Welcome to Fleep 2.0!

fleep_design_illustrations-blogHey,

I have some exciting news to share: today, we are rolling out Fleep 2.0. This means a brand new look and feel to the messenger across all your devices – desktop, iOS and Android. We hope you’ll like it and that it makes your messaging experience even better :)

When we started with the redesign months ago, we estimated to be ready by September. Evidently it took us a bit longer, but it was definitely worth it.

Over the course of the last year we have added a lot of new functionality to Fleep: Labels, Tasks, Integrations etc. So, we realized it was time to align the Fleep experience across all devices.

With the goal of delivering a seamless experience across platforms, we focused on revamping three core parts of the UX:

  • Easy prioritization. We made several improvements to give you a better overview of your unread conversations, to make it easier for you to decide which conversation needs your attention first.This includes an overhaul of the Sidebar in the desktop version and redesigned conversation lists in the mobile apps. Mobile apps now also support conversation Labels for an improved experience when you’re on the go. Additionally, we introduced conversation avatars across the platforms to give you better visual context in your conversation list.
  • Easy participation. We spent a lot of time fine-tuning the message flow in conversations. Our goal was to ensure that it’s easy to read new messages and post your replies both on desktop and on mobile. In Fleep 2.0, the message text size has increased, and the messages have been moved into one clean column with as little visual noise as possible.
  • Less formal, more friendly. Wth our new branding and design, Fleep 2.0 provides a friendly but smart environment for your everyday work conversations. We’d like you to feel at home in Fleep, not like you’re in a gray corporate office cubicle without much to enjoy :)

The practicalities: desktop apps will be automatically upgraded to the new design, but for the mobile Fleep 2.0 on Android and iOS, you need to update the apps on Google Play or in the App Store.

I am very grateful to our whole team for the effort over these past months. I am also very thankful for the great designs from Stefan Hiienurm – the man behind the redesign of Fleep.

Even though we are releasing Fleep 2.0 today, be assured that we’re not finished with the redesign project just yet. We will keep rolling out more improvements across all platforms over the coming weeks.

I hope you enjoy the new release and share the excitement with us - as always, we would be grateful to receive your feedback :)

Yours,

henn.
co-founder and CEO of Fleep

Fleep redesign from the designer’s viewpoint

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We’re so excited to share with you what we’ve been working on for several months now. Today, we’ve started rolling out a fresh, redesigned Fleep across all platforms: Fleep 2.0, the slickest version of Fleep yet.

But this isn’t a “Yay, we did it! High fives all around!” post (although our team definitely deserves some beers high fives at this point). This also isn’t just about “What’s new?” – we’ll let the user interface and Product Hunt do the talking for that. This post sheds light on the designer’s viewpoint. Who is this wizard who made all this magic happen?

Stefan HiienurmMeet Stefan.

Stefan Hiienurm isn’t your average designer. He is the Lead Product Designer and Co-Founder of Thorgate (here’s some of Stefan’s work on Dribbble). He was also the Lead Designer for Fleep 2.0.

Stefan doesn’t just do good design, he works through every step to a great user experience – from concepts to execution. And believe us when we say he is ruthless in demanding excellence (in the best way possible).

We could go on, but let’s hear it from the man himself! Here goes: 

Q: Why did you accept the challenge of improving the Fleep brand and design?

I love challenges. Everything that is out of my comfort zone is something that I would like to do.

Q: How is the new Fleep 2.0 brand making things better? And more importantly, why?

The goal while designing the new brand was to make it more friendly. Fleep is a communication app, and when people communicate with each other, they want to feel the same emotions as in real life. So, we changed the primary brand colour from the so-called hospital green to a warm blue. We also added more secondary colors so Fleep is no longer monochromatic.

Additionally, there were many small changes and tweaks we made during the redesign process to ensure the best possible user experience, one that delivers emotions to people using Fleep.

Fleep vs Fleep 2.0

Fleep vs Fleep 2.0

Q: What were the first steps you took in the process of the redesign?

The first step was to get know the product. There were hundreds of corner cases that I needed to know before I could even start with any design work.

After getting acquainted with Fleep, I started to lay down the main User Interface (UI) Framework, which is a fundamental part of the UI design. Defining core elements and styles at the outset, and sticking to them, helped to keep the design principles consistent across all the platforms throughout the redesign process.

Q: Who were the key people behind the rebranding?

I would say everybody on the Fleep Team. Designers only give visual input and bring the idea together –  but in general, everybody involved gives their ideas for the new updated brand.

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Thanks for working with us, Stefan – and thank you for sharing your thoughts on the redesign process. 

That’s it. You’re now ready for the fresh Fleep 2.0 experience. Check Fleep 2.0 out on webAndroid, and iOS today. We hope you love it. You can also read more about the redesign from our Product Owner and CEO Henn in this blog post.

Let us know what you think on Twitter, Facebook or directly to Fleep Support (support@fleep.io)!

Geekend 2015 highlights

We recently attended Geekend, the awesome annual interactive conference that takes place in Savannah, GA.

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It’s a weekend full of engaging presentations, panels and workshops on innovation in the tech and digital worlds. This year, the topics covered ranged from virtual reality to healthcare to selfie sticks. In fact, the range of topics was quite possibly our favorite part of the whole shindig – it made the conference welcoming to creatives from all walks of life so you could easily explore new ideas and get to see what everyone is excited about in their field.

Here are our highlights from Geekend 2015:

The Beyond Email panel

Beyond Email

We would be lying if we didn’t admit that getting on the stage with some smart people to discuss things we care about was one of our highlights of Geekend. Katheriin from Fleep was a part of the panel discussion “What’s beyond email” – talking about what’s wrong with email (hint: a lot), and how to move beyond email - with Kevin Lawver (Planted), Josh Nichols (Github) and Steve Ross (Oak.Works).

In short, the panel concluded that email is not a great tool for almost anything. And thanks to Kevin, our session was actually entertaining! (Note to self and to anyone ever speaking at conferences: include memes and gifs in your slide deck to make the session more engaging. See our slide deck here.)

Ben Sykes – “Hacking Creative Innovation”

Now this was an engaging session. Ben explained and ran the audience through several design gaming techniques, to help anyone (!) think outside the box and come up with creative ideas. The 2-hour workshop may have looked daunting on the schedule but was in fact the most fun one! You can have a sneak peek of everything Ben had to share from his slide deck.

The crowd!

People had traveled from all over to Geekend, but we especially loved seeing how diverse and talented the creative community of Savannah is!

This Southern town is known for its parks and architecture, and has a reputation for being a party town (even the passport control official at JFK airport welcomed us by asking if we were going to “party it down” in Savannah) – there’s really much more to it.

Among other creatives, Savannah is home to Aetho (recently launched Aeon that makes your GoPro footage look like it’s shot by a Hollywood director), the team behind the recent redesign of 500px, the prime business jet company Gulfstream, the top art & design college SCAD, and the town even has its own makerspace. Naturally, all of the aforementioned were also represented at Geekend.

Thanks for a great conference, Geekend! Thanks for the Southern hospitality, Savannah!

How to Stay True to Your Vision – In Everything You Do

blog-vision

Who do you think you are? And just as importantly, who do your customers think you are?

Before you can figure out how to communicate effectively, you have to find your voice.

It means working out what kind of people you and your colleagues are and what kind of company you want to be.

… And then making sure that everything you say and do is in keeping with the personality you’ve created.

A lot of companies get this horribly wrong. Knowing what you stand for as a company isn’t about tacking some dodgy marketing-speak onto a “Values” page on your website. It’s not about forcing your team to sit through a toe-curlingly awkward brainstorming session where they put forward wildly exaggerated, clichéd adjectives like a scene from The Office.

It’s about genuinely believing what you say and proving this through your actions.

There are hard financial benefits to this, too. Misrepresenting yourself through your marketing materials and messaging is terrible for your customer base – but figuring out your niche can drive sales and boost your bottom line.

It’s daft to say, for example, “oh, we’re a dynamic, creative, innovative company pushing boundaries in our industry” if, in reality, you’re a conservative-minded organisation that strongly believes in sticking to traditional, tried-and-tested practices that you know you can depend on.

Customers that are looking to try out ground breaking new approaches will quickly be disappointed, while you alienate your natural market of cautious, risk-averse customers that want someone solid to rely on.

On the other hand, if you really do value “outside the box” thinking, you have to be prepared to see it through.

Do you try out new ideas that your team members bring to you? Do you find yourself saying “no” automatically when someone asks if they can adopt unusual working styles or flexible hours – or do you give these things a chance?

Claiming to be one thing when your behaviour suggests another is a sure fire way to irritate your team and foster cynicism in your business. That’s why the values you state have to be the values you genuinely believe in.

And why you have to make sure that living by these values applies to your internal company communications, as well as external messaging.

Once you’ve figured out who you are (and how to position yourself in your market), stick to it. Stay true to your vision.

If that means turning down commissions, opportunities and partnerships that jar with your vision, so be it.

It might even mean tempering expansion slightly in the early stages, so that your company doesn’t change beyond recognition – with your values becoming the first casualty of growth.

It means taking your hiring process extremely seriously, sourcing people who truly share your vision and fit with your company culture, rather than looking exclusively at their qualifications or experience.

And it means developing strong, effective communication between colleagues and nurturing close working relationships, so that your team stay on the same page and help you to reinforce your vision in everything they do.

Marek Sanders, copywriter

 

This is a guest blog post written by Marek Sanders, who is a copywriter, productivity enthusiast and Fleep evangelist.

 

Chat for teams

7 reasons freelancers choose Fleep over Gmail

Fleep over Gmail

Gmail has long been the email platform of choice for the self-employed – but increasingly, freelancers are looking for communication tools that help to organize their time and boost their productivity, too.

Here are the seven main reasons why freelancers choose Fleep over Gmail…

Fleep over Gmail1. You can organize conversations by client

A major frustration for freelancers is keeping on top of different projects for different clients. It can be hard to focus on one thing when updates about other projects pop up in between!

Gmail does allow users to manually organize their contacts and conversations – but not only is this time consuming, it’s prone to bugs that can undo weeks of work.

Fleep, on the other hand, is set up around a “conversation” structure that automatically pulls together all incoming messages and emails from a particular contact.

What’s more, you can use a drop-down system to give conversations an instant, specific label to help you stay organised.

Fleep over Gmail2. Everything’s in one place

Freelancers have to be communication ninjas, able to tap into different clients’ systems of choice.

Fleep allows you to link up to other email addresses, Gmail-style, but you can also use webhooks to pull in selected updates from GitHub, Bitbucket, JIRA and others.

Plus, very soon you’ll be able to access files in Dropbox and Google Drive, making it even easier to keep track of shared projects and documents.

Fleep over Gmail3. It’s easy to add new team members

The trouble with conventional email systems such as Gmail is that every time you brief a new addition to the team, you have to forward all the old email threads for them to trawl through.

If team members reply over the top of each other, rather than to the last email in the chain, this can wreak havoc!

Fleep turns email into a “chat” setup, so that all messages in a conversation are stored together, in order, rather than branching off in their own direction. When you add someone to the conversation, they just scroll back through to check what they’ve missed.

Fleep over Gmail4. You can make calls right from the app

One of the things that makes Fleep so attractive to dispersed teams is that it lets them make phone and video calls directly through the app using its Google Hangouts integration.

Even better, this can be used as a conference call system for group conversations, with members just clicking “join” to drop in when they’re ready.

Fleep over Gmail5. You can find things quickly

We’ve all suffered the tearing-out-you-hair frustration of searching through hundreds of emails, trying to find the one with the right attachment. For freelancers working offsite, this can be a nightmare.

Fleep tackles this with the “file drawer” feature, which shows all the files that have been sent at any point during the conversation on a handy side tab.

Fleep over Gmail6. It supercharges productivity

Time is money, and even more so when you’re a freelancer and don’t get paid for any time you waste at work!

Checking endless, unwanted emails are a major productivity killer. While email systems such as Gmail have tools to cut down spam and categorize mail, they can only go so far.

With Fleep, freelancers have their conversations organised automatically – and they can hit the “snooze” or “mute” button any that they don’t want to be sidetracked by right now.

What’s more, if project chats do start going off piste (hey, it happens), there’s a “pinbar” next to each thread to highlight just most essential updates, tasks and notes.

Fleep over Gmail7. It does all the things Gmail does – and more

Fleep offers full Gmail integration, so you can pick up your messages and reply from inside the Fleep app, either with your Gmail address or with your Fleep ID.

This means that freelancers using Gmail don’t have to make the full switch until they’re totally confident they can do all the things Gmail does inside the Fleep system – and have tapped into the amazing features that Gmail doesn’t offer!

Got a question about a specific feature, or want to make sure that Fleep has the right tools for you?

Take a look at our features page or get in touch with us directly – we’d love to hear from you!

Marek Sanders, copywriter

 

This is a guest blog post written by Marek Sanders, who is a copywriter, productivity enthusiast and a Fleep evangelist.

 

Chat for teams