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Help wanted: iPhone application testers required.

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  • Help wanted: iPhone application testers required.

    Hi everyone,

    First off, I want to make it clear that I've read all of the forum rules and I'm not attempting to sell anything here. This is a genuine call for assistance from fellow GTD'ers.

    To give you a quick bit of background, I've been a keen GTD user since 2007. I got a promotion to a management role but soon found myself struggling with the sheer number of things I had to keep on top of. I tried three or four different task management systems and finally settled on GTD. I got myself a pretty good system up and running on Microsoft Outlook and was pleased with how it worked for me.

    A couple of years ago, I got an iPhone and started using that for more and more of my day to day stuff. Eventually, I started to look for a GTD app for the iPhone. I tried a couple but found that they were either quite expensive (relatively speaking for an iPhone app) or really complicated and difficult to set up and keep running.

    As I have a development background, I figured I'd just go and write my own app. So, I've spent most of my spare time over the past several months working on something.

    This is where I need some help. I need some iPhone users who are familiar with GTD to take a look at the app and help me with some product testing and feedback. I've shown the app to a couple of friends who've basically said that they don't get it, but they're not GTD users at all so I've had to try and teach them the GTD methodology and then how it relates to the app. The app tries to follow the Collect - Process - Organize - Do - Review phases closely so that it would appeal to GTD users and be easy for them to get up and running and maintain.

    So, what I need is some enthusiastic GTD'ers to give this a shot and let me know what they genuinely think. I've got version 1.0 of the app in the AppStore and I'll give testers promo codes so you can download the app for free. All I ask in return is that you spend a little time with it and tell me what you think.

    I guess the best way to do this is for anyone interested to reply to this post, then I'll send private messages with the promo codes.

    Thanks for your help!

    Regards,
    Mark.

  • #2
    Originally posted by markw View Post
    Hi everyone,

    First off, I want to make it clear that I've read all of the forum rules and I'm not attempting to sell anything here. This is a genuine call for assistance from fellow GTD'ers.

    To give you a quick bit of background, I've been a keen GTD user since 2007. I got a promotion to a management role but soon found myself struggling with the sheer number of things I had to keep on top of. I tried three or four different task management systems and finally settled on GTD. I got myself a pretty good system up and running on Microsoft Outlook and was pleased with how it worked for me.

    A couple of years ago, I got an iPhone and started using that for more and more of my day to day stuff. Eventually, I started to look for a GTD app for the iPhone. I tried a couple but found that they were either quite expensive (relatively speaking for an iPhone app) or really complicated and difficult to set up and keep running.

    As I have a development background, I figured I'd just go and write my own app. So, I've spent most of my spare time over the past several months working on something.

    This is where I need some help. I need some iPhone users who are familiar with GTD to take a look at the app and help me with some product testing and feedback. I've shown the app to a couple of friends who've basically said that they don't get it, but they're not GTD users at all so I've had to try and teach them the GTD methodology and then how it relates to the app. The app tries to follow the Collect - Process - Organize - Do - Review phases closely so that it would appeal to GTD users and be easy for them to get up and running and maintain.

    So, what I need is some enthusiastic GTD'ers to give this a shot and let me know what they genuinely think. I've got version 1.0 of the app in the AppStore and I'll give testers promo codes so you can download the app for free. All I ask in return is that you spend a little time with it and tell me what you think.

    I guess the best way to do this is for anyone interested to reply to this post, then I'll send private messages with the promo codes.

    Thanks for your help!

    Regards,
    Mark.
    I'm willing to try it out and give you some feedback. I'm currently using Things for iPhone and iPad, and it's working well enough.

    Comment


    • #3
      Also interested

      I'm also interested. I've been tinkering with systems that I keep not having success with for a while, so one more would be good for me

      In a previous life I spent some time doing software testing, so I can even try to be a good beta/usability/early tester ...

      Comment


      • #4
        I am happy to give your app a test run.

        Comment


        • #5
          I use GTD with the Hit List on my iPhone and Mac. I also used to be a game tester, so I am familiar with testing applications.

          Send me a code, and I will dedicate a few hours to testing.

          Jim

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks!

            Thanks to those of you who've registered your interest, I'll get the promo codes to you shortly.

            Thanks,
            Mark.

            Comment


            • #7
              Promo codes sent

              Ok, promo codes and app details are in your private message inboxes now.

              I've got a few more codes available if anyone else wants to test, just add a reply to this thread.

              Thanks,
              Mark.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Mark,

                I've spent a bit of time trying out your app. Will do more tomorrow but here are some initial comments:

                1. I like the process-oriented nature of the app (collect - process - organise) although it's not immediately intuitive how to use it, so a steeper learning curve that other todo apps.

                2. There seems to be no way to assign a due date to a task. I can see how to create a tickler date for a task but to me that's not necessarily the same thing. Can you elaborate on how you've conceptualised this?

                3. The app crashed twice when adding a task from a note (on the process tab).

                4. The feature that enables switching between project and no-project views on the organise tab was not obvious to me. I initially switched to project mode without realising the purpose and subsequently couldn't see any tasks that I'd added because none were attached to a project. I guess this would become second nature over time but initially it was confusing.

                Cheers,
                Peter.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Peter,

                  Thanks for providing feedback. In response:

                  1. Yup, that's a common message I'm getting. One of those things where when you've spent months with your head buried in something, you become used to it and can't tell if its usage is obvious to others anymore!

                  2. Assigning a due date to a task is not possible at the moment, as you've found. Planning to add that in the next update.

                  3. Damn and blast! I must have spent a solid two or three weeks running this thing through the various debugging tools and thought I'd squashed most of the bugs. I'll see if I can replicate this one and fix.

                  4. Yeah, I guess the UI could use some more work, or maybe adding some hints or a quick tutorial that runs on first use would help.

                  I guess it shows that I'm a developer, not a designer. If only you could see the code, it's really beautiful

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So, to add a little more background of where I was trying to go with my app, the idea was to try and create something which allowed you to follow the Collect - Process - Organize - Do - Review phases of GTD.

                    The Collect view is designed to provide a simple way to quickly take notes and capture thoughts. So, whether it's noting down meeting minutes or quickly jotting down an idea you had whilst on the train, it's supposed to make it quick and easy to do. At present it's just a simple note taker, but I envisioned being able to add other things here such as pictures or voice memos.

                    The Process view at first glance looks the same as the Collect view. However, there are some extras. The Process view is where you would go at the end / start of day or whatever time you normally set aside to review everything you've collected. You can either send those items off to the Tickler File to return to at a later date, or you can choose to turn them into actionable items there and then. The split screen Add Task dialog is intended to make it easy to process the information in a note and turn it into actionable items without having to flip between views. I tried to keep the information you can associate with each task down to a minimum to make it quick to add tasks. You can add a task with just a title, or you can choose a list, context or project or add some notes. You can easily create new lists, contexts or projects whilst adding a new task so it doesn't break your flow.

                    The Organize view is intended to be a place where you can get to all of your tasks, lists, contexts and projects to edit them exactly as needed. Basically, a place from where you can review your entire system. The app doesn't allow you to set priorities, however from the Organize view you can view the tasks for each project (or standalone tasks that are not part of a project) and drag them into the order in which they need to be completed, which effectively serves the same purpose as setting a priority.

                    The Do view is the place to go when you're ready to work. You select a list and a context and the app will then show you the topmost item for each project (or all items for standalone tasks). As each item gets marked as complete, the next item in the list gets displayed. In line with the GTD strategies for deciding which task to do next, the idea was to show you just the next item for each project given your current list and context which will then allow you to decide which of those you can do next based on your energy levels and available time.

                    Finally, the Review view is designed to guide you through the process of regularly reviewing your system at regular intervals. It allows you to determine the schedule for your weekly review and will tell you the date on which your next review is due. It then highlights the areas of your system that need attention.

                    So, as I hope you can see, I started out with good intentions. Anyone know a good UX consultant?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would love to try it out. IPHONE 4 user...have tried em all still looking for the "one"

                      Rw

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by markw View Post
                        So, as I hope you can see, I started out with good intentions. Anyone know a good UX consultant?
                        Thanks for your replies Mark.

                        Don't get me wrong, I think your overall design is very good. It just needs tweaking to make a few features more obvious, e.g. the project/no-project switch could be a button with a label rather than an icon.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What would Steve Jobs say?

                          Originally posted by markw View Post
                          4. Yeah, I guess the UI could use some more work, or maybe adding some hints or a quick tutorial that runs on first use would help.
                          Ouch! Tutorial? What would Steve Jobs say?

                          I've got no iPhone so I cannot help in testing. Is it possible to see your application's UI without iPhone?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yes, Steve wouldn't have approved! I seem to recall the developer guidelines also state that any kind of in app help should be avoided - apps should be intuitive enough that help and tutorials are unnecessary. But, I've seen a ton of apps that do!

                            If you go to the app web site - www.perfecttasks.com - there's a product tour link you can click on that will give you a taste for the UI. Or, if you click on the "Get It Now" link, it should take you to the web based version of the iTunes store which has some screenshots.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by PeterW View Post
                              Thanks for your replies Mark.

                              Don't get me wrong, I think your overall design is very good. It just needs tweaking to make a few features more obvious, e.g. the project/no-project switch could be a button with a label rather than an icon.
                              Thanks! I must admit, the bit you're talking about went through a couple of changes before it ended up in its current form. Initially, tapping on Tasks took you to the projects list, you then selected a project and got the list of tasks. You'd navigate back and forth to pick different projects. I thought it might work better if tapping Tasks took you straight to a list of tasks which you then filtered by project.

                              The biggest problem I've found with creating an app like this is that everyone approaches task management in their own unique way. And even with systems like GTD, everyone still has their own implementation which will differ from others. Trying to be flexible enough to support that and at the same time keeping things simple is pretty difficult, if not impossible. I've dedicated some time to this over the past few days and I have some ideas I'm exploring that I think could make the app a lot easier to navigate and make it more attractive to non-GTD users at the same time. But as an independent hobbyist developer, it will be a while before version 2.0 sees the light of day!

                              Comment

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