Sticky notes must rank up there with sliced bread for inventive greatness. I’ll read these ‘nag’ notes that are stuck on my monitor before I’ll open a to-do list or even my outlook diary at the start of the day. They’re visual and tactile.
LinoIt is a web 2.0 application that takes the sticky note function into an electronic format. In doing so it illustrates the benefits of software designed to work above the level of a single device: my personal ‘nag’ notes are accessible to me regardless of my physical location or device; I can check them when I’m at work using my desktop computer; when I’m at home on my ipad or out and about using my smartphone. It doesn’t matter how or where I update my notes as the data is kept synchronised for me seamlessly.
As a member of a software development team that values collaboration over documentation, LinoIt’s device independence and visual sticky note feature provides a ‘virtual’ wall for project retrospectives. Everyone participating in the retrospective can access the wall and place notes to contribute to the discussion. This is a powerful benefit for distributed teams that work using visual tools.
When LinoIt is ready to appoint me as executive product manager (I’ll keep waiting by the phone, will I?), I’d like to extend the functionality to better implement this pattern. There would be a version of the application that I can install on my workstation with a richer feature set: I can facilitate the retrospectives, set security to my authorised participants and distribute the final board in pdf format. Athe same time participants on mobile devices or through the browser can still put up stickies and view changes to the board as others put up their stickies.
There are many tools that demonstrate the best practices for this web 2.0 design pattern: from twitter that lets me post a picture onto my twitter feed immediately with a couple of clicks on my ipad, to my gmail application that lets me easily access email even when travelling abroad, to Amazon’s one-click purchasing feature on mobile devices and the richer features available from desktop browsers. There are even many collaboration and task tracking tools such as google docs and remember the milk. Yet, linoit provides me exceptional value at home and at work through the pervasiveness of the data and the simplicity of the visual interface.
Have you used LinoIt? Are you the better product manager with suggestions for new features?