Tag Archives: Canvas

About Kerika’s Canvases (Whiteboards).

It’s easier to change lines and arrows on Canvases

If you are working with Kerika’s unique Whiteboards, you will appreciate a new feature we have added: you can select any existing line or arrow on a canvas and change it to a different style of line or arrow.

We had previously added similar functionality for changing a shape from one form to another, e.g. a rectangle to an ellipse, while preserving all the other properties and content of that shape; now this is possible with lines and arrows as well.

Usability tweak: reordering Board Attachments

We have made it easier for you to re-organize all the Board Attachments on your Kerika Task Boards and Scrum Boards: you can grab any of these and drag up or down the list to re-order them:

Drag handles on board attachments
Drag handles on board attachments

Use the drag-handle shown on the left edge of the attachment to drag it up or down.

Dragging board attachments
Dragging board attachments

(And, by the way, this feature is also available for Card Attachments.)

More options to add Google files to your Whiteboards

We have added more options for you to add Google files to your Whiteboards.

We used to have a quick way to create, name, and add a new Google Doc to your Whiteboard:

Old options for adding content
Old options for adding content

As part of our big redesign earlier this year, we added more options for people to create Google documents from within Task Boards and Scrum Boards; now we have the same flexibility for Whiteboards:

Google document options
Google document options

With this new functionality you can create a larger variety of Google Documents from within your Kerika Whiteboards:

  • Google Docs
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Slides
  • Google Forms

After you name your new document, it is automatically added to the canvas you are working on, while the new document itself is opened in a new browser tab for you to start working on.

Enjoy.

Updating the look-and-feel of our Whiteboards

Something that we didn’t finish as part of our year-long redesign of Task Boards and Scrum Boards: moving to Material Design-style icons and dialog box layouts for our Whiteboards.

Well, we are caught up now: the Whiteboard toolbars and dialog boxes have been redesigned to be conformant with Material Design guidelines.

The basic toolbars for Whiteboards used to look like this:

Old Canvas toolbar
Old Canvas Toolbar

This is how it looks now:

New Canvas toolbar
New Canvas toolbar

The old table formatting toolbar used to look like this:

Old Table toolbar
Old Table toolbar

Now this looks cleaner and more modern:

New Table toolbar
New Table toolbar

The larger icons and buttons make for a more touch-friendly user interface as well.

You can now Copy and Paste Lines

In a recent update, we added a minor new feature: you can now copy and paste lines even if they are not used to connect any other objects on a Kerika Whiteboard.

We always let you copy and paste lines that were used to connect other objects, like in this scenario:

Copying objects connected by a line
Copying objects connected by a line

 

But now you can also copy and paste freestanding lines (i.e. lines that are not anchored at either end on anything else), like this:

Copying a freestanding line
Copying a freestanding line

 

The fact that copying/pasting freestanding lines was not possible before was actually a conscious design decision on our part, but looking back we can’t figure out why it seemed like a good idea at the time :-/

Leaving chat, and then returning

When you are writing a chat message, on a card or canvas on any Kerika Task Board, Scrum Board or Whiteboard, what happens if you need to leave that message in the middle and go look at something else in Kerika?

For example, suppose you are in the middle of writing a chat message, but in order to complete it, you need to go off and look at another card’s details, or maybe a file attached somewhere else on the board?

You can leave aside a chat in mid-stream, go somewhere else in Kerika, return to the chat, and pick up where you left off!

That’s because Kerika uses your browser’s local cache storage to keep your unsent message: it means your changes aren’t lost while you go look at something else in Kerika.

This is a handy usability fix we have always had in Kerika, but it may be one that folks didn’t realize existed…

Well, now you know 🙂

From Projects to Boards: a clarification

We used to refer to “Projects” and “Boards” somewhat interchangeably on our website, our blog and in the Kerika app itself.

There was no special reason for this: in our mind, a Project was clearly a Board, and vice-versa, and it never occurred to us that this might prove a source of confusion to anyone.

Well, we were wrong about that.

In the real world, people are very cautious about “starting a new project”, because this might involve getting formal administrative approval, budget allocation, staff changes, etc.

In other words, in the real world a “project” is a big deal.

But, in Kerika, starting a new Task Board, Scrum Board or Whiteboard is not a big deal — and that is very much by design.

Unlike so many other collaboration tools that make it difficult for you to create as many boards as you like, Kerika was always designed to make it very easy for you to redesign your work as needed: start new boards, move cards or canvases from one board to another (using Cut, Copy and Paste), and to move ideas and content from one context to another.

Many of our competitors don’t offer this kind of flexibility: either the software makes it hard, or their billing model actively discourages you from creating multiple boards.

That will never be the case with Kerika: we will always support flexibility in how you organize and manage your boards.

Still, our interchangeable use of “projects” and “boards” was definitely causing some confusion, which we have fixed with our latest release by using the term “Board” consistently and avoiding use of the term “Project”.

So, if you were a Project Leader previously, you are now a Board Admin on that board. Your rights and privileges remain the same, it’s just your title that changed.

Board Admin
Board Admin

When you start a new board, what used to be called “New Project” is now labeled “New Board” to make it clear what you are doing:

New Board dialog
New Board dialog

 

We hope this makes for better usability: let us know what you think.

How you can tell if your Project Team has changed

If you are the only Project Leader on a Task Board, Scrum Board or Whiteboard, you will know when someone joins a board — after all, you would have approved their invitation in the first place.

But, if there are several Project Leaders for a board, it might be one of the others who added somebody to your board, and they might not have discussed this with you…

So, Kerika makes sure you know whenever the project team on any board has changed in any way:

  • If someone has joined,
  • If someone’s role has changed,
  • If someone has left.

(After all, someone could have left the team on their own, without telling you!)

Whenever there is a change in the project team, the Board Settings button on the top-right of the board will appear in orange.

Board Settings is highlighted
Board Settings is highlighted

Click on the Board Settings button, and you will see the Team tab is highlighted: this is Kerika’s way of drawing your attention to this particular tab within the Board Settings display.

Team tab is highlighted
Team tab is highlighted

When you go over to the Team tab, you will see that the new person’s name is highlighted in orange, for a few seconds. It’s a discrete yet very effective notification from Kerika, drawing your attention to the presence of someone new on the team.

Changed roles are highlighted
Changed roles are highlighted

The same kind of notification is used when someone’s role on the team is changed, e.g. from Team Member to Visitor.

Kerika also tries to let you know when someone has left the team, by highlighting the Project Settings button in orange, and the Team tab within the Project Settings in orange as well.

Smart notifications, from Kerika — the only work management system that’s designed specially for distributed Lean and Agile teams 🙂

Attaching content to the board itself, not just to cards

We have added a new feature that should prove handy for a lot of folks: you can now add content — files from your laptop, images from your mobile or tablet, Web links from your Intranet or the Internet, or canvases — to a Task Board or Scrum Board itself.

If this sounds like something that was always there, maybe we need to say that differently: you used to have the ability to add content to a card, now you can add it to the board itself.

There are many situations we have encountered where we want to share content or a canvas with a team, but there wasn’t any obvious place to still it — no single card on the board that seemed like the right place to attach that content.

And that’s because the content we wanted to add was applicable across the entire board, not just relevant to a single card.

This was getting frustrating, so we decided to scratch our itch: a new button on the top-right area of your Kerika app will let you add files, Web links and canvases to the board itself:

Board Attachments
Board Attachments

This should make some of you as happy as it has made us!