This app update wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible people who have been directly in contact with us via Twitter and Yac over the last 6+ months. We heard you loud and clear and with this update we hope to hit most of your wish list!
A year ago, we started work on our desktop app. When we built the first desktop version we were honing in on a very limited set of features, which didn’t represent what we know the product will be today. After mobile was released last year, we found that the user experience was fast, efficient, and super easy to use. However, our desktop app was anything but this. It didn’t support newer features, such as broadcast messaging and search; adding these features would just be putting the code base into further tech debt, so we decided to rewrite the entire app instead of modifying the existing one. (clean code base, we built the first one for MVP, not scalability).
For any makers or developers who understand the limitations of Electron, we were stuck on a very old version of Electron due to a breaking bug that got introduced in Electron 5. Our borderless, frameless, transparent window (the floating icon) was great in concept, but really crippled our codebase. Moving away from that meant basically rewriting the entire base of the app so at that point we decided, let's just start clean.
Let’s look at some of the feedback from our users regarding the old app’s performance and then what we’ve done to address them:
What We Did & What We Are Doing
We had no idea how powerful transcription would be. It was originally added as a value add feature that just looked cool in our mockups. However, the response was overwhelmingly, “we want more!”. With that feedback we adapted and as of today you can now copy the full transcript to your clipboard via the desktop app, and we will be adding a way to simply expand the preview to view the whole transcript in the very near future.
Removed the floating icon
Why/How We Did:
The floating Yac icon was perfect...for us… and about 3 other people. Our team loved it because it allowed us to work on a task while not leaving that tab or window. However, our users felt differently. Designers found it especially annoying because they’d be working on an important design and Yac always seemed to be in the way. As founders it can sometimes be hard to hear feedback, but feedback is how we improve our app. Based on the latest feedback we developed our new update and we are already hearing extremely positive feedback! A few of the folks that loved the floating icon have reached out to let us know that they now feel that the app takes more clicks to send a message. With that feedback we added a quick reply on hover (simply hover over a message over your list and click reply to instantly start recording), and keyboard shortcuts (CMD+K + search + enter). We addressed opposing sides of the feedback to make the app as user friendly to as many people as possible.
Sharable Public Links to Messages
This feature request seemed counterintuitive to us at first, as our thought process was to just invite them directly to Yac. Ultimately, we decided this feature would only help folks who needed to get their fellow teammates on board with the idea of using Yac. We figured a teammate may be missing out on some Yac features, such as variable speed controls and transcription, but at least they won’t miss out on important announcements or messages in Yac.
Speaking with a few folks at Twitter, they made it clear that they needed a tool that played well with others because if they become too siloed, which has happened internally before, then parts of the team get left out of important discussions. Public links will now allow anyone to stay in the loop.
Similar Interface, Similar Features
Why the Change?
Mobile had much better UX and we wanted the experience between desktop and mobile to be similar, if not the same, so the user doesn’t have to learn two different apps for the same product.
Accessing Admin Dashboard Made Easy
We spoke with several teams focused on efficiency and they made it clear that they weren’t using Yac simply because they liked our team. They used Yac because it gave them efficiency superpowers and they couldn’t stand the thought of using their mouse to control the app. Turns out hyper-efficient startup teams love their keyboard shortcuts. “But why Command + K?”, you might ask. This experience was simply stolen from Slack since we know over 95% of our users also use Slack.
One advantage Yac has allowed us to have is the ability to directly communicate to our customers with our voice. This creates an unparalleled customer service experience to hear, for better or worse, feedback in (asynchronous) real time. The main theme of our communication has always come back to efficiency. Whether it's using keyboard shortcuts, sending voice messages, or having an incredible desktop experience, folks are finding Yac to help them complete tasks.
One team shared with us how they recently become fully remote and started using Yac and Asana for task management exclusively. They went from 1.5 days worth of tasks getting done in a full week to 5 full days of work by THURSDAY. Incredibly, their productivity increased by over 3x within a few short weeks with us. You can thank them for the last minute keyboard shortcuts!
More human than other messengers
We once sat in a VC meeting in Menlo Park with some of the smartest folks we’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking with. They didn’t see the value in having a human element to an app. Now that the world is experimenting with remote work, quarantining, and social distancing, we are finding that teams are looking for ways to collaborate outside of strictly written content. Work culture seems to be shifting beneath our feet in our favor towards more than avatars and plain text.
People care about transcription
People using our app everyday are asking for more and more capabilities of transcription, such as seeing the full transcript, copy/paste ability, translation, and more. We are using off the shelf transcription at the moment but we hope to integrate with some key partners to bring the most accurate text-to-speech experience possible.
Click here for a more detailed change log.