Zach Shepherd's WordPress Blog

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Today, I discovered the wonder that is Jott.

For anyone not familiar with it, it’s a service that lets you call and make a quick verbal note. It then transcribes the audio into text which is emailed to you with the audio clip. You can also have it email a friend, add a Google Calendar event, add a task on Remember the Milk, post to your blogging software, post to twitter, or any number of things. Handy, right?

As a web developer and a general “computer person”,  web technologies don’t usually easily impress me, but this blew me away. It was just so useful and… friendly .

During the account creation process, I was impressed by a very user-friendly form (it explained why each piece of information was needed, accepted my phone number in any format I wanted to enter it in, and gave a very clear success message).

I was then asked to confirm my email followed by my phone number. The first was as easy as clicking a link in the email and the second consisted of calling Jott and entering a confirmation number. After entering the confirmation number (while still on the phone), I went to refresh my browser (as I typically do with confirmation forms) but, before I could, the site had taken care of that for me and redirected me to the dashboard page (a simple feature, but it just adds to the usability ).

Meanwhile (back on the phone), I was making my very first Jott. The prompts are concise and it’s obvious they did their best to keep the process moving; it asks who you want to Jott to, beeps to let you start recording, and tells you “Got it” (at which point you can hang up or stay on the line to edit the Jott or create a new one). No long menus to listen to. No pressing buttons. Completely intuitive.

posted by Zach at 12:31 am  

Monday, August 4, 2008

An Update from Boston

As the beginning of classes looms on the horizon, I thought I’d record a bit of my experiences this summer.

In case it wasn’t clear in my last post: Boston is not Potsdam. It has been a very different experience. It’s a city; there are more people doing in more of a rush to get to more places to do more things and, as far as I’m concerned, that isn’t a bad thing. It’s hard to be bored.

Being able to go to good concerts or plays for free was something I’d experienced having so many colleges in the Potsdam area, but Boston had quite a few more options. There are also many more tourist attractions, historical sites, and shopping options (not to mention the public transportation).

While in Boston, I’ve learned a bit about sailing and met some cool people. I’ve had a great time in Boston (and hope to visit again at some point), but, with the beginning of the semester just around the corner, it’s almost time to head back north.

posted by Zach at 11:52 pm  

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