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You folks have to already know the biggest barrier to folks using OF is the obvious complexity of the app making it difficult to understand and get started. My strong suggestion is:

1) Explain (both written and in a video) the overall philosophy of the design and intent of the app.

2) Put together many small tutorials, both written and video (5-10 minutes; 15 minutes max), with follow-along steps, as not everyone learns the same way. Focus each on a single aspect of OF, covering it very thoroughly.

3) Put together a few templates, but do some research first on how different types of people use OF, so their is a more substantial basis for designing the templates than you get by asking the small (and unique) group you'd get by asking folks in the office.

4) Watch some newies trying to figure it out (that's how Quicken won the $ app war) and let that inform app (especially) interface design, templates, and tutorials, and not in that order.

Pardon the unsolicited advice.
 
All good suggestions. Much of this is already done, but I agree there's room for more. Here are some existing resources:
  1. User manual
  2. Screencasts:
  3. Blog posts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dancingbrook View Post
4) Watch some newies trying to figure it out (that's how Quicken won the $ app war) and let that inform app (especially) interface design, templates, and tutorials, and not in that order.
Seriously? That's how Quicken won the $ app war?! But Quicken for Mac looks and feels horrendous! Maybe that's due to neglect, but I can't possibly believe that UI was the result of any serious usability study. ;-)

-Dennis

Last edited by Toadling; 2009-07-15 at 12:53 PM..
 
I second the ScreenCastsOnline tutorials. A well invested hour of time.
 
Yes, the Mac version of Quicken is neglected, but I can assure you they spent a great deal of time watching people learning to use their products to understand how to make them better.

I have looked at or reviewed all of these except all the blogs. My main idea (stolen from SketchUp) is to provide short focused chunks. And now I would add, put everything, well organized, in one place.

I liked the ScreenCasts but they are too long, and already dated (another reason for short focused chunks; easier to update).

Last edited by dancingbrook; 2009-07-15 at 02:13 PM..
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancingbrook View Post
Yes, the Mac version of Quicken is neglected, but I can assure you they spent a great deal of time watching people learning to use their products to understand how to make them better.

I have looked at or reviewed all of these except all the blogs. My main idea (stolen from SketchUp) is to provide short focused chunks. And now I would add, put everything, well organized, in one place.

I liked the ScreenCasts but they are too long, and already dated (another reason for short focused chunks; easier to update).
The SCO presentations cover I believe version 1.5. They are sufficiently current to get 95% of what you need.

OmniFocus could be simpler. It could be prettier. Heck, I know, I have been tempted many times to go to Cultured Code's things. However, every time I try, I get frustrated by limitations, and come back to OF and realize I can make it work better for me, by adapting tricks or processes I picked up while using Things. And then I'm happy... for a number of months, when I repeat the process again and waste another day of my time.

I should just make a repeating project... so I can remember to get it out of my system and not have to worry about it :-)
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatOne View Post
The SCO presentations cover I believe version 1.5. They are sufficiently current to get 95% of what you need.
Yes, but it is that 5% that takes up 30% of your time as you try to figure out why X, Y or Z doesn't work, or look the same, that can sap your patience especially for an app that is complex.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatOne View Post
OmniFocus could be simpler. It could be prettier. Heck, I know, I have been tempted many times to go to Cultured Code's things. However, every time I try, I get frustrated by limitations, and come back to OF and realize I can make it work better for me, by adapting tricks or processes I picked up while using Things. And then I'm happy... for a number of months, when I repeat the process again and waste another day of my time.
I understand; but what drives us to be unsatisfied and go look elsewhere again, even if temporarily? Those are the things Omni should consider, but of course they won't be everyone's answer.

I do have faith 2.0 is going to be easier though; they've gotten a ton of feedback to work with.

Last edited by dancingbrook; 2009-07-15 at 09:03 PM..
 
 


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