August 2020 Update

As 2020 keeps delivering knocks and lots of hand-washing 🧼🖐, at least there’s some good news from Primary🥂.  In this newsletter, we will talk about new features released, and we are asking for input on the next ‘big thing’🙏🏼.

Persona vs App User – making the distinction

Users can now be created as two different types: Personas and App Users. Personas can be used in Journeys and App Users in Flows.  We also have a ‘legacy’ Both category to cater for existing projects.

New Figma integration interface

The Figma integration has been improved, you can now add your Figma link right into the step detail and let Primary create the Interface and add the wireframe in one go.  Super-quick, super-easy.

Toaster help on Journeys

Journeys are here to stay, and we finally got around to adding some help.  You would have noticed some of the blue ‘toaster’ pop-ups. Have been added to the Journeys page with helpful hints about how to use Journeys in your model.

New Presentation Preview – Have your say!

We are currently working on a few new features including a new dark-mode Presentation View.  Although we hope to have a first cut out in the next month, we would still value your input, so we have made a questionnaire, and a video, and another questionnaire!
Start here: https://forms.gle/o7e1MdjYGPKGgdL3A and follow the links at the end of the first part, and in the comments of the video.
We will be eternally grateful🙏🏼.

In the news

Read our great article in Inspirationfeed about double diamond thinking and how Primary implements this way of designing solutions https://inspirationfeed.com/double-diamond-process/

June 2020 Update

This post is about our just-released navigation 🧭 update. The team have been busy working on back-room stuff so we don’t have a long list of features to talk about. Instead, this post is to warn you ⚠️ that the familiar, if somewhat messy top navigation has been updated.

New page-top navigation

Our UX guru Russell 👨‍🎨 has finally been able to secure enough development time to take a stiff broom 🧹 to the somewhat out-of-date and messy top-level navigation. We are pretty happy about it 🤸.

The main message is:

Don’t Freak Out!

All the familiar functions are still there, they have just moved around. As it is unlikely you will read a shopping list of changes, just know that the Project stuff is now under the Project Name menu, and the Account stuff is under the user avatar. The Groups page has been combined with the Flows page.

Remember our public roadmap 🗺️ is here if you want to see what’s in the pipeline.

May 2020 Release

With the world in the grip of Covid19 🦠, we hope that you are keeping safe and well, and busy. There has never been a better time to hunker down and model your next digital product. The Primary team haven’t noticed much change to our lifestyle, we don’t go out much in any case🤓.

Customer Journeys – Out of Beta

After some feature requests and bug discoveries, Primary Journeys are now out of Beta and part of the app for everyone. Journeys now appear in the share view in the same way that Flows display with an overview followed by the detail stages. They are also in the document view.

​Figma integration

​Finally the much requested Figma integration is available. This allows you to store your Figma Persona Access Token with your Primary account, and then put the Figma URL for a specific page in the Interface details. Click Fetch and your beautiful wireframe is linked and stored in Primary. Because Primary keeps versions of everything you do, the wireframe will only update when you request it.

Remote URL for Wireframes

Leveraging the Figma integration, you can now link a remote URL to a wireframe. The Fetch function is the same as described above.

Slack integration

Add a Slack webhook URL and your comments will be posted to a per-project slack channel.

Remember our public roadmap 🗺️ is here if you want to see what’s in the pipeline.
Please feel free to get in contact via the Intercom widget in-app, or send an email to [email protected] Stay agile, people.

March Update

Our apologies 🙇🏻for the long time between newsletters, we have been busy working on some great new features as well as a total replacement of our back end API. You can now track what we are up to on the public roadmap 🛣️.  This allows you to see what we are thinking about 🤔, what we are doing, and what’s been recently launched 🚀.  This newsletter will provide some background to the stuff in the ‘Done in Last Release’ column.

Customer Journeys – Beta

We think this is a bold new direction for Primary.  Customer Journeys make the connection between business strategy and technical implementation.  Design the Journey in Stages, and then create Flows to support the Stages where needed.

We don’t normally launch beta features.  In this case it changes the new feature changes the top line navigation and so we wanted you to switch over when you were comfortable.  We have a mini-roadmap for Journey features.  Let us know if there’s something you need it to do.  You can turn on Customer Journeys in your Account Settings page.

Re-platform

You may not even notice (apart from a couple of glitches), but the entire Primary platform has been rebuilt.  This allows access to a newer set of services which underpin our next round of improvements.  It has been a long job, and back end development gnomes are having a little rest now.  We hope you might notice improved performance, mostly in the form of faster page loads and the odd squashed bug.🐛

Forms to Data, and Back

When creating Data elements, often they are chiefly generated from user inputs via a form.  If you started your model with user interactions, then you might find you have a bunch of Forms that need Data elements to store their inputs.   If you started by defining a domain model with Data elements, then often you need Forms to populate them.  Enter the Form to Data and Data to Form function.

Primary in the news

Read our article in InfoQ:
https://www.infoq.com/articles/application-models-software/

November 2019 Update

We have combined the two into this not-quite-in-November release. There is still a substantial backlog including the major features mentioned last time. We have a new public issues system and a new website on the way. We’ve also been in the news 📰 with a few mentions of Primary by online publications. Let’s get on with the shopping list 🛒of this month’s features:

Resources element

An additional type of element has been added, we have called it a Resource. It’s a little different to the other elements in that it is not something that is used by the modeled app, but rather it contains supporting information for the viewer. A Resource element has a description and a URL, it can be used to point to a prototype or UX assets on a separate system.

Branch icon in Flow Overview

We had feedback that once a number of alternate flows is created it gets hard to track where they start from. To fix this we’ve added a neat little branch icon into the Flow Overview, and a menu to jump to the alternate flow. We try to keep the number of alternate flows to a minimum, but we know some of you love using lots of them, so this should make that easier.

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Branch icon in Presentation View

Much like the item above, in the Presentation view knowing where branches start was a little problematic, especially if the ‘Step Navigation’ was toggled off. Now an icon shows the branch points, and a menu allows you to select the alternate flows at those points.

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Don’t forget you can turn the step navigation on with Ctrl+/

Full screen preview

Now you can see your interfaces as a full screen preview. Just click the preview in the Element pop-out and you get a zoomable, downloadable view.

Primary in the news

We had a few mentions in the news recently which is nice:
https://www.enews20.com/designing-as-a-team-facilitation-apps-that-make-it-work/

https://techbullion.com/interview-with-james-billson-co-founder-of-primary-app/

August 2019 Update

Communication is the central theme of this update. Over the past month, we’ve had lots of conversations. Thanks to all the users who took time to contact us in the last month. I am not sure what happened but we hit some communication inflexion point. The insights into how Primary users are modelling has been invaluable to us. It has also led to decisions and work on some new major product features.

Before we talk about the future, let’s go through the shopping list of updates:

User Avatar

We now have a user avatar that displays next to comments. By default it uses Gravatar, so you may have your custom image there already.

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Commenting updates

There were many updates to the commenting system rolled out this month, so many I’m going to give them a bullet list:

  • # tags — you can create and filter by custom # tags. I am using #TODO as a standard way to keep track of things I need to change in the model.
  • Filter and Search — the Message Centre now includes a filter and search feature to find comments.
  • Release Comments — release comments are sandboxed so that working branch comments don’t appear to a viewer of a specific release. No need to air the dirty laundry during your model walk-through.
  • Better linking of comments to their parent Flows and Elements.

Show Interfaces in Share View

You can now toggle the display of interfaces in the Flow overview in the Share View.

Input behaviour standardisation

There were a few annoying quirks and differences between the various input fields. We’ve done a lot of work to straighten these out and make them all consistent.

New Directions

We have two major projects underway, the first is a revamp of the pdf output. The current output is a little ‘dry’ to say the least. We are creating a framework to generate the pdf directly from the app, and following this we will be working on some nicer flow visualisations. Getting your stakeholders to appreciate your genius is so much easier with some pictures!

The second project involves a new meta-level of User Journeys. This feature allows a high-level pathway to be described. Activities on this pathway may or may not relate to Flows within the app being modelled. Accordingly, the User Journey activities may be linked to one or more User Flows. Flows can be added as stubs in line to be developed later on.

July 2019 Update

We have made multiple releases over the past three months with another large one going out this last week. There have been lots of housekeeping and minor functional improvements, and some bugs 🐞. Most of them are too detailed to list here, and some are too embarrassing, so we’ll stick to talking about features.

Comments

If you are working in a multi-discipline team, you need the various team members to be able to communicate effectively. This release sees the comments system come of age and really start to deliver on the promise. It has been updated with notification icons visible on Steps and Flows.

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Blue icons mean that there are new comments, grey means that they have been seen already.

Comments are now linked to the relevant Flow, Step or Element from the message center, and the message center icon also changes when there are new comments.

Team members now have configurable role badges to better identify who is saying what.

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Don’t forget that you can @ reference other team members in your comments and the mentioned team members will receive a notification.

Version History

Version history is now better organised, remember you can use the project Fork feature to roll-back you project to an earlier state, or copy it as a template.