Monday, July 12, 2010

TimeBridge and Behavioral Change

Users rarely, if ever, change behavior. It takes unprecedented genius or beneficial workflow changes to get us to change our ways. We're lazy... bottom line.

A service called TimeBridge/meetwith.me changed my behavior. I use it religiously now. What's surprising to me is that the service touches the "third rail" of scheduling/calendar products which are notoriously messy and hard to get anything right with. TimeBridge says they "make it easy for others to schedule meetings with you" and incredibly, they deliver on that promise, when hundreds before them have failed miserably. How did they do it?
  1. Setup for you is pretty easy. The site's not perfect, and there were bugs in app/screen flow, but it amounts to wiring their app up with your calendar app (Google Calendar for me). You'll be using a calendar app that either "works" or "doesn't." If you fall into the latter category, cut bait and pretent TimeBridge doesn't exist.
  2. Setup for people trying to schedule time with you is... well... there really isn't any, and this is the critical piece. There have been plenty of apps promising to make scheduling easy, but they've all required everyone in the workflow to go through a mess of setup. Guess, what, someone scheduling time with me has never heard of TimeBridge, and certainly isn't going to go through any setup with it in order to schedule time with me. So, they've solved this by not requiring any setup for the ppl trying to get on your schedule.
Some of the flows are buggy or a little unclear, so there's lots of room for refinement, but the use case that matters is absolutely nailed. Well done guys. I'm impressed.