Notabli + Android

Last March was a great month. As the rest of the world began to thaw, Burlington (and the team at Notabli HQ) was still running on hot coffee, dreams of summer, and lots of baselayers. The winter was long, but it was mighty productive. By the time March rolled in, we’d launched a fully-featured web app and were already getting ready for the next member of the family — Notabli for Android.

It was chance to try some new things — to see what was working (and not) and move a little furniture around. We started clearing a lot of space — table space, whiteboard space, floor space and made room to imagine how Notabli could look and behave in a pair of Android overalls. So, with our laptops, sketchpads, and some swim goggles we splashed headfirst into Google’s Material world. Summer had come early.

One thing we wanted to focus on was how folks experience their moments, both individually, and as a collection. It’s as important to relive your moments as it is to stay up to date with new ones. With that, we made three changes: it’s now easier to see more moments at once, to filter them by type, and to view them fullscreen.

The ability to see 'more moments at once' was a big one. It’s fun to go back through your feed, but it can also be tedious — especially when you’re looking for something in particular (How long must I scroll to see that sandcastle video from last summer?) The solution was to introduce a ‘grid view’ toggle in the app bar, so folks can switch between an overview of moment thumbnails or the classic 1-by-1 view.

Secondly, we’ve historically used a lot of dropdowns and toggles when it comes to filtering. Well, we changed that too! (We love using the Android tab bar). It’s built so you can swipe the feed from left to right and tab between 'everything', photos, videos, quotes, sounds, notes — even milestones. Thumb on over to the ‘Sound’ tab, and you get a feed of ocean noises, birthday songs, and campfire stories, all in one spot.


Finally, onto the moments themselves — we made it easier to view them nice ’n big. When you tap a moment, it opens full screen. Photos are fun this way — swipe it around, pinch it — you could count grains of sand if you wanted to. We didn’t leave anyone out; this view is great for all moment-types (notes deserve a nice reading space too).

These are just thin slices of the fun stuff we tried. There were a lot good ideas. Some we shipped, some we archived for later, and a few might’ve gotten shuffled into a pile somewhere. The best part about having so many ideas, will be watching them spill over into our web and iPhone apps. It’s sure great watching everybody grow up.

Anyway, it’s another day! And the job is never done (and we’re terribly happy about that).

- The Notabli Team