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Weekly Update – Jan. 28, 2010

January 28, 2010
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Since RoastLog is fairly new in the world of coffee, it’s important for us to let folks know not only what we’re up to, but how we’re doing things.  This “Weekly Update” is my attempt to keep those who are interested, up-to-date.

I realize we haven’t even really talked about the capabilities of the system, at least not in detail.  That will definitely show up here.  Until then…

User Testing

Our primary goal now is getting RoastLog polished and ready for an official début at the SCAA show this coming April.  Last year, I took the prototype to the show simply to gauge interest.  I was writing code until 3am the night before the conference opened…that’s how rough it was.  But, the response was great.  The state of the system now is very usable, proven by the fact that our beta tester are actually using it.

Still, we’re not stopping just because it’s usable.  Our goal is the make the system drop-dead simple, without giving up any power.  To do this, we’re really focusing on you, the end-user, to tell us what’s good or bad about the system.  Instead of taking a product-centric approach, we’re taking a customer-centric approach.  I’d be stupid of us to build something specifically for coffee roasters without actually asking coffee roasters what they think.  We’ve spent much of our time recently talking to existing or potential testers, and getting more and more roasters online providing feedback.

RoastLog on the Coffee Review sample roaster

RoastLog on the Coffee Review sample roaster

On Monday night, I headed over to the Coffee Review lab (where Ted works) and got their Primo sample roaster set up.  It’s pretty slick!

User Interface

What we’re really striving for, and what is the biggest amount of work, is moving our UIs (user interfaces, both the website and client software which runs on your computer) to “Version 2”.  Ryan or myself will expand on what “Version 2” actually means later, but in a nutshell, we’re gathering all the feedback from our testers and making the UIs simple and intuitive.  We’re striving for something that won’t get in your way, but which will help you do your jobs better.

Schmoozing

It’s been a lot of fun talking with coffee people on the phone, in person and in Twitter-land.  One of the reasons I love RoastLog so much is because it’s in the coffee industry, which is a fun community to be associated with.  The three of us here working on RoastLog are pretty down-to-earth guys, so feel free to reach out and give us feedback on your ideas or thoughts.

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