The summer is almost gone and for us, it was quite a busy one.
We sorted out the long list of future work, got in touch with our current users and along with some planned improvements we cooked a few ones that were quite unexpected. It was a great revelation for us to discover why some of our users stop to use the app after just a few days. Read below for the whole story on this.
Now, here is point-by-point all that is great about CogZum 1.2 release, nicknamed “Baby corn”. It will go live on Wednesday, September 27th.
Full freedom in creation and editing of products. After answering for a 100-th time to my girlfriend that she can’t change the name of a product or edit an inventory item at will, I pushed this upgrade to the top of our work list. Product details view in “At Home” was enhanced with an edit button and product names were enabled for changes at any time. This unlocked a whole new range of use cases – for example, a product can be shopped with a name, taken from our dictionary and later changed to a more descriptive one. Setting a product as a “favourite” is now possible at any time. Still, we don’t advise renaming to a completely different product, because the usage history that CogZum keeps will become invalid.
“Essential products” helper list. A common pain for our users is the fact that after app install their inventory list is as empty as Monday morning church. The initial effort, required for tracking all consumables from day one was putting off some users. The only practical solution was a creation of a curated list of common products, found in most households. This 60-item “template” helps to quickly add the ones that match the food and supplies stocked presently. Our tryouts (on memory or by looking around the kitchen), showed up to 4 times less time for building the inventory when there was a template to start with. The new editing improvements assist for a very fast setting of actual quantity and expiry time, before moving an item to inventory. Generic names can be changed later, if “Tesco Semi-skimmed Milk” sounds better than just “Milk”.
Better expiry date selection. Food expiration tracking is at the heart of CogZum and we improved the way expiration dates are set. Typically a product is created with “Use Within” period, which in most of the cases will serve for automatic “Use By” calculation. For a more precise setting, CogZum 1.2 release automatically switches to date picker list when a period like “A week” is tapped on product buy.
Smarter “Expire today” notification. “product expires today” is undoubtedly the most looked after reminder for our users. We were sending it silently in the morning to let people plan how to use the food – for breakfast, packed for office lunch or for a family dinner. But there are lot’s of apps pushing notifications in the morning and frequently this one passed unnoticed in the pile of others. To counter this situation, we added a second time for showing the reminder – at the end of working day when it is the best time for dinner plans. We show this “afternoon” reminder only if the user has not taken any action on morning one.
New hints system. Our thinking about short-term users was that they were not really interested in tracking food and other home supplies. It turned out that they simply didn’t know how the app works. We are showing with hints all features and actions on the very first run, but it happens that this onboarding session is often taken in a hurry and our tips go in vain. So a brand new way of showcasing the app was born – CogZum 1.2 release has an ongoing activity-based mentoring. In addition, we added more “balloon” – style tips to clearly inform about the actions that can be performed.
Design touches. If you are not a first-time user a few small changes in design will catch your eye. The most prominent one is on the action buttons, which are cut on the bottom end to leave a dash of free air to the border below. A few icons were replaced with better looking and more relevant ones.
P.S no bugs were killed in CogZum 1.2 release as we did not discover any 🙂