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From the Lab: updates.

The beta launch of last week has been instructive in many ways , it has allowed me to finally get over the launch jitters and the many questions of "is it ready" to now be in a proactive mode of "what can I make better?". That said, I have identified several areas that can enhance the experience of new users and I will detail them as they are being identified and engineered for deployment to the production servers. These posts will serve as an inside look into the problems that users have that the site builders rarely anticipate and how they are solved.

Problem 1: Numeroom must be separately created.

When I first launched the site, I had a feeling I should write the registration logic so that it would automatically create a default Numeroom for the Users, this way they could get going immediately with inviting people, sharing files but more importantly , harnessing the suite of following features enabled uniquely by the Numeroom ecosystem in the form of file sharing events, category shift events and jump to events. These allow numeroom users insight into the actions of their contacts that no other collaboration system provides enalbing them to collaborate with a sense of immediacy here to for unknown. Unfortunately, I was focused on hitting the launch and decided to launch with the numeroom creation as a separate action from account creation, big mistake for several reasons.

  • If you are offering something new to people, then talking to them about it won't lead to the "ah ha!" moment. You have to show them, and the less you require they have to actively do to be shown the magic the better.
  • People get frustrated quickly when looking at a new UI , even if it is "logical" to you. Do as much as you can for your users leaving only the pure experience (sharing , chatting, following) left for them to decide over.

So, earlier this afternoon I started plotting the strategy for solving this problem, it can be solved quite literally in minutes, tested on the development machine (the same one I write this blog post on) and deployed to the production cluster in Texas using a numeroom, of course. ;) I'll update the blog when it is done.

Problem 2: Numeroom creator settings not accessible when User is in room.

This was something I meant to do before the launch but didn't get to in time, if a User is chatting in a room , allowing them to find out "who owns this room?" and as well be able to see that owners list of jump to rooms, send that user an IMail or a contact join request is key to quickly enabling them to build a network of contacts with rooms of interest. The faster I allow users to connect the faster the entire ecosystem builds value from those real time relationships. I performed the change which simply amounted to hyperlinking the room's name as displayed in the upper left corner of an active room window. Clicking the link now takes the User to the owners settings page where they can perform the aformentioned actions. Production rollout to follow.

So that is what is in the works for deployment to production, mostly likely tomorrow afternoon.


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