Right-Clicking—Sometimes the Answer!

Photograph of an early rolling-ball mouse from the 1960s, shaped like half a cylinder and sitting on a desk with a label.

The 1968 Telefunken Rollkugel, an absolutely better name for a thing that lets you point to things on a computer screen than “mouse.” Image via Wikimedia Commons.

We received a number of great, genuine, and highly useful replies to our questions about our collaboration features. We’re extremely grateful.

People had many thoughts, but to summarize roughly the feedback was: If you want people to share boards, (1) improve your onboarding—video might help; (2) share more examples and use cases so users know why—not “can”, but “why”—they should do things; and (3) earn more trust from your users before expecting them to invite friends. So we’ll do all that. The last one is of course the hardest.

If I speak to that feedback in this post, it’ll be 10,000 words long—but it’s great material for my co-founder Rich and I to discuss on an upcoming podcast. I’ll let you know when that comes together.

I also want to tell you about a feature that is not obvious but is pretty useful. It starts with the Aboard extension in Chrome—arguably the easiest way to pull the richest amount of data from a link. (We highly recommend installing it; other browser versions to follow!) Once you have the extension, Aboard does two things when you right click:

  1. If your mouse is over an image, you’ll see a menu item that says “Save Image on Aboard.” Aboard makes a card with that image.
  2. If you have selected text, it says “Save text on Aboard.” Aboard will make a card with that text in the description field.
Three screenshots in a row. The first is captioned GRAB IMAGES and shows right clicking on a cookie image. The second is GRAB TEXT and shows a paragraph of text highlighted. The third is MAKE CARDS and shows a pop-up of a card with cookie images.

We have a lot of battles we’re fighting with Aboard—we’re trying to turn messy web data optimized for search engines into cards that one or a handful of people will find usable. And we’re also battling cut-and-paste, which should work great everywhere, but in 2023, using a computer is:

  1. 60% logging into thing;
  2. 20% applying updates to things;
  3. 20% trying to paste something into something else without destroying it.

So this is a bit of an end run around cut-and-paste—instead of making you create a card, then cut some text or an image, then paste, we’re just trying to shortcut the whole thing. It will make things go faster for you, and lets us make better-looking cards.

Give it a try, tell us where it breaks, and let us know what you think. And thanks for all the feedback.