When we first shipped the iotum Talk-Now technology preview in January, one of our goals was to solicit feedback from users on how to improve the experience. Howard and I decided that the best way to do that, for a small company, was essentially "build to suit". We encouraged people to try our software, give us their feedback, and we would try to build in the requests. That's how additions (to name just one) like the Notify area in Talk-Now were created.
The feedback takes many forms. For instance, after reading Synnex CEO Jim Estill's excellent personal blog Time Leadership I sent him a Talk-Now invitation also. I figured there was a good chance that he might be a BlackBerry user, since he sits on RIM's board of directors. In addition, because he writes about the challenges of time management, there seemed to be a good fit with Jim's areas of interest. In email, he suggested a feature that would allow Talk-Now users to share their availability with others who aren't Talk-Now users and to allow the other person to temporarily subscribe to a notification. Great idea!
Local industrial designer Mitch Brisebois has seen many demos of Talk-Now, and provided his feedback in a review on his blog, finishing with a wish list. He says:
As for the mobile user experience – I have a wish list! Being a J2ME app – the designers have a lot of flexibility in the GUI. There’s not as many constraints as you’d find in a Windows Mobile environment for example. So… spice up that UI! The only major problem with Talk-Now’s design is the sole use of color as a coding mechanism. Color alone is not very salient for users – and it breaks any compliance to accessibility rules (ADA 508 etc…) It’s an easy problem to fix!
Little did he know that we'd invite him around the office to share his views in more depth… we have a lunch date next week.
If you're a BlackBerry user and haven't tried Talk-Now yet, give it shot. Just point your browser to http://www.iotum.com/blackberry, and sign up. If you're not a BlackBerry user, stay tuned to this space. Shortly we will have a solution which will extend Talk-Now beyond the BlackBerry handset.
Most of all, thank you to all those who have previously downloaded the software and provided feedback. We couldn't have built this without your support.