Today, I was invited to help beta test the future Pencil Case app; however, it was not quite what I expected. Actually, not at all what I expected. I know that this is a beta, but I instantly felt limited after going through the various parts of the site.
The core functionality of the app itself was limited. Sure, the basic fundamentals are present, but there’s nothing “extra” that makes the user want to explore into the app. I did not come across any advanced features in the beta. I was looking for a search form but couldn’t find one, a major downside to this app’s user experience considering the 200+ items one must look through.
An additional drawback to the beta is that you cannot upload custom profile pictures. Sure, Gravatars are great, but what about those users that want to use a different picture? Sometimes a user will want a specific picture for a specific site, like me. I strongly believe that the choice of using Gravatars should be completely optional and not required. Don’t follow Bitbucket’s path!
The profile section is also very simple. I understand that this is a beta, but there was hardly anything different from the dashboard itself besides the specified list of the user. I specifically disapprove of how the list is ordered by the majority of votes. I would like to see a feature implemented so that the user can “rank” their Pencil Case based on what they prefer instead.
Overall, the Pencil Case App has a solid foundation built that works as expected; however, it could be improved. There are various features that could be implemented, as mentioned above. Others might enjoy the app perfectly fine without these certain features, but I’m going to keep my distance from this Pencil Case App for the time being.