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The future of mobile at Clubhouse

Victor Wu

Mobile at Clubhouse

At Clubhouse, one of our values is to bring people joy. And so very early on we recognized that people expect a native mobile app experience from their work productivity tools. Even though someone might use Clubhouse on their phone or tablet very little compared to their regular use on desktop web, the few times that they do, having a native mobile experience brings that extra level of joy that even our mobile responsive web app cannot provide.

Part of our product strategy is to get as much Clubhouse shipped to our customers as possible, and as soon as we can, in order to keep that virtuous feedback cycle going. And so in February 2018 we released Clubhouse for iOS, and recently in June 2019 we released Clubhouse for Android.

But this is just the beginning.

As we've seen more and more users discover Clubhouse mobile and incorporate it into their daily use, we've received amazing feedback. We've synthesized these ideas and have a high-level direction of where we want to head next.

Clubhouse on the go

In today's world, knowledge work has grown beyond the traditional static office space. People are working at home, in a coffee shop, or even during their commute. Clubhouse certainly should not disrupt your work-life balance, but we do want to offer you the flexibility that fits your particular work lifestyle. (And by the way, Clubhouse has an open vacation policy and is remote work friendly. Check out our Careers page!)

So if you're going on a short business trip and want to only take a tablet and a phone with you, we want to make your Clubhouse experience joyful during those moments you want to check in with your co-workers in your Story comments. In other words, Clubhouse mobile will be optimized for those "on the go" scenarios, to keep you plugged-in and even productive with your team, before you get back to your main work computer.

One Story at a time

Clubhouse Stories are designed to be single units of deliverable work, usually each associated with a single software code change. While it's important to see the big picture during regular planning and retro sessions, oftentimes the day to day work requires focusing in on individual Stories. We think Clubhouse mobile should therefore allow you to work on and work with Stories, one by one, while minimizing distractions, especially in a smaller screen scenario. We plan on refreshing the Story screen on mobile, making it much easier to quickly consume relevant information and make any requisite updates on the Story itself.

Mobile experience: Adding tasks to Stories

Collaboration through conversation

Collaboration is the lifeblood of any successful business, especially those shipping large and potentially complex software products. We think that collaboration is best facilitated with meaningful and focused conversations that are as close as possible to the work itself. In other words, if you are already planning and tracking your software changes in Clubhouse, we think that having all your conversations in the comment threads of Stories and Epics is the best way to collaborate, since all ideas are centralized in one location, along with all the powerful project management features of Clubhouse that other conversation platforms don't have. And so just as you expect to be continually connected to your friends and family with consumer chat apps when you are on the go, we want Clubhouse to help you be connected with your co-workers as well, with the additional benefit that your conversations are focused on actual planned and organized work deliverables. So we plan on improving the conversation functionality in Clubhouse mobile, significantly reducing the friction to consume and participate in existing comment threads, as well as navigating to other adjacent related comment threads in linked Stories.

Mobile experience: commenting on Stories

Personal work and productivity management

People have different ways of working and managing their own priorities amongst many tasks. You may be juggling a personal to-do item like running to the store to pick up milk, and at the same time trying to quickly update a Clubhouse Story description and leaving a comment telling people about it. We think folks want to have this level of control and accessibility from their mobile devices (which are always with them). And since many people use Clubhouse for a large part of their day job, we have an opportunity to improve that personal work prioritization experience. Folks are already using the native app notifications in Clubhouse mobile, as well as the email notifications. We're considering how to expand this concept to a more powerful personal work management feature (similar to a to do list app), truly focusing on mobile scenarios, so that you can see and prioritize your work, even on the go.

Mobile Experience: Activity Feed

Speed and offline support

We work hard to keep Clubhouse's web app fast, because we understand that in an enterprise work productivity situation such as project management, things are already complicated and oftentimes somewhat difficult as it is. The tool shouldn't make things worse.

Clubhouse needs to be fast so that users can get things done quickly, and not wait on the tool itself. With mobile, we have an even greater opportunity to improve speed since we can bring user interactions closer to the device itself, caching some data retrieved from the server. We're still in the very early stages of exploration. But we think there's many ideas to consider and experiment, including even bringing some level of offline capabilities to Clubhouse mobile, so that you can work on Stories on the train and in the air (where internet-connectivity is still not guaranteed all the time), and have your work synced back to Clubhouse and your co-workers once you're back online.

Help us build the future of Clubhouse for mobile

Give us feedback on specific features or improvements. You can shake your device, email support@clubhouse.io, submit through the Help / Feedback form in the web app, or just drop us a message in our growing Slack community.

We also have some specific questions in this survey. Please take two minutes to fill it out. Thanks!

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