Sharing experience of building one online product for 12 years

Time change in software is done wrong

Last weekend, most European countries switched back from Daylight Saving Time by moving back their clocks by one hour. People in the United States will do the same on November 2.

All modern software solutions adjust the time automatically. However, it turns out that the process of changing the time is not easy enough for the end-users.

Read the article …

Always use closures in your JavaScript app

Perform the following test in your JavaScript app. Open developer tools in your browser and paste the following in the Console:

_ = jQuery = $ = undefined;

Does your app still work correctly after firing this code? If the answer is no, read on.

Read the article …

How we connect our apps to dev environments

One of the most annoying drawbacks of developing desktop and mobile apps is the inability to switch between dev and production environments. When a client tells us about a problem with the app, our developers can’t reproduce the problem using the same app that is used by the customer.

Fortunately, we found a neat solution. We hard-code dev & production servers’ addresses inside the app that is released to customers. Then, depending on the platform, we use one of the tricks that tells the app to connect to the dev environment.

Read the article …

Keep your product healthy everyday

Every product team loves big updates that all customers cheer about.

But it’s important not to forget about those small changes that make your users’ lives easier. I believe good product teams should form a habit of improving the smaller parts of the app everyday. That’s what we do at LiveChat over and over again.

Read the article …

What developers can learn from roller coaster engineers

I’ve found an interesting analysis of roller coaster’s safety systems in Theme Park Design: Behind The Scenes With An Engineer book by Steve Alcorn.

It’s easy to imagine what happens when roller coaster’s breaks fail. Immediately, lots of guests are in danger.

There’s no room for failure in a roller coaster car.

Read the article …

Intelligent typing indicator

Do you recall the situation of writing a text message to a friend and seeing the following indicator: “X is now typing…”?

When most of us see this information, we stop typing and wait for the friend’s response. But so does the friend. As a result, everyone waits for the second person’s reply and nobody sends a message for a while.

We noticed the same problem when our customers talked with their clients using LiveChat.

Read the article …

6 tips for clear email communication

Email has been with us for 20 years now, but we can still improve the way we use it with a few easy tips.

Writing proper emails gives your team a number of benefits:

  • everyone is on the same page when discussing a topic,
  • there’s a higher probability of inducing valuable discussion,
  • it’s easier to get back to discussed topics after a long time.

Tips mentioned in the article result from my experience gained when working with the LiveChat team. Thankfully, all of us understand that writing proper emails is important. It helps us work more efficiently and, as a result, build a better product.

Read the article …

Beware of features overload

Originally published on UXmatters, March 25, 2014

It’s interesting that many popular apps from the 90s are not available on the market anymore. New Internet users will never hear about RealPlayer or ICQ, products used by millions 10 years ago.

I think one of the reasons why they are gone lies behind the bad user experience of their end-users. Lots of new features turned the simple and usable apps into hulking space stations.

Read the article …

Good call-to-action makes a difference

Changing a call-to-action button can make a significant difference in the number of users using it. Here’s an example of how we raised the interest of links to social media profiles by 485%.

Read the article …

Installable web applications

The majority of today’s applications are browser-based apps built with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Why would anyone want to run a desktop app these days?

Read the article …