Soccer World Cup Special

It’s time to get soccer-crazy again as the World Cup in Brazil is about to commence!  You are not in the right mood yet, because learning Samba moves is quite difficult, you do not know how to play on the Combinho or you simply cannot kick it like Ronaldo, Messi or Neymar? Well, here is something to cheer you up.

We at Pidoco have already placed our bets… So now it is up to you! Who will win the Soccer World Cup 2014? Guess the World Cup champion and win a one-year Pidoco Expert Mobile license! All you have to do is follow these 3 simple steps:

1. Like our profile on Facebook or Google+ or follow us on Twitter.
2. Pick the winning country.
3. Send us the name of the country you think will win the World Cup by sharing this post, commenting on it or by sending a tweet including @pidoco before 12 June 2014. (Please note: Posts have to be shared publicly so that we will see them.)

 

World Cup-2

We will give away one Expert Mobile license to a participant who has correctly predicted the World Cup winner after the finale on 13 July 2014! (If we have received several correct predictions, we will randomly select a winner.)

Good luck and Boa sorte!

Pidoco at the first tools Expo + Conference 2014

For the seventh time in May, the German capital Berlin became Europe’s biggest digital hotspot hosting one of the largest festivals of the entire IT scene – the Berlin Web Week. Cracking the attendance record, 18.000 visitors participated in this year’s numerous workshops, hackathons, and bar camps and visited the many different events such as the NEXT Berlin or re:publica.

As this exciting festival constantly evolves, the tools Expo + Conference has joined the line-up as a new showroom event. The first tools ever took place on 7 and 8 May 2014 in Berlin’s venerable ExpoCenter City right next to the impressive Funkturm. We already reported on this new event in April, which we were happy to support in bringing together a wide range of different companies and industries united under the slogan “build your digital business”. Since the first tools offered a new concept focusing on businesses seeking web applications to leverage the power of digital business processes, we were quite curious what to expect.

Berlin Funkturm next to ExpoCity Center in Berlin

Berlin Funkturm next to ExpoCity Center in Berlin

After loading the car and making it through Berlin’s rush hour traffic on Tuesday afternoon, we set up a comfy Pidoco booth featuring a set of lounge chairs for our visitors and prepared everything for the upcoming two days. Following some early meetings at our booth, Wednesday kicked off with our workshop titled “Rapid Prototyping & Usability Testing”. During this 30 minute power testing workshop, participants had the change to learn how they could easily create their own interactive mobile prototypes and use them for quick and inexpensive usability tests. Aside from a host of useful tips and hints on how to design a suitable test scenario and running a usability test, participants were able to test drive Pidoco on the laptops provided on site.

Pidoco's booth at tools Expo + Conference 2014

Pidoco’s booth at tools Expo + Conference 2014

During both days, we had the opportunity to connect with a very engaged audience and talk to both visitors and potential partners. Those quality conversations and discussions were really inspiring and offered some great feedback, especially in regard to our new features soon to arrive, which will make prototyping even more powerful. At the same time, tools 2014 was a great opportunity for us to socialize, to network with new and existing customers as well as to meet up with old friends and partners.

We enjoyed tools 2014 and would like to thank all of you, who visited us during these two days in the Expo Center City in Berlin. A big thank you also goes out to the organizers for creating this new event and to SIBB e.V., the ICT & Digital Business Association of Berlin-Brandenburg, who were responsible for the booth we were part of!

Tools 2014 at the ExpoCity Center at Messe Berlin

 

Pidoco Keyboard Shortcut Survival Kit

Shortcuts are awesome and make life much easier – even if you are not a power prototyper.

But you don’t have to start looking for shortcuts that work with Pidoco, because we have already created a handy keyboard shortcut survival kit for you! So check it out, print it, and pin it to your desk to save precious working time!

Pidoco Keyboard Shortcut Survial Kit Pidoco Keyboard Shortcut Survial Kit

 Download Keyboard Shortcut Survial Kit

 

If you’re using a Mac, here’s your survival kit:

Pidoco Keyboard Shortcut Survial Kit for Mac Pidoco Keyboard Shortcut Survial Kit for Mac

 Download Keyboard Shortcut Survial Kit for Mac

 

HAPPY PROTOTYPING!

 

 

Why your prototypes are in safe hands

We understand that many businesses place great emphasis on security, which is why at Pidoco we go the extra mile to keep your data safe. German engineering doesn’t just mean that we abide by some of the strictest laws on data protection in the world, we have also engineered our product to keep your projects safe. An up-time of our system of more than 99.9% in 2013 is evidence of our dedication to providing safe and stable services.

Personal Data

At Pidoco we believe that scarceness of data collection is the best way of preventing data abuse. This is why Pidoco keeps the collection of personal data to an absolute minimum necessary for providing our services. In storing and processing these data Pidoco abides by the “8 Commandments of Data Security” based on the very strict and comprehensive German data protection laws (http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_bdsg/englisch_bdsg.html#p0649). These ensure that the highest control and protection standards are met in regard to access to and accessibility of, transfer and circulation of, input and change of, availability and separation of personal data as well as to the commission of data processing. As part of these standards we keep our website and servers secure and safe.

Our Website

Like all our publicly accessible systems, the Pidoco website (https://pidoco.com) is protected by secure certificates and passwords. We use SSL encrypted secure connections (HTTPS) similar to those standards that financial institutions use for online banking. We also employ so-called “forward secrecy” for data transfers, which prevents past data transfers from being compromised. In addition, our website is fully certified for electronic payment transactions. Only a limited number of trusted administrators work with our live system and their access is logged to make it verifiable.

SSL

Our Servers

We operate our servers in professionally managed award-winning data centers with very high security standards based in Germany only. Our server provider is bound by data protection contracts with us, abides by the “8 Commandments of Data Security” as well and is dedicated to ensuring security and safety standards in general. Physical firewalls, UPS for all servers, CCTV, video surveillance of the facilities, smoke sensors and early fire detection systems with a direct line to the local fire department are used to keep your data safe. Our specialized trusted server provider is certified by official German institutions and works for your data security 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

In addition, our server provider is also dedicated to the environment, using only renewable energy sources.

 

Servers_with_lock

 

Content Data

Pidoco users create and share content all the time mostly in the form of prototypes. The measures described above apply to keep them safe and secure, too. Additional measures are designed specifically to keep your prototypes safe:

Your Prototypes

Your prototypes are backed up at least once every 24 hours, so your work will never get lost. Backups are encrypted and stored on redundant servers in different German cities, so we can restore data in the unlikely event that this becomes necessary. Consequently, any progress you have made on your work is always secured even if your own system shuts down.

Putting You In Control

At Pidoco, we save your work automatically and for peace of mind, we also let you save restore points for your projects as you prototype – so-called “versions” or “milestones”. To do so, just click on the Save button in the Toolbar. That way you can always go back to a previous version of your prototype if anything should happen. In addition, our daily backups create new milestones of prototypes you have edited that day, so you can jump back to these milestones as well.

Pidoco also provides you with options for downloading prototypes as HTML, PNG or SVG files to store on your local hard drive for times when you will be offline or as additional backup.

Collaboration

At Pidoco we make collaboration as secure as possible. When you share your prototypes (e.g. by clicking on the Envelope icon in the Toolbar) you decide who will gain access and what the invitee will be allowed to do. Your options for custom invites are: viewing the prototype, adding comments to it, viewing and administering it, or co-editing your prototype. Invitations are sent by email, so only the person whose email address you specify will receive the unique invitation URL to your prototype. Only people with this URL will be able to access your prototype. Invitation URLs can be deleted at any time if you decide to revoke access.

Special Requirements

If you have special requirements with regard to security and safety, we offer a range of solutions, including dedicated server and in-house systems. With the Pidoco Enterprise Edition, we can engineer solutions to suit your particular needs. Please email us at sales@pidoco.com if you would like to receive information on our Enterprise Edition.

 

Still have questions about our data protection systems? Comment below, or email us at service@pidoco.com.

 

Pidoco participates in Berlin Web Week

Every year in May Berlin gets digital hosting the largest European festival of the digital business and IT scene – the Berlin Web Week. Expecting more than 15,000 visitors this year, the 7th edition of this event will take place from May 5-10, 2014. The probably best-known events are re:publica 14, Europe’s largest conference on social media, and NEXT BERLIN 2014 presenting the latest trends of the digital scene. As always this year’s agenda is filled not only with conferences and conventions. There will be workshops, hackathons, bar camps as well as new exciting events.

tools Expo and Conference logo

Pidoco is one of the exhibitors at tools Expo and Conference in 2014

 

Pidoco at tools Expo + Conference

One of the notable events this year and taking place for the first time ever is tools Expo + Conference which will be held from May 7-8, 2014 at ExpoCenter City in Berlin (one of the Messe Berlin locations). This showroom will exhibit the latest web-based business applications and offer exciting workshops giving all visitors the opportunity to join practical tests and trainings and to benefit from mutual exchange of knowledge and ideas.

Pidoco is happy to be part of tools 2014 as exhibitor and will also host a workshop on prototyping on the first day of the event. We will present the latest version of our prototyping tool including new features soon to arrive at booth 15.2 in hall 18 in the ExpoCenter City.

Pidoco - The Rapid Prototyping Tool for Web and Mobile

Pidoco – The Rapid Prototyping Tool for Web and Mobile

The workshop “Rapid Prototyping & Usability Testing” will take place on Wednesday, May 7 at 11.40 am, and we invite everybody interested to join. In this 30 minute power testing workshop, we will show participants how to easily create interactive mobile prototypes, how to design a suitable test scenario and how to run a mini usability test to ensure market success. Email us at service@pidoco.com to get a free ticket (first come, first served) or buy your ticket here.

We are looking forward to seeing you at tools 2014!

 

Date: 7 and 8 May 2014
Location: ExpoCenter City Berlin
Directions: http://www.tools-berlin.de/en/Travel/HowToGetToTools/

 

We are giving away free tickets until 1 May 2014 (first come, first served)! Just email us at service@pidoco.com or write us on Twitter!

CeBIT raffle: Congratulations to our winners

Champagne_Showers_2_by_Merlin2525

The dice have fallen, luck has decided, the winners of the Pidoco CeBIT raffle have been determined! Every visitor at our CeBIT booth who left their contact with us participated in the raffle automatically. Whether they talked directly to us or just left their card in the box provided was of no significance, everybody had the chance of winning a 6-month Expert License for Pidoco’s Usability Suite.

Ten lucky winners have been informed of their wins via email and we congratulate them warmly. We hope you will enjoy using Pidoco.

Congratulations from the entire Pidoco Team!

If you were not among the lucky winners or missed us at CeBIT and would like to pre-trial the new features of our next release, email us at support@pidoco.com.

Security Announcement: OpenSSL security breach “Heartbleed“

Earlier this week security experts detected a significant security breach in some versions of the popular OpenSSL encryption software that is being used on about two thirds of all secure web sites. The bug is now commonly referred to as Heartbleed. It allows stealing the information normally protected by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the internet. Most significantly the breach compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic, the names and passwords of the users and the actual content.

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Pidoco’s counter measures

Pidoco has immediately reacted to the discovery of the security issue and fixed the problem. We updated our servers to a new and secure OpenSSL version on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 11:58 AM UTC and have replaced our existing SSL certificates with new and secure ones since.

In addition, although our internal audit produced no evidence of the Pidoco systems having been compromised, all active user sessions were terminated to minimize potential exposure.

We have also taken measures to directly inform all users who might have been affected. To find out if you have been affected, please check your email.

 

Who has been affected?

Since Pidoco had only just begun using the breached OpenSSL version on March 2, 2014, only Pidoco users who logged on to their Pidoco accounts between March 2, 2014 and April 11, 2014  may have been directly affected by the breach. To those users we strongly recommend following the instructions below. Since Pidoco follows best practices in using forward security only this time frame is relevant to the breach.

In case you did not log on to your account in the period stated above but use your Pidoco password for other web services as well, we also recommend to follow the instructions below, as your login data may have been compromised using another online service (e.g. online mail providers, social media platforms, etc.). You can check which websites are (still) using the breached version of OpenSSL here.

All our other users are not directly affected by the breach pertaining to their use of Pidoco services. For peace of mind you may still want to follow the instructions below.

 

Recommendations for affected users:

Change password

1. Log on to your Pidoco account and click on “My Account” in the upper right corner

How to navigate to "My Account"

2. Go to “My Profile”, type in your current password and your new password in the input fields provided, and click on save.

 

How to change your password

3. A message will appear confirming the change

If you use your Pidoco password for other web services, too, and have logged on to your Pidoco account between March 2, 2014 and April 11, 2014, we advise you to change the password for these services as well.

 

Our dedication to your data security

We are dedicated to keeping your data secure and safe. Please be ensured that we are taking appropriate measures towards this end. If you have any questions on the topics discussed in this blog post or on data security at Pidoco in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email (support@pidoco.com) or phone (+49 30 4881 6385). We will be happy to answer your questions.

Looking back: Pidoco at CeBIT 2014

Each March Hannover turns into a digital hotspot as CeBIT, the world’s largest IT trade fair, takes place. At this year’s CeBIT, once again, Pidoco was present with its own booth introducing its latest product version that makes prototyping even more powerful.

Blog_CeBIT2014_Booth

Pidoco’s booth at CeBIT 2014

With its new focus on “business only”, this year’s CeBIT was organized around a new concept that seemed to be well perceived. Of the 210.000 CeBIT visitors a delightfully large number found their way to our booth where they could gather information on Pidoco, enjoy a live product presentation and personally perform hands-on tests of the Pidoco Usability Suite. A particular highlight was the possibility to pretrial new features that will be part of the new product version enhancing the tool especially in regards to mobile features and simulation capabilities.

For me and the rest of our team it was a great opportunity to network with existing customers, enjoy conversations with interested visitors from more than 100 countries and receive feedback on our product and the new features to come.

The few short breaks were a great opportunity to explore the fair and its main themes big data, data security and cloud computing. Things like dancing robots, waterproof displays and other cool gimmicks caught the eye, but it was especially interesting to find out what the more than 300 startups present at CeBIT this year had to offer.

CeBIT Run

CeBIT Run passing Pidoco’s booth

We also enjoyed hearing about data security and how IT will affect our society directly from our Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron as well as cheering for the participants of the CeBIT-Run who directly passed our booth.

We’d like to thank all those who visited us at our booth as well as the team for a great event and are looking forward to next year’s CeBIT.

Remote Usability Testing using Pidoco and Your Favorite Web Conferencing Tool

Interactive prototypes created in Pidoco are a great resource for running quick and inexpensive user tests directly online. User tests are a very useful way to assess the usability of a proposed software UI, be it a new web shop or an enterprise application. In this post we give you some hands-on advice on how to set up a remote usability test for your Pidoco prototypes using some well-known conferencing solutions.

In short, these are the steps:

  1. Set up your prototype for the usability test
  2. Generate an access token for test participants using a direct link or View invitation
  3. Record the test session using a suitable conferencing tool and a computer or traditional phone. Once the test session is started, hand over moderator rights to the test user so you can see and record his screen and voice.
  4. Analyze the recordings and edit them upon downloading as required using standard video editing tools

There are a large number of web conferencing solutions available. Well-known examples include WebEx, GoToMeeting and join.me. Of course, if your favorite solution has the following features, you can use it instead to run a successful online user test with your prototypes:

  • Screensharing
  • Hand-over of moderator rights
  • Voice connection (e.g. call-in or VoIP connection)
  • Session recording and replay (both audio and screen)
  • Recording download
  • Optional: Annotation option for note-taking during the session
  • Optional: Chat may be useful to send tasks or refer information

And here is how it works:

Step 1: Set up your prototype

Of course you need a suitable prototype to run a user test. When preparing for a usability test session, make sure your prototype contains all the things you want to test, in particular make sure you have properly linked all relevant navigation options in the test scenario. Also ensure that your prototype does not contain unnecessary or even misleading “ballast” like visible comments intended only for developers. If you are testing several scenarios, you may want to use screenflows or folders to structure your scenarios.

Creating a wireframe screenflow in Pidoco

A screenflow created in Pidoco

Hint: If you have invited others to co-edit the prototype with you, it is recommended to make a copy without co-editors of the prototype for testing purposes in order to prevent others from modifying the prototype while you are testing it.

Step 2: Generate an access token

An easy way to grant participants access to your prototype is via a static link to the start page of the test scenario. You can find the link in the sharing dialog. If you are testing multiple task scenarios with different start pages in one test session, you may want to supply several different links to the individual start pages.

Retrieving an access link to a Pidoco prototype

Sharing a Pidoco prototype via a direct link

Hint: Please note that static links cannot be deleted after the test session, so unless you delete the copy of the prototype you made for the test, your test users will have continued access to it via the static link. If you want to avoid this, you can send them a “View” invitation to the start page of your prototype instead.

Step 3: Record the test session

Make sure you are well-prepared for the test session, including a good test scenario, clear instructions for the test participants as well as materials and perhaps even an assistant for note taking. A written test session guide may be useful to remember all instructions you want to give your test users.

Before starting the test session, make sure your voice connection is set up, i.e. your microphone and speakers (or headset) are connected and functional or you have a working telephone line in reach. Start a meeting in your conferencing solution and wait for your test participant to join. At the start of the test session, inform your test user that you would like to record the session and ask for his express permission.

Now start the recording and make sure both the screen as well as the voices are being recorded. Here is an example of join.me.

Recording a Pidoco prototype test session in join.me

Recording a test session in join.me

Instruct the test participant on the test session and his tasks. Then share the link to the prototype with him and hand over moderator rights to him so he can share his screen with you. You will now see the test participants’ screen showing the prototype to which you invited him.

Run the test session as you usually would. Some conferencing solutions have a limit on the maximum duration of a session, so check yours to make sure your test session is not terminated prematurely. With some conferencing solutions like joine.me, you will be able to add notes to the video.

Once the test session is finished, your recording will be available for download or viewing in the web browser.

Downloading recorded test sessions in WebEx

Recorded test session available for download in WebEx

Step 4: Analyze the recordings

You can analyze the session recordings by reviewing them and taking note of interesting observations such as errors made by test participants, questions asked or feedback given. If you would like to edit out the parts that are irrelevant for later use, you can employ video editing tools on the downloaded videos as long as the format is compatible. WebEx allows for conversion of recordings to WMV, MP4, or Flash format, while join.me allows downloads in WEBM format.

An alternative is to use solutions such as http://www.screencast-o-matic.com to record your test sessions instead of the recording feature provided by your web conferencing solution. Such specialized recording solutions offer easy-to-use video editing features that help you trim your session recording to the right length and focus on relevant issues or add annotations and more to them for documentation purposes.

6 Tips for Creating Great Mobile Prototypes

Mobile consumption is growing, making it ever more important for businesses to adopt a suitable mobile strategy. Whether you are working on an app or a mobile website, it usually helps to use prototypes to flesh out important design decision and test concepts before development. We have some tips for you to help your mobile prototyping process go a little easier.

User testing mobile prototype on iPhone using Pidoco App

Testing a mobile prototype using the Pidoco App

 

1.  Follow OS design principles

Mobile operating system makers like Google, Microsoft and Apple have clear visions for how apps should run on their platforms, both in terms of user experience and visual design. It’s worth reading over these to give your users a consistent experience for their device. This is especially important when it comes to navigation principles. iOS, Android and Windows Phone all provide guidelines for developers.

2. Map user flows

Create prototypes with the user flow in mind, i.e. think in terms of scenarios or tasks that users will want to accomplish with your app. One way to do this is with the Pidoco screenflow tool. A pen and paper may also work for simpler cases. Sketch out the user flow with thumbnails from the pages of your mobile website or app. This will help you plan the user journey and make sure there is a clear path for your users to reach specified goals.

3. Design mobile-friendly forms

With mobile, you need to carefully plan the user input. Make forms as short as possible to minimize the number of interactions a user has to make. For example, avoid forms where users need to type information, instead opt for pickers and radio buttons where possible. Remember that mobile users will often be on the go when they use their device.

4.  Include real content 

When you’re designing for smaller screen sizes, you need to make the most out of the space that you have. Providing images and text from your existing website can often be a good way of  seeing how content would need to be adapted for a mobile device. Less is often more and you may want to try out different screen sizes. Pidoco offers you pre-set screens for various smartphones and tablets.

5. Use template libraries

Templates help you speed up your prototyping work and stay consistent with standard design patterns. At Pidoco we have created templates for Android, iOS and Windows apps for you to import into your prototypes. These can be used to get the look and feel of the operating system you are designing for. To import them into you prototypes, simply visit our libraries page.

6. Test on the device

The usability of an app is best tested in the real context. Early user testing is a great way to avoid many issues that often crop up later during implementation, and there is no better way to do this than on the mobile device your users will end up using. With the Pidoco App you can simulate prototypes directly on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Simply share a link and open it with the Pidoco App and the prototype will appear full-screen and give you a good idea of what the later product will look like.

If you haven’t already, why not try out creating a mobile prototype directly in Pidoco.