Friday 22 August 2008

33 changes

We've had a very busy summer - partly as a result of the terrible British weather keeping us at our desks.

We're launching a major set of changes to the Matchpeg suite: improved navigation, even greater ease of use, and some major new functionality such as events (see item 6) and discussion of meeting actions (see items 22 and 23).

Many thanks to all the customers whose feedback prompted these changes, and who helped to design and test them.

General navigation changes

1. New look and feel

Matchpeg has a new, system-wide look and feel. It's a little more slick, and web browsers render it even faster than the old version. (Of course, you can continue to change the colour scheme to your liking using the "Customize" option. With enhanced options - see item 33 below.)

2. One-click access to all modules

In the new design, each module - Meetings, Brainstorming, Workflow - is now never more than one click away.

3. "Meetings" and "Actions" are now separate areas

"Meetings" and "Actions" have been split into separate areas. The Meetings home page continues to show your pending and recent meetings. Your uncompleted actions are now on the Actions page - plus a new list of actions which you've recently completed.

4. Separate "Settings" section

We've taken the various system settings - the user list, payments, customisation, and your personal account details - and put them into their own "Settings" section. This makes them a little easier to access, and a little easier to navigate.

Dashboard and events

5. New dashboard

The dashboard has been slightly redesigned to make it easier to pick out the key information such as the number of pending actions you have.

6. Events

The dashboard now includes a list of "events" - new meetings which you've been added to, new actions which have been assigned to you etc. Events are automatically cleared from the list when you view the record in question (whether by clicking on the item in the event list or via another route). You can also manually delete events from the list if you're no longer interested in them.

7. Events available as an RSS feed

Like everything else in Matchpeg, the new events list is available as an RSS feed. You can subscribe to it using tools such as Google Reader or Bloglines, or you can add it to something like a Google personal home page.


8. New meeting states: "actions incomplete" versus "complete"

The system now distinguishes between meetings where the minutes have been published, but some actions have not yet been completed, versus meetings which are truly complete. This new status is reflected in meeting searches, making it easier to list (and analyse) all meetings with uncompleted actions.

9. Easier change of meeting status

It's now even easier to change the status of a meeting, e.g. to tell the system that a meeting has taken place and you're now typing up the minutes. The menu bar of a meeting page shows the current status, and clicking on this displays a drop-down menu of other states which the meeting can be switched to.

10. Tidier agenda/minutes editing

We've made a minor change to the colour scheme on the agenda/minutes editing page, making it a little easier to read.

11. Circulate agenda/minutes to non-participants

The agenda/minutes of a meeting can now be distributed to non-participants (without having to download the agenda/minutes as a PDF, and send it out manually). The revised distribution page simply includes a field where you can enter a list of extra e-mail addresses to send the agenda/minutes to.

12. Choose participants when circulating the agenda/minutes

You can now choose which participants to include when circulating the agenda/minutes, rather than always sending the e-mail to everyone involved in the meeting.

13. Choose which sections of the agenda/minutes to circulate

And also... you can choose to circulate a subset of the agenda/minutes, rather than the entire thing. As well as options for sending only a list of key decisions, or a list of actions, you can also select specific numbered sections of the agenda/minutes to include in the e-mail.

14. Analysing meeting action point progress

A meeting's completed and uncompleted actions can now be analysed separately - the Analyse button at the top of each list displays statistics only on the completed/uncompleted actions.

15. A new "chase" option

Meeting organisers now have a new option when chasing up uncompleted actions: they can choose to create events (see above) as well as or instead of sending e-mails. In other words, this option flags up the action point in the event list on the person's dashboard.

16. File upload has its own tab

File upload has been removed from agenda/minutes editing, and has been given its own tab within a meeting's details.

17. All participants are allowed to upload files

All participants, not just the organiser, are now allowed to upload files into a meeting. The majority of customers were telling us that this easy-going approach was actually more suitable than only allowing the organiser to upload files. (A file can then be deleted either by the person who uploaded it, or by the organiser.)

18. New tab for a series of meetings

The details of a meeting has another new tab: "Series", showing the other meetings in the same series as the meeting you're looking at.

19. Map links when creating meetings

You can now get a preview of the map which will be displayed for the location when you create a meeting, rather than only having the map available once the details have been saved.

20. Easier navigation between meetings

The menu bar within a meeting's details now includes a "Go to..." link which displays a pop-up list of all your pending and recent meetings. Therefore, you can switch from one meeting to another without having to go via the Meetings home page.

21. Easier searching for meetings

There's now an even quicker way of searching for a meeting by name: rather than going to the search page, you can do a simple search using the "Find" menu-bar option on the main Meetings page.


22. Upload files against action points

It's now possible to upload files against a specific action point from a meeting, as well as uploading a file into the meeting itself. Like the change described above (see 17), all participants in a meeting are allowed to upload a file against an action from that meeting. This provides an easier way for participants to collaborate on getting an action done.

23. Discussion of action points

Participants can also discuss progress on an action point - simply by posting messages to a sort of mini-forum about that particular action.

24. Action point discussion available as an RSS feed

Like everything else in Matchpeg, the discussion of an action point is available as an RSS feed.

25. Easier navigation between actions

As with meetings (see 20), it's now a little easier to navigate between different actions. There's a "Go to..." menu bar link which displays a list of all your pending and recently completed actions, letting you navigate between them without having to go via the main Actions page.

26. Easier searching for actions

There's now an even quicker way of searching for an action based on its text: rather than going to the search page, you can do a simple search using the "Find" menu-bar option on the main Actions page.


27. Easier navigation between workflow items

As above, there's easier navigation between workflow items, in the form of a "Go to..." menu bar link.

28. Easier searching for workflow items

And again: you can do a quick search for workflow items with a particular subject using the "Find" menu-bar option on the Workflow home page.


29. Tabbed layout for brainstorming pages

We've added tabs to the different stages of a brainstorming session, to make it even clearer where you are in the process.

30. Slicker session lobby

We've slightly re-modelled the session lobby, making it a little easier for new users to understand what's going on.

31. Easier searching for brainstorming sessions

As above, you can do a quick search for brainstorming sessions by typing part of a name into the "Find" menu-bar option on the Brainstorming home page, rather than having to use the full search page.

Outlook plug-in

32. New "Create meeting" option

Creating Matchpeg meetings from Outlook is now even easier than before: we've added a new "Create meeting" button to the Matchpeg toolbar in Outlook. You can either highlight a blank space in your calendar, and click on the button to create a new meeting in both Matchpeg and Outlook, or you can highlight an existing appointment in your calendar and click on the button to add that appointment to Matchpeg.


33. New customisation options

The Theme Builder now offers even more control over changing the colour scheme and layout of the system. We're considering offering a prize for the most inventive use of the Theme Builder to alter Matchpeg's look and feel.