- Trello, owned by Atlassian, has redesigned its product to become a central hub for work.
- It wants to help remote workers by allowing them to organize data from apps like Google Docs or YouTube.
- It will also now let users see their Trello board as a timeline, table, or calendar.
- Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
Going on four years after its $425 million acquisition by Atlassian, Trello wants to be more than a task management tool.
This week, Trello unveiled a complete redesign, with a goal of going beyond tracking individual projects, and towards becoming a central hub for helping work get done.
Trello is designed to look like a virtual whiteboard with virtual sticky notes that people can move around to track their projects, borrowing from the popular Kanban project management philosophy. The idea was to make the product easy and intuitive to use, especially when working in a distributed team, said Trello founder Michael Pryor. Trello’s team has been distributed and 80% remote from its inception in 2011.
One problem that pandemic induced remote work has made worse is information overload, Pryor said. People are using too many apps and spending too much time looking for the information they need to get work done. A recent report from identity management company Okta said large companies across industries deploy an average of 175 apps, while smaller companies use an average of 73 apps.
Trello’s redesign is meant to fix that deluge for its 50 million users.
“This next evolution for Trello, over the next 10 years where we want to take it is that we want to help people address that feeling of being lost with all their tools and the information, the work, and not understanding what’s happening, Pryor told Insider.
The first way Trello wants to help fix that is letting people see their Trello board in multiple formats: a timeline, a table, a dashboard, or a calendar. The other more substantial change is to the Trello “card” or virtual post-it note users are familiar with. People can now use those cards to link to apps outside of Trello, including YouTube, Instagram, Dropbox, Stripe, Salesforce, or Google Drive apps. Those links appear as cards, or notes, in the interface.
The idea is that when working on a project, Trello users can use the app to organize and sort the other links and programs they are using. That means they can watch a YouTube video directly on Trello, or see a Google Doc related to the project.
“We’re really trying to add capability and functionality and extend the power of Trello, but relying on the principles that got us here in the first place, which is people want simplicity,” Pryor said.
To start out with users can create visual cards for 30 different kinds of apps, and the company intends to grow that based on customer feedback. This is the “tip of the iceberg” for how Trello wants to evolve, Pryor said.
“I think the challenge for us as product owners is really how can we do it and maintain the simplicity?” Pryor said. “And so that’s always a delicate balance there. And we believe that we have gotten that balance, and we’ll iterate on that.”
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