Tag Archives: art & design

Managing a swift & beautiful user interface

Team Spotlight: Julien Rousseau — UI designer, front-end developer, pixel surgeon

fave features: 

  • separate workspaces
  • starring system
  • hot! tasks

key benefits:

  • effortless collaboration between Design & Development
  • keeping track of little details
  • rapid push

Producteev is my sidekick in our quest to build a sleek graphic interface. Design has sort of evolved to create user interfaces packed with little details. Beyond the inherent creativity, the design process now includes organization and structure, as implementation is being considered during product development. A task management application is essential for these purposes and in our case, Producteev improves the flow involved with design. 


A place for everything
We created workspaces for the developer team to integrate the user interface. At the moment, I’m working on the official Producteev Mac Desktop application. I share the workspace “Producteev/Mac” with a developer and our product manager. Tom, the developer, notifies me of missing elements. In turn, I ask him to tweak UI elements that need improvement. We do constant iteration on all of the UI elements, and the end result is a polished, sleeker interface.

Anytime we notice something that needs to be redesigned, we add the task in our Producteev workspace. This goes both ways, and no modifications are lost in translation. As an added safety, the product manager makes sure all tasks are completed and smashes every bug in sight. 

I prefer to focus on the tasks at hand and spend time designing (versus managing tasks), so I force myself to use only a handful of labels. I usually have between 5-8 in a workspace, and I try to make task titles get straight to the point. This way, I can do more in shorter time. 

Everything in its place
The starring system is the secret weapon of our slick interface and tells us what to do next. Tom adds 5-stars to all features currently in development. My job at that point is to design the feature and make sure Tom has all the elements in place so he can start work. Producteev keeps us totally in sync, and we don’t lose any time waiting on our partners to catch up.

I have a few ongoing projects with the rest of the developer team as well. I stay on top of them by watching my hot! tasks and completing to-dos by priority. For me, this works much better than setting deadlines!

The really awesome thing about our current project — the mac desktop app — is that the task list is getting shorter and shorter. It will soon be available for your viewing pleasure! ;)

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Q & A: How Producteev “alleviates email trailing” for a photography studio


The core team at Vaughn Media includes: Matt Prested, producer; Cari Vaughn, director of business development; and Joe Vaughn, photographer and director.

Joe Vaughn’s images have graced the pages of Vanity Fair, GQ, NY Times magazineFast Company and Sports Illustrated. He specializes in portrait, food, travel, and lifestyle photography.

Like most modern companies, their Michigan-based office is often on-the-go, with an international client list. The team appreciates Producteev’s mobility and relies on the app to decrease time wasted with email.

How do you use Producteev?
Joe: Before Producteev, I would just use email for my workflow, but I found that after about a week, tasks were not getting done. It was difficult for me to keep up with emails, and constantly going back to read old messages was inefficient.

When I was looking for a work solution, Producteev was definitely a contender. I liked its aggressive approach to tackling the problem and how the developers seemed to work hard towards making their web application better. I got on board while the company was still in beta and have been satisfied ever since.

Matt: In addition to our regular clients, over the course of a year we may have anywhere between 40-50 one-time jobs. When not working on a photo shoot, we put less emphasis on a calendar-based approach and really rely on the app as a task manager.

Privacy settings have made a big difference, especially with our photography and design interns. Also, any given shoot can have a peripheral team of 3-15 freelancers. We’re more selective with what we let them see, but Producteev helps us eliminate some of the guesswork.

For our interns, however, logging onto Producteev is usually the first thing they do when coming into work. The system’s been handy with assigning them tasks, like updating our website, and has helped coordinate their irregular office hours.

Cari: Without Producteev, we wouldn’t get anything done! The three of us stay connected with the iPhone app and stay on task with notification reminders.

We use labels extensively to keep things organized. Joe may have as many as 50 active tasks, which we label by client and our own unique ticketing system to maintain order. We also label according to status, for instance, we have a label titled “invoice” to manage our invoicing.

Joe: The search function’s great, too. If I ever need anything from a completed job, I can easily search for and find projects from several months back and retrieve files, links and documents from those tasks as needed.

Describe your experience with Producteev.
Joe: Some of the more involved photo shoots have multiple art directors, an art buyer, and others within the ad agency. Email conversations could go in circles, without any final decisions being made. The system alleviates email trailing, with Producteev acting as a hub.

Matt: I oversee the administration of client needs and filter through the email trails to help Joe with priorities. We use creative briefs to record pertinent information and attach them as PDFs to tasks.

Joe: As a result, we have a much more manageable jobs list, and all I have to do is click on a task to see everything related to that assignment. This is a dramatic improvement from excessive email chains.

For more information about Joe Vaughn and Vaughn Media, visit www.joevaughn.com.

Put Producteev’s priority features to work, spend less time scheduling and get things done without relying on a calendar.

  1. Indicate priority level while adding a task by using asterisks (2* or **) 
  2. Add a priority level to already existing tasks to the left of task titles
  3. Go to the footer and Sort by – Priority to list tasks in descending order of importance

Find out more in Support.

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Q & A: How a team of 6 designers tracks hundreds of tasks a week with Producteev


Matthew Wheatley works at Luvkins Graphica, an ideas driven digital design agency based in Sydney, Australia. They recommend Producteev to any design team and thank our developers for lowering  their blood pressure dramatically.

Q: How do you use Producteev?
 As prisoners of a tiny office with no windows, our team of 6 spend endless hours collaborating and working on graphic design and web design for clients such as Pizza Hut, KFC, clubs and pubs throughout Australia. While our clients and work always come first, our team and culture is a close second. We do what we do because we love it, hence we make our work what we love. This includes playing xBox, watching cable and eating absolute rubbish while on lockdown. In a nutshell, Luvkins Graphica services companies large or small, focusing heavily on providing smaller businesses the opportunity to access a creative agency for their marketing needs.

We use Producteev all day every day from client tasks to personal tasks using a single workspace rather than multiple workspaces since our jobs are often short in duration. We simply label each task in Producteev with a job number and name that references to the job folder on our server. (Our job number is also referenced to its own notebook in Evernote which enables us to look up artwork thumbnails quickly especially with archived jobs.)
We simplify and breakdown each task [similar to the GTD method] such as “send invoice” or “confirm artwork is ok” and maintain tasks by the hour, re-assigning dates and times where necessary. While on the road or visiting clients, we add tasks via iPhone or iPad and have most recently applauded the Google Apps plugin for creating a task directly from email, which saves enormous amounts of time when clients send feedback.
Q: Describe your experience with Producteev.
With my brain starting to go crazy with tracking jobs, we needed a task manager that was:
  1. Simple and convenient to use especially when adding tasks (other task managers took just as long to create the task as it would to complete it)
  2. Web / iPhone / iPad compatible for accessibility
  3. Cool looking, or at least half cool!
  4. Able to work with our workflow and not the other way around
  5. Keeping all users tasks synced automatically
  6. Accepted by our programming team as “Good Enough”

*The sixth was the most important.

After sifting through dozens and dozens of Task Management tools and then some, we were very fortunate enough to come across Producteev. Not only has Producteev ticked all the boxes, our grumpiest programmer Nathan actually uses it. We couldn’t even get him to register to the others! Producteev has freed our brains from tracking hundreds of tasks a week and is our most valued tool (apart from the xBox controller).
Overall, Producteev is the engine of our office, and we are amazed at how productive and efficient it has made Luvkins Graphica. No pun intended! To the Producteev Team, we thank you.
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