How apps are changing the work landscape

Imagine a workplace where apps that allow you to schedule meetings, get instant updates, create project plans, develop prototypes, and set meeting reminders are available at your fingertips, and work like clockwork. Doesn’t that sound interesting?

By Ninad Raval, Director of Product and Design at Directi

Imagine a workplace where apps that allow you to schedule meetings, get instant updates, create project plans, develop prototypes, and set meeting reminders are available at your fingertips, and work like clockwork. Doesn’t that sound interesting?

The digital industry has progressed in more ways than one, and so have its professionals. Activities that used to take hours less than a few years ago, can now be executed quickly and seamlessly. This has been made possible with the launch of several interesting apps in recent years, that have caught the attention of Gen Z. The introduction of new technology has given birth to smarter ways of performing tasks, and professionals of the virtual ecosystem have now begun to adopt and use them extensively.

The tech community has been leveraging the latest in technology to innovate and introduce interesting tools that make work-life simpler. However, in recent years, the focus has shifted to building applications for the tech savvy youth. Today’s smart apps that are available across a plethora of platforms and devices, allow employees in this demographic to collaborate and stay productive, even on the go.

Here is my take on the top 5 uber-cool apps that we use at work:

#1 Sketch

At Directi, Idea generation for my team begins with ‘Sketch’. Sketch is a unique design application available for Mac users that helps conceptualisation of visual and graphic designs. Unlike Adobe Firework, more can be achieved with Sketch as one can create and share designs locally, with people connected to the same internet network. Exporting images and designs is also possible through .jpg and .png files. Sketch is also commended for its outstanding user interface and its vector design capabilities that allow a user to create high resolution images. With retina display, Sketch ensures that what you see is what you get! In the absence of Sketch, it would be especially difficult to explain the ‘how’s and why’s’ of a complex project to teams, making Sketch a design essential to us.

#2 Marvel App

True to its name, Marvel App is absolutely marvelous! Marvel app is an easy to use prototyping tool that lets anyone create and share realistic mobile and web prototypes, without the need of code. Directians have been using this app for a while now, to conduct discussions about frameworks with the design and user experience teams. Marvel App is a convenient tool, needing no more than a Dropbox account to sync with. The app imports designs and images from Dropbox in the form of a shareable URL, which is compatible with all kinds of devices, be it mobile, tablet or various kinds of browsers. This unique application also helps get instant feedback on a working prototype, as members can comment on shared designs and make suitable changes.

#3 Trello

Deploying a combination of email threads, direct messaging services and video conferences can be extremely cumbersome. Trello, an intelligent project management tool is highly recommended in the professional space. Trello helps our employees plan and organise projects efficiently, assign tasks to relevant members and keep track of related activities. Compatible with Android, iOs and Windows 8, Trello’s innovative and interactive interface allows users to create boards that represent a working project.

Each project is bifurcated into columns, stacked like a deck of cards that represent stages of work such as ‘Work in progress’ or ‘Next up’. This division further continues to each card depicting a unit of work in the project.

Without Trello, efficiency takes a major hit as there is no consolidated view of the bigger picture interspersed with the finer details that make up the project. This could often result in the need for individual tracking of assigned tasks and duplication of work within the team. Therefore, Trello is the most sought after app serving project management needs.

#4 Tweet Deck
The impact of social media can no longer be ignored. Therefore, it is of vital importance to keep abreast of recent updates of your product, and holistically, the industry. Tweet Deck is a smart app that helps accomplish this task and is available on Android, as well as iOs. Most enterprises adopted Tweet Deck back in 2013 and since then, they have never looked back! This nimble application aggregates all your required tweets in separate silos, providing you with a consolidated view of a particular topic. For product specialists, the @mention feature works wonders, as it pops up an immediate notification to help resolve time sensitive customer queries instantly. Another amazing aspect of this software is its autopilot function that eliminates the hassle of re-setting tweets, and represents them as and when they flow in. You set it all up once and you are done! For social media professionals, Tweet Deck is the ultimate one stop solution.

#5 Flock
Long drawn out email threads are now a thing of the past, as enterprise communication has moved into real time. Flock is a communication and collaboration tool for fast moving teams across industries. With a slick, clutter free, user friendly interface and compatibility with almost all devices, Flock serves instant collaboration needs, even on the go. This unique application provides me with the entire company directory at my fingertips, making conversations simpler and quicker. @mentions is another much appreciated feature across our company – it allows a user to get someone’s attention in a group, even if the group is muted. Flock is also equipped with smart features like sharing of files, slash (/) commands, and personalized stickers that make conversations more engaging. Flock has helped my teams at Directi get work done much faster and increase productivity across the organization.

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