Tag Archives: Whiteboard

About Kerika’s Whiteboards and Canvases.

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.

Bug, fixed: handling situations where drag-and-drop of content won’t work

The easiest way to attach files to a Kerika card, canvas or board is to simply drag and drop it onto Kerika, like this:

Dragging and dropping files onto cards
Dragging and dropping files onto cards

This works with nearly all kinds of files, but we sometimes hit a limitation, like we discovered when a user tried dragging and dropping an email directly from his Outlook onto Kerika.

This operation used to fail, but in a confusing way: Kerika made it look like it was possible to drop the email onto a card, but the email never showed up.

We have fixed this by checking the kind of content that someone is trying to drop onto Kerika, and if the content isn’t something that can be directly dropped, we don’t show the “drop zone”: the yellow area in the image above that encourages you to drop something onto a card.

And, by the way, if you need to attach an email to a Kerika file, here’s a good workaround: first drag and drop the file onto your computer’s desktop.  That will create a regular file out of the email, which you can then drop onto Kerika.

Kerika+Google users can decide whether to use Google Docs, or stay with Microsoft Office

If you are a Kerika+Google user — you signed up for Kerika using your Google ID (like a Gmail address) — your Kerika files will be stored in your own Google Drive.

Most Kerika+Google users prefer to have their files converted to the Google Docs format when they upload them their Kerika cards, canvases or boards: this makes it easy for them to edit these files from inside a browser.

A small minority of our Kerika+Google users, however, prefer to keep their files in their original Microsoft Office format.

(The most common reason for this is if you are working with complex spreadsheets: Microsoft Excel is still far better than Google’s Spreadsheets!)

If you are a Kerika+Google user, you have a choice of using Google Docs or not: just go https://kerika.com/preferences and select this option:

Google Docs format
Google Docs format

Either way your files will still be stored in your Google Drive; the only difference is whether they are stored in the Google Docs format or kept in their original Microsoft Office format.

Bug, fixed: handling references to websites that redirect to HTTPS

Some sites like Kerika.com use HTTPS all the time: every URL reference, whether to our website, within our application, or even to any article on this blog is automatically converted to a secure HTTPS session.

(We are not the only ones doing this: type in “facebook.com” in your browser’s address bar, for example, and you will be automatically redirected to “https://www.facebook.com/” even though you didn’t type in “https”.)

Always using HTTPS is good security practice, but it can sometimes lead to problems for users: unless you are very familiar with a particular site, and also the type of person who plays close attention to these things, you might not understand this process.

And even if you did, you would still find it convenient to make short references to “kerika.com” (or “facebook.com”) instead of typing out “https://kerika.com”.

When you include a URL in any part of a Kerika board’s contents, e.g. in a card’s details, it’s chat or its attachments (and the same goes for canvases), Kerika tries to get the title of that Web page so the URL reference is easier to read.

We found and fixed a bug related to this: in situations where the URL, as typed by the user, actually resulted in a redirect from the referenced website (typically a “301 permanent redirect” rather than a “302 temporary redirect”), Kerika wasn’t properly showing the Web site’s page title.

All fixed now.

Kerika’s Templates

We offer a small selection of templates, covering a wide range of possible projects, to help our users get started with new boards — and, more importantly, to help introduce the concept of templates to folks.

Some of the templates we have on offer:

We experienced some performance issues related to these templates recently which we have fixed: as the total number of Kerika users grew, the number of people wanting to use the same templates grew somewhat faster than we had anticipated, so we needed to make some back-end fixes to make sure there wasn’t a slowdown in performance.

 

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 :-/