Lifeline Sprint Report #0: starting with sprints







May 17, 2021

Here's what we did for Lifeline over the past few weeks and what you can expect for our upcoming Sprint #1.

What's going on, and what's coming up for Lifeline? That's what these biweekly Sprint updates are about. You'll get a quick summary of what we did in the past weeks and what's planned for the next ones.

In the previous sprint we...

...decided we'll start developing Lifeline in sprints—cycles of two weeks with a clear goal and corresponding tasks.

Until now, our process was adhoc, with me throwing work at our developer at any time, based on arbitrary priorities. This worked okay-ish, but now that we have our first paying subscribers, we need to do better than the unpredictable and, sometimes, incoherent releases of the past.

Sprints help us accomplish this, as:

  • We'll work towards a clear goal each sprint, picked from a list of overarching objectives, like improving the onboarding experience, adding value for existing users, or bug fixing and cleaning up.
  • There will be a predictable release cadence of at least one new public update per month, and usually two.
  • We'll spend time each sprint to reflect instead of just powering through task after task without looking back or ahead.

...launched a new website. The old site was a patchy mess, in looks, content, and technically. This new one is built around Lifeline, our main product. The site is currently far from perfect and will be a work of continuous improvement, but at least we have a virtual home base again where we can connect and communicate.

...released Lifeline 1.4.1, which includes:

  • Get an unmissable notification when you reach the end of your session.
  • The emoji selector for session labels now has a search field.
  • Hide your Lifeline in between sessions and meetings.
  • Click to open your history view instead of having to try and catch the drag-down handle.
  • Hold your mouse on a session in your history view to display label info.
  • Fixed column width issues in daily review window.
  • CSV export now lets you select in what format your session length gets exports (e.g., seconds, minutes, hours).

In the upcoming sprint we're planning to...

...clean up Lifeline's Preferences. We've added a bunch of new stuff in a hurry over the past months, like the ability to customize sound effects, change the colors of activity types, and display a countdown timer in your menu bar. We've smacked all these options into Preferences without too much thought, resulting in panels that look like this:

In this sprint, we'll be cleaning it up.

...fix small bugs and UX inconsistencies. Some copy is off, the expand Lifeline shortcut doesn't work during meetings, and more stuff of this ilk.

...change the behavior of your Lifeline while in session. When you reach the end of your session—say 25 minutes—your Lifeline currently just starts over,  "emptying" the line all the way to the left of your screen. You can do this infinitely and will have a hard time figuring out how many of such cycles you've gone through. We'll change this, so that your Lifeline expands when you reach the initial end and it continues to represent the full length of your session no matter how long you keep going.

Do you have questions, feedback, or ideas for Lifeline? Reach out on Twitter or drop us an email.

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