Our newest release of Simply Goals & Tasks was more of a house-cleaning update. As the app gets more mature and we grow our test-user base, we expect releases to continue to be smaller like this one. This update was really all about Settings.

There has been a Settings screen from the beginning. In this Activity users found lots of options for using the app, creating new tasks, and customizing their view. But our little secret, we weren’t always actually using those user settings. Sorry!

But we are now!

More about this update

From a usability end, we improved the Settings screen so the user can see all their selections at a glance. The space below a setting name, where you normally see an elaboration on what this setting does, now displays the current value.

On the engineering side, besides going in and fixing all the places we had been ignoring settings, we had to do a bit of cleaning up around calendar objects. You would think something as simple as just scheduling a task could ignore a lot of the complications of calendars, timezones, locals, etc. And we can — just not as much as we thought.

We made the design decision to purposely ignore timezones. Meaning if you schedule a task for “3pm next Tuesday” while you are home in New York, then if next Tuesday you are actually in San Francisco, we assume you want to do this task at 3pm local time, rather than noon.

Contrary to our decision, noon is what most calendars assume. And that makes sense for Calendars that have to deal with events that are possibly happening virtually with participants all over the world. But we are focusing Simply Goals & Tasks on individual productivity over collaboration. There are plenty of collaboration tools out there, and you are probably already forced to use the one your team uses.

One problem we ran into was dealing with Daylight Savings Time. Our “3pm” is always “3pm” system doesn’t work when your phone insists “3pm” is actually “2pm”. We could ignore timezone and DST, but your phone won’t. The inconsistency was causing all kinds of problems. So now we use local timezone. This will probably cause other complications down the road, but for now it’s the best decision.

Categories: our company