News update on site changes - August 2007

In a nutshell

Using "Views", there are now many more ways to sort through and visualize your tasks. In addition, this new section has been optimized to make pages load much faster than before.


Why change a good thing?

Well, to make it better of course! When we first built Toodledo almost 2 years ago, we had to make some assumptions about how people around the world would use to-do lists and manage their tasks. Based on these assumptions, we made some design decisions that favored some activities over others. After using Toodledo with tens of thousands of users, we have determined that some of our initial design decisions were based upon inaccurate assumptions. The new section that we are launching today aims to improve the usability of Toodledo and make it a much more efficient and productive way to keep track of your tasks.

Old assumptions:
1. People will frequently edit existing tasks.
2. Most people will have fewer than 50 active tasks.
3. People will keep Toodledo open in the background or in another tab for easy reference.

It turns out that:
1. Fewer than 15% of all tasks are modified after they are first added.
2. Many people have hundreds of tasks.
3. People typically visit Toodledo to view their list, and then leave.

Based on these real life usage scenarios, and numerous suggestions that we received through our feedback form, we have added "Views" to Toodledo.com.


Views

Views allow you to sort and display your tasks in a variety of ways. Before today, Toodledo showed you every field, on every task, all the time. This is often very useful, but sometimes you may want to see only a few pieces of information without being overloaded by everything else. Views make this easy. Lets say that you only want to see tasks that are due in the next week, and have these sorted by priority. This didn't used to be possible, but now, using views, this is only a few clicks away.

Viewing Tasks

Once you had accumulated a few hundred tasks, the old to-do list would start to load pretty slowly. This was ok if you kept Toodledo loaded in the background, but most people made many quick visits to Toodledo throughout the day. One of our top priorities with Views was to make pages load faster. We have totally optimized the way that tasks are displayed, and now make more extensive use of Web 2.0 technologies to make things load quicker.

Editing a Task

Using the old task list, every piece of information was immediately editable. You could just click and edit anything in your list. There was a lot of overhead (in terms of data sent to your web browser) to support this one-click editing. We have changed this so that you must now click twice (once to tell the website that you want to edit something, and a second time to actually edit it). We know that this makes editing slightly slower than before, but this was the compromise that allowed us to vastly improve the loading time of your to-do list. Since fewer than 15% of tasks were ever edited, we believe that this is an acceptable tradeoff. Before jumping to conclusions, please give the new editing method a try and let us know what you think.

Adding a task

Adding a task still takes the same number of clicks and keystrokes as before. You can try both ways if you need convincing. The reason that we have hidden the "add a task" form is because we wanted to give more screen real estate to viewing tasks, since this is what most people do most of the time anyway.


Thanks for Reading

The "classic" view, that Toodledo has always had, is not going away anytime soon. If we get a positive response from the new section, we will eventually replace "classic" once all of its functionality has been replicated in the new "views".

Please contact us if you have any feedback (positive or negative) about the new section.

Thanks!
-Jake