If you are working in multiple accounts and you decide to switch between them, we offer your choices in a more logical way: all the account owners you are connected to are listed alphabetically, and then each account owned is listed alphabetically.
Our previous display was kind of random making it hard to scroll through a long list of accounts. This affected only a very small number of users who were working on many different accounts, but still…
Now that we are encouraging our customers to converge around service accounts, we are trying to make sure these service accounts don’t get too crowded from the perspective of any single user.
We have always had the ability to “favorite” some boards (and templates) so you can have your own personal, curated list of boards that you care about — and so you can ignore the rest — but now we have made it easier for Board Admins to move their boards to the trash or archive (or to restore them later) so they can help keep the commonly-shared service account in a more useful and relevant state for all the users within that account.
A really small thing, but we decided to change the Sort by Status feature on our Task Boards and Scrum Boards so that On Hold cards appear at the bottom of the column, below all the others.
Bug fix: if you changed the name of a board using the Board Settings dialog (assuming you are one of the Board Admins), the new name is now reflected immediately in the breadcrumbs.
If someone who is currently a Team Member on your Task Board or Scrum Board is made a Visitor, he/she will not be removed from the current card assignments. This makes it easier to change your mind if you decide you want that person to be a Team Member after all: just change this person’s role in the Board Team dialog, back to Team Member, and all the old card assignments will be there.
We used to have separate button, and associated menus, for actions related to cards and for actions related to columns:
This reflected the history of the Kerika product: we first designed and built the card actions, and much later added the column actions.
In retrospect, however, we concluded that separating these into two separate menus was not a good idea: it was confusing for our users to remember which menu supported which action. (Even the Kerika team, which uses Kerika for everything that the company does, was having trouble remembering the differences between the two buttons and menus.)
We have fixed that usability problem with our latest release: a single button is shown, and the popup menu that appears includes both card actions and column actions:
Clicking on the Sort and Move actions brings up all the sorting and moving options you have; the Sort menu now has a much richer set of actions:
We have also done some small tweaks to the sorting action: Sort by Status now puts the On Hold cards at the bottom of the column, below all the ones flagged as Normal.
With our latest update, launched over the weekend, we have made some significant changes to how users access multiple Kerika accounts.
The motivation for all this is simple: our old billing mechanism was manual and error-prone. It was difficult to track which accounts had paid for subscriptions and to ensure that subscriptions were renewed in a timely manner.
So we are moving to an completely automated system that will allow our customers to manage their subscriptions more easily, make online or offline purchases, and manage their account teams.
We are about halfway there: we have done the changes to the account management piece, and have some more work before the billing system is ready.
One consequence of this is the way you view your Home Page has changed: the Home will now always show the boards and templates that related to a single account, rather than across multiple accounts.
(Previously there were three buckets: Favorites, Owned by Me, and Shared With Me.)
Switching between all your open boards, and all your accounts, has been consolidated into a single Account Switcher function that appears on the top-left corner of the Kerika app, where the old Board Switcher used to be:
Clicking on the Account Switcher will let you switch between boards, and between accounts:
Calendar syncing and Preferences are now applied on an account level, so if you are working in multiple accounts, you can choose to have different preferences for each account.
You can access your Calendar and Preferences settings by clicking on your face on the upper-right corner of the Kerika app:
With this change, it becomes more important for organizations to consolidate ownership of all their boards within a single account. You can do this yourself, by selecting boards from your Home Page and using the Move to Another Account function:
You can also let us do this for you: just contact us at email@example.com, and let us know which accounts you would like to consolidate and we can do all the work.
Hope you like it — we finally got around to customizing the WordPress TwentyThirteen theme we have been using for this blog.
Nothing fancy; just making sure the colors and font (especially the fonts!) are consistent with our website and app. We use Roboto everywhere now: we find this to be a really easy to read font for most screens, and think that Google did a great job in coming up to an alternative to the traditional Arial/Helvetica.
We are also trying to clean up the Categories and Tags we use to help you find older blogs: there were too many overlapping categories/tags that had accumulated over the years so we got rid of a bunch of them.
We have long had a deep, excellent integration with Google Apps: you can sign up with your Google ID and have all your Kerika-related files stored in your own Google Drive, where you can access them independently of the Kerika app.
We are now taking that one step forward, with seamless integration with Google Team Drive.
Google Team Drives are shared spaces where teams can easily store, search, and access their files anywhere, from any device.
Unlike files in My Drive, files in Team Drive belong to the team instead of an individual. Even if members leave, the files stay exactly where they are so your team can continue to share information and get work done.
You don’t need to do anything different: the integration is built-in with the latest version of Kerika (and, since we are software-as-a-service, everyone always uses the latest version of our product!) and the integration is seamless.
When we first added the ability for you to add a list of tasks to a card on a Task Board or Scrum Board, our expectation was that these tasks would be short and to the point: maybe just a few words long.
And to make the display of tasks neat and tidy inside a card’s details view, we truncated long tasks to show just two lines worth. We figured this was a reasonable restriction that would make the layout look better, and wouldn’t actually inconvenience anyone since we really didn’t expect people to create very complex tasks, that might take more than one sentence to spell out.
Well, that turned out to be a bad assumption: the tasks feature turned out to be far more popular than we expected, and we soon started getting complaints from people that didn’t like seeing their tasks get truncated to two lines.
We have fixed that with our latest update to Kerika: now, all tasks will show fully, no matter how long they are. Here’s an example:
In the example shown above, the first task is long enough to spill out over three lines, and all three lines are shown.
So, there you go: tasks became a little more flexible!