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Locations, Reverse Sort, and More



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eykanal

Posted: Aug 27, 2010
Score: 1



What @claudio said is quite right. It seems that the developers have chosen to work on their own schedule and with their own priorities instead of listening to users. I like Toodledo a lot. However, I paid to use this program, and when a program has large, glaring problems - the largest of which @peterw stated above - and the developers ignore that to implement gimmicky features like location, it makes you wonder whether you trust their both their judgement and overall vision for where Toodledo should go.
Linden

Posted: Aug 27, 2010
Score: 1



You make valid points Claudio. Especially that one about locations as currently implemented not really meeting the needs of those who had requested it. This is a rare instance where it might have been smarter to implement it for the iPhone first, since those are the users getting the most benefit from it.

I wasn't trying to suggest that the location feature was implemented because people were polite, but more that many people commenting here likely forgot about it because the original people requesting it hadn't reposted about it week after week.

Maybe I've been blinded by my optimism here. I've seen a lot of big features get implemented in the time I've been here. Some were really amazing (like manual sorting in subtasks -- before manual sorting in general had ever been suggested), and others not at all relevant to me (like every iPhone update).

So, while Jake doesn't give us any indication that he's currently actively working on those bigger projects on the list, I'm inclined to trust that he's picking at the ground work for them while moving some of the less complex projects forward. I probably shouldn't try to impose that trust on all the rest of you. :)
Claudio

Posted: Aug 27, 2010
Score: 0



Well, it's good to be optimistic!

You make some good points.

Just one nit-picky thing. You mention:
like manual sorting in subtasks -- before manual sorting in general had ever been suggested
Not quite.

Manual ordering of subtasks was introduced on November 13, 2009.

There were many requests for manual sorting before this date, including this one about six months before: Is there a way to control the display order of tasks, and one on March 10, 2008, more than a year and half before, specifically about ordering subtasks: http://www.toodledo.com/forums/2/13/-315/subtask.html.

Yes, compared to some other websites, Toodledo is amazingly responsive, and I think that's why you trust Jake to move in the right direction and at the right pace.

We'll see what happens.


This message was edited Aug 27, 2010.
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Aug 27, 2010
Score: 2



Everyone has different priorities for what they would like to see with Toodledo. I am sorry if our priorities do not match up with yours. We listen very carefully to our users, but you have to understand that user requests are only one variable in our prioritization. We also consider other things, such as our resources, skills, complexity of development, competitor actions, interestingness, business impact, etc.

With location, many of our competitors either had location already (RTM), or were adding it (PocketInformant, 2Do, OmniFocus...). We also had a number of requests for location through our support ticket system. Some of our third-party developers also requested location so that they could implement it and sync properly. We also determined that we had the resources and skills to implement this efficiently. Lastly, it sounded like an interesting project to us.

There are already several thousand people using Locations on Toodledo in only 2 days. Contrast this to the half dozen people in this forum claiming that Location is useless. We realize that any feature that we release will not be used by everyone. Location is one of those things. If you do not want to use Location, please leave it disabled and it will not bother you anymore. We are not forcing it on anyone.

Improvements to collaboration, subtasks and UI are still top priority items for us, but these are very long and complex projects that impact every part of the website. It takes time to do correctly.
Andrew A

Posted: Aug 27, 2010
Score: 0



True, but there's a lot honesty regarding the feature and how things are implemented. I also am one of those thousands that created a location, and have deleted it today.

For me, a location is a sort of context, and therefore redundant since they are not the same attribute.

I'm going to have an @work context and @work location? Nope. I think it would be more intuitively implemented this way, contexts with geo data and those without (like @ phone) but I agree, it is just my one opinion among all the thousands of competing ones.

Maybe there is an efficient way to use it, but right now I don't see it and someone else will have to explain it.
Salgud

Posted: Aug 27, 2010
Score: 1



Wow! I have to say, this is very refreshing. I know to those who've been here a while, there is a certain amount of frustration. I try to understand it. Since I've been hanging in Cultured Codes (Things) forums for over 2 years (except when they shut the forums down for a while to try to eliminate the din of their very unhappy high end users, which only exacerbated the situation when they re-opened them), I find these forums overall, very cheerful and supportive. Particularly the frequent participation by the developers. The above message, explaining their strategy and decision making process is really nice to know, even if you might disagree with it. Frankly, as I was reading all the criticisms of the latest release, and in particular the decision to implement location, I was imagining all the reasons they might do so. My imaginary list almost exactly matches their real one. So while I have no use for location at the moment, I understand their decision.

Just their coming here and giving us an explanation is so much better than the dead silence from the developers at CC's forums. I read somewhere once that a child would rather be hit than ignored and neglected, and I think there's some truth to that (not advocating child abuse, just pointing out a reality of life). I certainly prefer them coming out with regular releases, something more than bug fixes, than nothing at all accompanied by what feels like truculent silence. And showing up, on a daily basis, offering help and explaining as much as they feel they can without giving away secrets to their competition, is much appreciated.

Just my POV. Coming from where I've been, this place is paradise.
Transisto (redemption)

Posted: Aug 27, 2010
Score: 2



Posted by Andrew A:
Maybe there is an efficient way to use it, but right now I don't see it and someone else will have to explain it.

I think the "efficient way to use it" will come from "third-party developers".

For example the 2do app pick location directly from your iPhone contact list. So some people were already using it but were seeing weird text in their task note. Now they will have a dedicated place to store that information.

I approve this update / new direction of an added task value, but have fears on the resources it could divert from more pressing requests if they were to perfect it's implementation on the web/app.

More importantly, These are update to the Web version witch IMO need it the most. +1


This message was edited Aug 27, 2010.
SRhyse

Posted: Aug 27, 2010
Score: 1



I think a large part of the feelings of disconnect that users getting angry about the 'UI issues being unaddressed' feel towards the people that would actually address them (Toodledo) is that the former are condensing a product wide rebranding on multiple fronts into a two letter abbreviation. The heart of what people are after when they complain about the UI is really an entire gutting and rebranding of Toodledo. Just calling it UI tends to brush all that under the rug.

It's one thing to type UI and be able to talk about it fairly quickly in the abstract. It's quite another to develop and implement what those people are after in a way that scales to a large, customizable feature set targeted at a diverse userbase accessing it through multiple devices and competing services outside of your control, all the while remaining a stable and competitive product under active development in a relatively reactive market.

I can't think of a product or service that wouldn't be 'better' with a 'better UI,' or 'better' anything for that matter, if you keep it as abstract as 'better' without a whole lot of context. I would personally be thrilled if UI improvements were made, even though I kinda like the Toodledo Me Too theme I'm rocking. But if you really start breaking all that down in context with what's involved to actually make it happen, you tend to think about it a bit differently.

I'm glad Toodledo develops their product at all, and kinda disappointed the speed increases they made might be getting overlooked in this update.
Claudio

Posted: Aug 28, 2010
Score: 1



Posted by Toodledo:
We listen very carefully to our users, but you have to understand that user requests are only one variable in our prioritization. We also consider other things, such as our resources, skills, complexity of development, competitor actions, interestingness, business impact, etc.
That makes sense.
With location, many of our competitors either had location already (RTM), or were adding it (PocketInformant, 2Do, OmniFocus...). We also had a number of requests for location through our support ticket system. Some of our third-party developers also requested location so that they could implement it and sync properly. We also determined that we had the resources and skills to implement this efficiently. Lastly, it sounded like an interesting project to us.
Again, makes sense. But, I'm a bit surprised that you consider PocketInformant and 2DO as competitors, given that they sync with Toodledo. I guess that means that a big chunk of your revenue comes from your iPhone app, and this explains why so many of your updates have been to the app rather than to the website. And, the ultimate value of Locations will be in the mobile apps, right?
There are already several thousand people using Locations on Toodledo in only 2 days. Contrast this to the half dozen people in this forum claiming that Location is useless.
A bit silly, actually. I created a few locations and added them to tasks. Am I one of the "several thousand" even though I'm not using Locations? And, how specifically are people using Locations without a portable device?
If you do not want to use Location, please leave it disabled and it will not bother you anymore. We are not forcing it on anyone.
I hope that this is just an over-reaction and that you don't actually think that anyone is bothered by the mere presence of the Locations feature.
Improvements to collaboration, subtasks and UI are still top priority items for us, but these are very long and complex projects that impact every part of the website. It takes time to do correctly.
But, the issue isn't just time, right? For those things that you really want to do, you find the time.
We listen very carefully to our users, but you have to understand that user requests are only one variable in our prioritization.
Users don't "have to" do anything. We are the customers. We pay you for providing a service.

Jake, we all appreciate the time and effort that you spend to develop and maintain this website and to communicate with your users. In return, we spend our time and effort to use what you have created, and we pay you for using your website, and some of us pay you to use your iPhone app. Also, some of us take time to help you by answering questions in the forums, and we do it for free.

You are running a business and, in the end, the success of Toodledo will be depend on how successfully it runs as a business, and on how you measure that success.

I'm sure that you carefully consider all feedback.
Thanks again for responding.


This message was edited Aug 28, 2010.
Ann

Posted: Aug 28, 2010
Score: 2



I haven't been reading the Toodledo forums for some time, and I'm a little bit surprised by the change in tone (not only in this topic, but also in some other places...)

As far as I know, I'm paying the same for a pro-account as I did two years ago, and I'm getting far more.
And indeed, the latest update gives 'more' again, although not 'more' that I will use (I'm not using a mobile device with Toodledo). But although this update isn't particularly useful for me, that doesn't diminish the usefulness of the application as a whole.

In the former post, Claudio said:
We are the customers. We pay you for providing a service.


Yes, indeed... and I don't have the impression I do have to pay a dime more for a service that hasn't diminished since the last upgrade.
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Aug 28, 2010
Score: 0



Posted by Claudio:
But, I'm a bit surprised that you consider PocketInformant and 2DO as competitors, given that they sync with Toodledo. I guess that means that a big chunk of your revenue comes from your iPhone app, and this explains why so many of your updates have been to the app rather than to the website. And, the ultimate value of Locations will be in the mobile apps, right?


It is pretty obvious that PI and 2Do are competitors to us on the iPhone, but they are also valuable partners to us in terms of the entire ecosystem. We don't see the word "competitor" as a negative thing. We wanted to make a good experience for all of our customers, and since we have a number of PI and 2Do customers, we wanted them to be able to sync their locations to Toodledo and be able to access them from the website as well. This was one factor in our decision.

You are correct that the ultimate value of Locations will be with location aware mobile apps. This exciting area of development is just getting started and we wanted to be part of it.

The reason why you are seeing a lot of iPhone updates recently is because we now have a full time iPhone developer. So, we've gone from maybe 1/5th of a person on the iPhone to 1 whole person. That means more gets done. Also, the iPhone app is still pretty immature so it is easy to make quick progress.
PeterW 

Posted: Aug 30, 2010
Score: 0



Posted by Toodledo:

Keyboard shortcuts
We have added three more keyboard shortcuts for those of you with keyboard shortcuts enabled in your account settings.
1) Control+Command+* will now toggle the star when adding a new task.
2) ESC will now cancel a quick-search.
3) X will now take you to the new location view.

Jake - I've just noticed that these new shortcuts haven't been included in the tip window yet.
Gummi

Posted: Aug 30, 2010
Score: 1



Just wanted to chime in with my two cents. I love the whole Toodledo ecosystem. From active developers (both on updates and communication) to passionate users.

I understand Claudio´s point of view as well as the points made be Linden and Toodledo (I guess that´s Jake?). I find myself sometimes disappointed when there are updates that don´t resonate with me (e.g. iPhone and Locations). But it´s still far outweighed by many immensely useful additions. Just the subtasks and manual sorting have singlehandedly changed they way I organize my tasks and projects (in a good way).

I sometimes think that I´m one of the few in here that actually likes the Toodledo interface. Could be that I´m simply used to it and I confess that there are points here and there that irk me. As a user I would be very wary of major interface changes in my most used productivity tool. As a developer I would be petrified of doing major damage to the less vocal users like me that perhaps are quite satisfied with things as they are. So I can understand that they are taking their time with this.

Anyways, keep up the good work. The usefulness vs. price ratio of the software is still one the highest I´ve ever encountered.
eykanal

Posted: Aug 30, 2010
Score: 0



Thanks for the detailed reply. Of course there are many factors that affect your choice of feature development; I don't think anyone here doubts that. The fact is that there are areas which we feel are more crucial to be addressed, and as your users I'd say we're representative of a good portion of your userbase. Your comment on "thousands of people using locations" is misleading, since (given the general feelings in the forums) I would venture to say that most were trying it out to see how they can work it into their system. Based on the feelings here, I'd guess that most would not end up using it.

Personally, I'm thrilled to hear that you guys were able to hire a dedicated iPhone developer. I use the iPhone app all the time, so it's a benefit to me, and its excellent to hear that you're doing well enough to expand your payroll. I would hope that your next move would be to either hire or work with a contractor to get a UI specialist on your team to help improve the website. You know that the vast majority of the users will never set foot in the forums, and you'll probably never hear from them, ever. Us forum-goers are giving you free feedback on your system, and many, many people have complained about the UI. Time to fix it.
Jake

Toodledo Admin
Posted: Aug 30, 2010
Score: 0



Thanks for the feedback.

One thing to keep in mind is that only about 3% of our users have ever set foot in the forums, and an even smaller fraction have posted a comment. So, what you read in the forums shouldn't really be used as a general barometer for the desires of the entire user base.
Captain_Obvious

Posted: Aug 30, 2010
Score: 0



Posted by Toodledo:
... what you read in the forums shouldn't really be used as a general barometer for the desires of the entire user base.


Curious to know what better barometer you have ?
And how different you think the forum users needs are ?


This message was edited Aug 30, 2010.
Salgud

Posted: Aug 30, 2010
Score: 0



I'm sure someone from TD will have their answer. But I can tell you a few things I know about this.

First of all, 3% is NOT a statistically significant sample ANYWHERE. No way to know that it's representative.

Further, these forums are definitly a filter. The "average" user doesn't venture here, doesn't use these kinds of forums. I don't know a single person personally that uses online forums or newsgroups. I don't really know what kinds of people we are that do use forums, but I can at least guess. Curious, above average intelligence, computer savy, at least to some degree. But we cerainly aren't "average", even for TD users (which are probably somewhat unique in themselves).

One other trait I find interesting and very common. Some people would NEVER NEVER NEVER look up ANYTHING, much less come to a forum to see how others solved a problem. They HAVE to do it THEMSELVES. Have to figure it out THEMSELVES. I have a long-time friend and ex-business partner who is this way. And I had a boss who was VERY UPSET when she found out that I was going to a newsgroup to get help writing the VBA code I was doing for her. I was CHEATING! (her words) I'm serious about this. Very strange to me, but quite common.

I don't know a lot about such things, but if I were a developer and I had user forums for my product, I'd certainly take their forum user's recommendations with a grain of salt. Maybe a salt-lick! :)


This message was edited Aug 30, 2010.
Captain_Obvious

Posted: Aug 30, 2010
Score: 2



Posted by Salgud:

First of all, 3% is NOT a statistically significant sample ANYWHERE. No way to know that it's representative.

If there is 300 people in the forum, that 3% would give ~5% error margin. So it's a pretty significant sample.

... The "average" user doesn't venture here, doesn't use these kinds of forums... Curious, above average intelligence, computer savy, at least to some degree. But we cerainly aren't "average", even for TD users (which are probably somewhat unique in themselves).


The group of user the most filtered by the forum is those that stay on their iPhone. They may also use a different app.
They may have very basic needs, Ex: making a list.

Their complain may not be worth it in their eye, Ex: UI unatractive but can't explain why / how it should be. Many people come here only to say "UGLY" and leave forever.

On the other hand, many complains in the forum are from long time computer users that say, "It's unintuitive, It's wrong... definitely" because they compare it to "Widely accepted best practice" in software / web UI.
So although the later type of comment is not your average user, they are precisely about average user experience.


This message was edited Aug 30, 2010.
PeterW 

Posted: Aug 30, 2010
Score: 2



Posted by Toodledo:
One thing to keep in mind is that only about 3% of our users have ever set foot in the forums, and an even smaller fraction have posted a comment. So, what you read in the forums shouldn't really be used as a general barometer for the desires of the entire user base.


Posted by Salgud:
I don't know a lot about such things, but if I were a developer and I had user forums for my product, I'd certainly take their forum user's recommendations with a grain of salt. Maybe a salt-lick! :)

I have to say that I find these comments a bit depressing.

My opinion is that forums often attract power users - those who use the system heavily, test out almost all of the features, who are savvy with what's available in the marketplace - and whose comments therefore would be quite valuable for a developer.

What you're saying is that these comments and requests are completely unrepresentative and not worthy of any consideration.

Please don't take this as an attack. I'm a big fan of Toodledo. But I'm not going to waste any more time posting requests that count for nothing.

So I will join the silent majority. Can someone just let me know how this large group makes feature requests?
brevious

Posted: Aug 31, 2010
Score: 0



Can remember the website name, but there is a place where software's users can vote for their prefered new features to be developped next.. can be one solution...

br

Fabien
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