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Protonotes : A New Tool for Collaborating with Your Team

I get a lot of emails about stickynotes: art projects, new products, interesting tools. There’s a lot going on in the world of “small things that stick to other things.”

But one thing is still missing: a simple, flexible tool for doing lightweight stickynote sorting and clustering exercises remotely. I’ve looked into a variety of desktop apps, web apps, etc. and they all have some achilles heel that keeps them from doing exactly what I want. (I know, I’m picky, but still…)

Then a while back, I got an email from Mike Padilla who came to my Stickynote Ninja session at UX week 2007. He let me know about a new service he was developing: an a note-based tool for remote review for web app/site prototypes.

Protonotes is now live and it’s really nifty. It’s not really designed for remote collaboration in general, it’s designed pretty specifically for annotating prototypes within an organization. But it has 3 wonderful things going for it:

  1. It’s super-easy to implement: in 10 minutes, you can have it up and running. All you do is copy & paste a few lines of JavaScript into your prototype to activate the app.
  2. It’s lightweight: the interface is nothing but a bar across the top of your app, so it doesn’t get in the way, and it toggles with hide/show.
  3. It’s agnostic: it works on all platforms and many, many browsers, and works the same way each time. So you know what to expect.

Oh, and it’s free.

After playing with it, it seemed to do most of what I wanted…the only thing missing was a surface to put the notes on. So I created a super-simple set of layouts to experiment with.

You can see the simple layouts and play around with the notes at: http://www.intelleto.com/protonotes

Just keep it clean, people.


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