Blog

Sooner shows real innovation in mobile UX

I have to say that after looking at a few dozen calendar tools for my iPhone, they all seem more or less the same. Sooner is new entrant that has adopted a wheel-oriented design motif in some interesting ways, one that breaks away from the seemingly endless agenda-and-30-boxes approach that most use.

Above you see the wheel for the current week with Wednesday selected, and displaying the day’s events on the innermost ring. The plus sign is the way to create new events, which is dragged over the inner or outer elements of the wheel.

Sooner is a task manager tool, as well. The task UI is reached by clicking on the list icon in the upper right corner, leading to this:

Here you see categories — for example, ‘1 year plan’ and ‘to do’ — and tasks — like ‘Luke meets droids’ or ‘Watch Star Wars’ — and clicking on any item leads to an edit interface. Dragging the plus icon into one of the categories leads to creating a task in that category and opening it in edit mode.

Because the UX is very oriented to touch it is actually very difficult to describe exactly how to accomplish things, like assigning a time to work on a task, which involves both the task and calendar wheels. However, the tool has helpful guidance built in, like this:

And when you select on items, like events or tasks, you are provided a more or less normal edit view like this:

Sooner syncs with the  default calendar on the iPhone, which in my case links to Google calendar, and creating events through Sooner just worked. However, Sooner tasks currently don’t sync with anything outside of Sooner, and so it is currently a standalone iOS application for tasks.

The obvious missing piece would be an integration with Google tasks, although I don’t think Google tasks is full-featured enough for very serious use. In the longer run, it would be interesting to imaging a shared calendar/team task management service that could grown from Sooner, and it would be great if that came sooner, not later.