UX and Dogfooding

I woke up this morning thinking “I need to focus the task text box when opening the new task screen”. It’s minor, it’s not significant, and I’m not sure it would annoy many users if that feature wasn’t there. The reason why it matters though is that part of Getting Things Done® (GTD®) is called a brain dump where you are encouraged to dump everything on your mind into your system to be reviewed later. Brain dumps involve adding multiple items in a row; saving users a click per item could make the whole experience a lot smoother.

I didn’t sit down and think “OK, how can the UX be improved?”, it simply popped in my mind. The reason I think is that I use the app a lot while developing it. If you do something over and over again, eventually the little annoyances start bugging you which makes them surface to your consciousness.

This feature took me less than 5 minutes to implement but I believe it will have a significant impact to users. In addition to that, I managed to meet my goals for today: Outside Tasks now allows you to add, edit, and swipe to delete tasks. Additionally, the tasks are now persisted across sessions! I didn’t get around to implementing urgency, importance, and effort editing though.

My goals for tomorrow are: implement urgency, importance, and effort; allow users to swipe right to mark tasks as completed; and allow users to add, edit, and swipe to delete contexts.

I don’t know if the app will have every feature I want it to have by Friday but it will be in a state that allows me to move my tasks to Outside Tasks before my OmniFocus trial expires. I will of course keep a back up somewhere in case I mess something up.

For some reason, Apple’s Start Developing iOS Apps (Swift) guide seems to be wrong. This answer on Stack Overflow provided me with the correct way to implement the cancel button.