Tag Archives: New Version

A new feature or version of Kerika.

We made it easier to prioritize work

For users of Kerika’s Task Boards and Scrum Boards, we have made it easier to prioritize your work.

Background:

Traditionally, in a Kanban or Scrum board the priority is denoted by the position of the card within a column: cards that are higher priority are placed higher within a column, and the card at the top of the column is the highest priority at that stage of the workflow.

For example, in this view of a board the highest priority item for Planning & Design is the card on top of that column:

Highest priority item in Planning and Design
Highest priority item in Planning and Design

This method has the advantage of simplicity and clarity: there is no ambiguity about what is the most important work item at any stage of the workflow.

The disadvantage of this method is that as many cards start to move across the board, especially on boards where the workflow is complex (i.e. the board has many columns), it becomes harder to track all the cards that are especially important.

In other words: the simple method doesn’t scale well, and our goal with Kerika is to provide the simplest user interface on top of the most capable work management system, so we realized we needed to do something more.

Flagging cards

With our latest version, Kerika makes it easier to explicitly tag each card with a priority of Normal, High or Critical:

Setting Priority
Setting Priority

Along with assigning tags to a card, you can now set the priority of the card as well: by default all cards are Normal, but they can alternatively be flagged as High Priority or Critical.

Viewing all the High Priority and Critical Cards

We have also extended the Highlights function for Task Boards and Scrum Boards to make it easy to quickly see all the High Priority and Critical cards on a crowded board:

Highlighting high priority and critical items
Highlighting high priority and critical items

When you are looking at a board, the High Priority and Critical cards are also highlighted with small stars: a solid red star for Critical, and a hollow red star for High Priority:

High Priority and Critical cards
High Priority and Critical cards

The Normal Priority cards don’t have any star; we didn’t want to crowd the design which would have made it harder to spot the more important High Priority and Critical cards at a glance.

High Priority and Critical Cards across all your Boards

And, finally, we have enhanced the What Needs Attention View to include columns for the High Priority and Critical cards across all the boards where you are a Board Admin, or where you have been assigned the card as a Team Member:

What Needs Attention View
What Needs Attention View

We made it easier to see what you are hiding

We have made a tweak to the Hide Column feature that’s available on every Task Board and Scrum Board, for all Board Admins, Team Members and Visitors.

Previously, when you hid a column Kerika would show that like this:

Hiding columns (before)
Hiding columns (before)

The name of the column that was being hidden was shown vertically, to make it easier to retain the overall context of the board.

We have improved this so hidden columns now look like this:

Hiding columns (now)
Hiding columns (now)

The subtle (but important) distinction is that Kerika now shows you how many cards are in the hidden columns, not just the name of the column.  We think this will make this feature more useful, to more people, more of the time.

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.

What’s Overdue: another convenient Highlight

We have added another way to highlight cards on Task Boards and Scrum Boards:

What's Overdue Highlight
What’s Overdue Highlight

This option lets you quickly spot all the cards on a board that are overdue, and it does so in a smart way:

  • If a card’s overall due date has passed, this card will be highlighted.
  • More importantly, if a task within a card is overdue, even though the card as a whole isn’t overdue, this card will also be highlighted.

This smart highlight makes sure that you are aware of everything that’s overdue, even it is just one task that’s buried within a card on a large board.

Here’s what the highlighted board looks like:

What's Overdue
What’s Overdue

Updating the look of Board Settings

One final (?) bit of restyling, to make all of Kerika consistent with our new look-and-feel, has been updating the Board Settings dialogs.

Board Settings
Board Settings

The functionality is essentially the same, but the appearance is cleaner, lighter and more in keeping with the Material Design standards we have (mostly) adopted.

(We say “mostly”, because there are some elements of Material Design that we find unattractive.  For example, for the on/off toggle switches we prefer the iOS style buttons.)

Column Settings
Column Settings

The Column Settings dialog has also been restyled, and looks nicer and cleaner. The example above shows a board that uses Work-In-Progress Limits.

Tag Settings
Tag Settings

And the same with Tag Settings: we have a restyled color picker, and better messages for warnings when tag names or colors might clash.

Enjoy.

New feature: alpha sort of cards

At a user’s request, we have added alpha sorting of cards on Task Boards and Scrum Boards:

Sorting alphabetically
Sorting alphabetically

This is most useful if combined with the Auto-Numbering feature in Kerika, that can automatically insert a number at the beginning of each new card: the alpha sort will sort all the cards in the column by their number.

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.)

New feature: we made it easier to use Card URLs

Every card (and every canvas) on a Task Board or Scrum Board in Kerika has a unique URL, but most of the time you might not notice the URL shown in your browser’s address bar is changing as you open one card after another.

(And if you are using Safari on Macs, you definitely won’t notice this since Safari hides most of the URL anyway.)

These URLs can be helpful in many ways: Kerika recognizes them as pointing to other cards or canvases, and makes these links an easy way to connect up different work items.

Here’s an example of a card URL that’s referenced in a chat message:

Referencing Card URL in Chat
Referencing Card URL in Chat

Any URLs that are included as part of the chat or details of a card, that reference other cards, canvases or boards within Kerika, are automatically recognized and presented as useful links as you can see from the first chat message shown in the above example.

To make it easier to get these card URLs (and to help you notice that they are important in the first place), we have made it possible to grab any card’s URL with a single click:

Card URL button
Card URL button

Clicking on the new Card URL button that appears on the top-right of each card’s detail view makes it possible to see, and copy, the card’s URL with a simple click:

Getting Card URL
Getting Card URL

We have made it easier to grab the URL of an entire board as well, from your Home Page:

Board URL
Board URL

Try this way of creating links between related work items, across all your Kerika boards.

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.

Changing the Owner of a Board

People usually don’t pay attention to the question of who owns a particular board, but it is an important question to consider when you create a new board: the Account Owner owns not just the board, but also all the files attached to cards and canvases on that board.

This is not always important (and often not important in day-to-day use of Kerika): our deep integration with Google and Box ensures that everyone who is part of the board team has automatic access to all the files needed for that board, with access permissions managed according to each individual’s role on the board: Board Admins and Team Members get read+write access; Visitors get read-only access.

(And, as people join or leave board teams, or their roles on a particular board’s team changes, Kerika automatically manages their access to the underlying project files, regardless of whether these are being stored in Google or Box.)

But when someone is planning to leave an organization, the question of ownership can suddenly become important: you don’t want an ex-employee to continue to own critical project files.

Changing ownership of boards was not something that was easily done in the past — there were workarounds, but they were fairly cumbersome and obscure — and we mostly handled these as special requests, on a case-by-case basis.

With our newest update to Kerika, this is no longer the case: changing the ownership of a board is a simple process that can be initiated at any time by the current owner of a board:

Change Board Owner
Change Board Owner

You can ask any other Kerika user, who has signed up the same way as you did (i.e. either as Kerika+Google, Kerika+Box, or by directly signing up) to take ownership of a board. Because this is a consequential action, not something you should rush into, you are asked to confirm your intention by typing the word “YES”:

Confirming change in ownership
Confirming change in ownership

Once your request is sent off to the other user, the board is in a frozen state: existing members of the board team can continue to view the board, but no one can make any changes:

Board waiting for new owner
Board waiting for new owner
Board frozen while waiting for new owner
Board frozen while waiting for new owner

If you change your mind, you can cancel the request before it has been accepted.  This can be done by selecting the board from your Home Page:

Cancel ownership request
Cancel ownership request

You can also find your pending request in your Sentbox, and cancel it from there:

Cancelling pending request
Cancelling pending request

Note: once a board’s transfer is complete, it can’t be undone by you. If you really need to get ownership back of a board, you will need to ask the new owner to transfer the board to you.

An important caveat for Kerika+Google users

We try to ensure that files attached to a Kerika+Google board have their ownership changed at the same time as the board itself is transferred, but there are some limits to how Google will allow for a change in ownership:

All Kerika-related files are stored in a set of folders in a user’s Google Drive, organized by account and board.

Google let’s us change the owner of a folder, so we can make sure that when a board is transferred the ownership of the associated Google Drive folder is also changed.

However, for the individual files contained within the folder, Google only allows for a change of ownership of files that are part of Google Docs: documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, etc.

Files like images (.jpg, .png, .gif), zip files, and PDFs, for example, retain their old ownership between the Google API doesn’t let Kerika change the ownership of these “non-Google-formatted” file types.