Pidoco FAQs now in Serbo-Croatian

Photo of the translator

Jovana Milutinovich

 

We were recently approached by Jovana Milutinovich, a Computer Science student at the University of Belgrade, Serbia – requesting to translate part of our website into Serbo-Croatian. We were of course happy to support the project.

Jovana writes: “My goal as a computer science student is to help people from my country read some useful info about computers in general and all different software out there. I hope that these translations will find its audience sooner or later throughout Ex Yugoslavian community which is wide spread around the world.”

Thanks to Jovana for bringing Pidoco and wireframing to a larger audience and we hope lots of people will benefit from this. We think it’s a great cause!

You can now read the Serbo-Croatian version of our FAQs here.

 

Latest Release – Flowcharts, Teams, Folders and the Toggle Stencil

We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes once again to bring you the features you have requested:

Flowchart Elements

Many of our users have asked us whether we can make it easy for them to create flowcharts in the tool. We’ve now added a flowchart section in the stencil palette, so you can map out your processes. Remember, you can change the size of your page in the context menu – so feel free to give yourself lots of space for your flowcharts.

Toggle Stencil

We also have a new stencil for your prototypes. Now you can use the toggle stencil to show and hide elements on your page. In the example below, I created a separate page with a few stencils and set this page as the target of my toggle stencil. Now when I click on the toggle stencil in simulation this drop-down appears. You can also set a target to external websites.

Flowchart Stencils

Our new flowchart stencils

Our new Toggle Stencil

Our new Toggle Stencil in action

 
 

 

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 

Teams

You can now create teams in Pidoco. This means that instead of emailing everyone individually to tell them they have access to read or comment on a prototype, you can set up a team and automatically give them these access rights. Here I have selected the marketing team to have access to the prototypes in my folder. Now I need to click “Add to Collaborators”. I can set up new teams by clicking on the button highlighted in red. (Expert Plan)

I can select which team I would like to access my prototype

I can select which team I would like to access my prototype

Project Folders

We realize it can be difficult searching through your prototypes, (especially if you have as many as we do). For this reason we have introduced folders in “My Prototypes” to help you organize your projects better. To do this, simply click “Create Project Folder” and click on the folder icon of your prototype to organize it into a folder. The same principle applies when you organize your pages into folders in the editor. (Expert Plan)

Creating folders for prototypes

These are my folders – you can create yours by clicking on the blue button.

Once again, we want to thank all of you who have given us feedback on our User Voice Forum, or by email. We really appreciate it and we hope you enjoy these feature updates. Feel free to comment below, or email us with your feedback on these new features. As always, you can find us on Facebook and Twitter. Happy Prototyping!

Halloween Special – The Pidoco Case Study

At Pidoco we use our software for planning changes to our software and website. We’ve written before about how we use Pidoco in our work process for updating the software design, but we also use Pidoco to communicate about small changes to our website.

This week we’ve had a Halloween Special for new customers, and in the marketing team we thought about how we could let test users know about this discount. Rather than writing everything in an email, we made a prototype. This was shared with one of our designers and a developer, so they could give us feedback in the prototype about what was possible. The two main pages we wanted to make changes to were the Home Page and My Prototypes. We made screenshots of these pages, which we used as background images and then got creative!

We wanted to add an overlay to our existing image on the right-hand side of our home page. You can upload an image to do this, but we thought we’d use the free-hand drawing stencil instead. We were open to suggestions for Halloween-themed images from our designer, so the sketched look was useful in this case. We also added a couple of comments using our comment stencil to let our designer know he had freedom to choose his own images. Another comment marker was all we needed for the German translate of our overlay text and we could proofread this in the prototype itself.

Halloween Special Prototype

Our mockup. We never said it had to look pretty

Final Home Page Image

Fortunately, our final version doesn’t look like a mockup

Our designer created some images in CSS and then did some technical wizardry to make these Halloween-themed images move when you hover the mouse over them. We’re very impressed!

My Prototypes

We often include a box in My Prototypes to show our users about special offers. (Watch out for this in future). We added a white rectangle to cover the existing text in the specials box and included an image holder on the right, for one of the images from the home page to be replicated here. We also dragged in a text stencil, right-clicked and selected ‘styled text’ and then typed in the text we wanted and formatted as needed. Our designer then used this as a basis and made the changes using HTML. Simple!

 

Test user account prototype

Prototype of ‘My Prototypes’

Our final message in the repository complete with picture

If you’re working across teams, using a prototype can be a useful way of communicating ideas. Next time we have a special offer, I will just make a copy of this prototype and change the text and upload some different images. Please comment below about how you communicate changes like these accross your teams, or how Pidoco has helped you on your projects! Remember to look out for more Pidoco deals on our Home Page and My Prototypes section. Happy Halloween!

For more news about Pidoco offers, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

6 Years of Being Entrepreneurs!

It’s been six years since Volker and Tino went to their first entrepreneurship lecture and it’s been four years since Volker decided to reflect on that in the lovely blog post “How everything began…

Let’s take a look at some of the things that have happened at Pidoco since that blog post four years ago:

1. We hired our first employee – and we thought we should hire a few more people

2. We moved to our amazing office – and Volker has been sat in the same place ever since

3. We officially became Pidoco GmbH

4. We organized UXcamp – and then another – and then another. Wow!

5. We updated our website design

6. We introduced the prototype view and got rid of tabs

7. We introduced plain and sketched modes

8. We added Pidoco to the Chrome Web Store

9. We released our iOS app

10. We made tutorial videos

Pidoco Team

Thanks to everyone who’s followed this blog, been a customer, or who has supported us in our journey!

We really appreciate all the feedback you’ve given us over the years to help us make our software as good as it can be.
We have lots planned for the future, so subscribe to this blog or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news!

Best wishes from Silvan, Tino, Volker and Philipp

Introducing – Pidoco Tutorial Videos

Want to be a prototyping superstar? We’ve been making tutorial videos with all our secret hints and tips to help you get the most out of Pidoco. Watch how to use our latest accordion stencil or see how to create a popup in your prototype. You can watch all of these on our YouTube channel. Just click the subscribe button to make sure you don’t miss any of our new releases!

This is our image tutorial video, which shows how you can upload and crop images in Pidoco.

Of course if you would like to talk to an expert from Pidoco, we offer free online demonstrations. Just fill out the contact form and let us know when would be best for you. We’re based in Berlin, so we’re free Mon-Fri 9:00 – 19:00 (CET).

Do you have any suggestions for future videos? We’d love to hear from you. Just comment below!

Pidoco meets Qipoqo

It’s great hearing from Pidoco users and it’s even better to meet them in real life. The best part is that you never know what they might say about your product. When I took part in a Rails Girls Berlin workshop last month, I met Celine and Saskia, cofounders of promising Berlin startup Qipoqo – a task-swapping platform where you can swap tasks you don’t like for those you do. Saskia was the first person who had ever described the UI of our software as “cute” before and I couldn’t wait to hear what else they had to say about Pidoco.

Saskia and Celine discovered Pidoco after they won a startup competition. They were lucky enough to win free agency help to develop their website, but needed a way to communicate how they wanted the layout and structure of their online platform to be. Having worked with PowerPoint initially, they wanted software that could add more interaction and also give them more ideas of what elements to include in their website.

The Two Founders

Even though both founders have no programming background, they found that Pidoco was quick and easy to use and helped them see the bigger picture of the technical requirements of their project:

Using the mockup was a revelation, because we had no clue how complicated it was. Unless you try to build it yourself even with a mockup, you’re not aware that there are several different ways to get to the same page and that the same page maybe doesn’t look the same depending on where you come from” – Celine

Celine also talked about how they took their prototype to Usability Fix at You Is Now to show potential users. Because prototypes created with Pidoco are interactive, you can get your potential users to click through and see what problems arise with your navigation and layout. This made Celine and Saskia rethink their navigation to make it more intuitive for their users.

Help is the new currency

We think it’s awesome that they’ve been using Pidoco in their startup journey and of course, we are huge fans of the name. You can sign up for the Beta version of Qipoqo here. In the meantime Celine and Saskia are busy getting support for their crowdfunding campaign. We can’t wait for the task-swapping platform to go live and we wish them the very best of luck.

If you’re a startup and would like to use Pidoco, email support@pidoco.com to see if you could qualify for a 25% discount.

10 Great Prototyping Tips

Too many people think that creating prototypes is a quick fix to ensuring that a final application will be user-friendly, but the truth is that prototyping tools can only take your project so far. To create successful functioning applications, you must first take some basic steps to get the most out of this valuable design process.

1. Know your purpose
Whether you are sketching out paper wireframes or want to create a higher fidelity interactive mockup, you should have a clear mindset of what you want to achieve from prototyping and what the requirements of the application are that you are prototyping.

2. Get your team involved
Prototyping is a process that does not require programming. This means that anyone you think can bring value to your concept should be involved in the creation process. With collaboration, you can get the perspective from different teams, which will help you look at your concept objectively.

3. Communicate
There are so many possibilities nowadays for communicating, wherever your stakeholders are. Make sure that you take advantage of this. With prototyping software, you can comment in the prototypes to show where you want to make changes, or to make things clearer for others.

4. Be critical
It might be that your design doesn’t make the cut. Often you have to balance the needs of the client with those of the user. This can make design a difficult task. Try to be objective when you look at your prototypes. Remember honesty early on in the development process pays off.

5. Experiment
Prototyping is the most cost-effective part of your design process, so take advantage of this. Create multiple wireframes to show your stakeholders. Remember these can be used in A/B testing later. Another advantage is that it can be easier for your stakeholders to articulate what they want when they are given options.

6. Consider your use cases
Too many times people create prototypes without considering the actions and processes of the user. Use cases can be drawn up quickly and often put in a diagram, so you can think about the different functions your users will want to carry out. For more information on use cases, click here.

7. Carry out user testing
Even with use cases, you will often be surprised by how your user responds to your UI. Whether you choose to carry out remote user testing, or watch your user click through the prototype in front of you, it’s invaluable to see how your user interacts with your design.

8. Think of the next step
Remember that your prototype will be used as a blueprint for other designers and programmers. Make sure this is a useful guide for them and be aware of their requirements for the prototype.

9. Document your processes
This is especially important if you are working for a client. A specification document of a prototype is a record that both parties can refer to. This means that if your client demands more features, you can make it clear that this is outside the initial agreement.

10. Don’t throw your wireframes away
Not all wireframes and prototypes should be discarded after a project. You may end up working for the same client again, or want to take ideas from your existing prototypes. Remember, it can be nice to take a basic existing prototype so you don’t have to start with a blank page in your next project.

Do you have any great prototyping tips I have missed? Feel free to comment below.
 

How to Survive as a Project Manager

Being a project manager can be tough. You’re the person who needs to know about all aspects of the product, from its conception and development to sales and customer support. Last week I went to a talk given by Karsten Rieke – former product manager at Xing. From his presentation and the discussion afterwards, I want to share some tips with you for being a successful product manager.

Respect your team
Trust and respect goes a long way. Appreciate that you have a talented team who are experts in their fields and be prepared to listen to what they have to say.

Know your stuff
If you want respect from your colleagues, you will also have to learn how to speak their language- this means knowing your numbers or some key programming concepts. This will help communication and get people to take your suggestions seriously.

Know how others like to work
The slides from the presentation categorize how people in different departments behave and what their work styles are. Not everyone will fit into these stereotypes, but it is worth thinking about how your colleagues work best and how you can fit around that.

Get your team to communicate
At Pidoco we have scrum meetings every day across all of our departments, so that the marketing team knows what the programmers are working on. We also encourage everyone to ask questions, which creates an open atmosphere. It also helps us to see how our individual tasks make up the bigger picture in moving our product forward.

Go outside for inspiration
As product manager, you should be pushing for your product to move forward. Meet with current customers to see how they use your product and how they would be affected by the improvements you have planned. Other people in your industry can also inspire you to try out new things.

Thanks to IxDA Berlin for organizing this event and click on the link below to access the slides.

You can find out more about Karsten Rieke on Xing.

We’ve been busy behind the scenes!

We’ve made a couple of upgrades based on your Uservoice suggestions, so thanks for all your input!

Our first upgrade is the introduction of the Action Area stencil. If you were wondering where the Click Area stencil went, don’t worry, it’s had a change of name! We’ve also added the option to trigger this stencil simply by hovering your mouse over. To set the trigger mode for the Action Area stencil, just right-click on the stencil and select the option field. See the image below. This is a great stencil to use over non-linkable stencils and it shows up clear in simulation!

Our new action area stencil

Now you can select hover or click

Our second upgrade is especially for our German-speaking users:

Für alle deutschsprachigen Nutzer haben wir unseren Editor nun auch ins Deutsche übersetzt! Es war ab und an schwierig, deutsche Namen für manche unserer Stencils wie unser “Rating Stencil” und unser “Mouseover Tab” zu finden. Auf jeden Fall sind wir offen für eure Namensvorschläge! Wir hoffen, ihr genießt es, Pidoco endlich auch auf Deutsch verwenden zu können.

xxx

Unser Editor jetzt auf Deutsch

Thanks for all your suggestions! We’re always looking for new ways to make Pidoco better. In the meantime, enjoy the latest upgrades! Viel Spass!

My First UXcamp Europe

Barcamps seem to be a growing trend these days and yet there are still a few people out there who have no idea what they actually are. I was one of them until I went to UXcamp Europe this summer. A barcamp is a user-generated conference (according to Wikipedia) where any attendee can volunteer to hold a seminar or workshop. UXcamp Europe was not only my first barcamp, but also one of my first real UX events. It was such a fantastic experience that I wanted to let you know about the mysterious world of UXcamp and inspire you to come along next year. UXcamp Europe began four years ago and Pidoco has been involved every step of the way, helping ensure everyone gets the most out of an informative and innovative weekend. This being my first ever UX event, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I was amazed however at how much I got out of the weekend and what an overwhelming sense of community there was.

When I arrived on the Saturday morning, the schedule had already been drawn up. I saw the noticeboard, which you can see in the image below, and realized that this conference was not like your traditional events where talks are planned out months in advance. I didn’t have a chance to look up the speakers on LinkedIn, or Google any of the topics, so I chose the seminars that sounded the most interesting. The first talk I went to was on UX blogging by the innovative German-language blog uxzentrisch. Not only was this full of useful tips on writing, but the seminar was a great opportunity to see the different ways we can look at UX and how we can show that UX is not limited to software interfaces.

UX Seminar Noticeboard

Fantastic seminars to choose from, including 'How to say no to your bosses' and 'How to measure desirability'

After this I also attended a talk on cognitive psychology by Jan Srutek. It was great to hear an interdisciplinary talk that not only looked into the theory behind the thought processes of users, but also offered practical advice about how to guide users in right direction through design. Another great talk I went to was on “The first run” by Paul Baron and Tomonmi Sasaki. This dealt with the first steps a new user takes to sign up for a product or service. The rules I learned were to show users they will be getting something great in return for the information they provide. Another thing they advised is to make signup forms shorter, or split these steps into stages if this is not possible. This is fantastic advice for anyone who is looking to revise a signup form, or payment process on their website or app.

Eric Reiss talking about innovation

Eric Reiss giving his keynote speech on innovation at UXcamp Europe 2012

The last talk and my favorite had to be the closing keynote speech by Eric Reiss, a self-proclaimed UX evangelist. He used some great examples to illustrate that innovation should be used to solve problems, not create them. Here’s a picture of the Octoauto, which promised to give a smoother drive, but the price tag and the sheer size of the car meant that the inventor Reeves failed to generate interest for a single order. I love Eric’s commonsense attitude to UX, but most of all it’s fantastic to see the genuine support he has for the UX community. If you want to know more about Eric, You can follow him on Twitter, or read up about his theater and UX career on Wikipedia.

All in all, I had a fantastic weekend, a great introduction to UX and I can’t wait for my next barcamp. I wish I could go to UX Camp Hamburg, but Philipp from the Pidoco team will be there. I’m already looking forward to next year’s UXcamp Europe, which I’m sure will be bigger and better than ever. See you all there!

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